Census reports are the primary source of information on population characteristics. Fundamental among these characteristics are population size and growth, but census reports are often used to evaluate other features of a population such as reliability of age reporting, extent of literacy, adequacy of occupational reporting, and level and pattern of unemployment. In this paper, we take a preliminary look at the 1972 Census of Pakistan in order to determine its overall suitability as a source of information on population of the country. The quality of census data depends not only on the technical capacity of the statistical arm of the government, but on the characteristics of the society as well. For example, even the advanced statistical and survey technology available in the United States is inadequate to deal with the more volatile nature of society. Near completeness of coverage is achieved only in a few countries such as Holland, Denmark and Switzerland, with high degrees of social cohesion1 and where population censuses are kept in close administrative check.