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In censuses and large scale surveys, enumerators (persons who collect data are called as enumerators) are engaged to collect information from the persons concerned. They gather information in schedules or questionnaire specially prepared for the purpose in the form of answers given by the respondents to specific questions.

In the case of a census, enumerators visit every member of the source in the zones or areas specifically allotted to them and in the case of a sample survey, they visit those members who come under their sample procedure. This method is applied in censuses and in most other extensive enquiries designed to cover larger areas or population.

Advantages:

– This method is the only one possible in case of extensive censuses as well as sample enquiries.
– There is a much lesser degree of subjectivity on the part of interviewer in this method.
– This method is useful where the scope and coverage are large enough.

Limitations:

– It is expensive and time consuming
– Thorough training of the enumerators is needed before they are sent to the field. It also needs an organization to handle the whole process of appointment, training and supervision of enumeration work.