Population censuses produce essential information for the development of public policies and for decision making concerning investments by either private or governmental spheres. Censuses constitute the only source of information about the life conditions of the population in municipalities and in their subdivisions, such as districts, neighborhoods, boroughs and urban or rural localities for which censuses are essential to update results and reveal local reality.
The conduction of a survey like the 2000 Population Census represents a major challenge for a statistics institute, especially in a big country such as Brazil, which, in the survey reference date, was formed by 8 514 215,3 km2, 27 Federative Units and 5 507 municipalities, with a total of 54 265 618 households surveyed.
In order to guarantee the reliability of results and reach the highest level of quality in all the steps of Census 2000, in the survey in cities with over 25 thousand inhabitants were applied modern technologies such as digital mapping of municipalities, scanning and optical reading of questionnaires, management and operation through the Internet. These and other technological innovations have allowed users of census data and society in general to monitor each step of the operation and quickly access its results, through modern means of communication and information dissemination.
At international level, the conduction of Census 2000 also meant the consolidation of statistical ties between Extended Mercosur, which includes Mercosur member countries - Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay – and also Bolivia and Chile, with the objective of creating patterns for concepts and classifications in order to homogenize and strengthen national statistical systems and create a common database for the censuses of the six countries.
The release of Census 2000 tried to provide each type of user with the most appropriate media – printed publications, Internet and digital files – and employed modern technologies whose results reveal the main demographic and socioeconomic features of the Brazilian population in the beginning of the new millennium. The following publications bring basic tables which present commentaries, graphs and cartograms. They also contain a CD-ROMS with the information in the printed volumes and tables, as pdf files and spreadsheets, respectively, together with an additional group of tables and geographic levels.