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Censuses (counts and descriptions of populations) have been taken by the various governments of Poland, primarily for population studies, taxation, or military purposes.
Earliest censuses were taken in 1567, 1676, 1775 (parish census). Contents vary according to the censuses and their purposes. For example, the census of 1793 for the region of South Prussia (area taken by Prussia in the 1793 partition) includes names of adult males and widows, number of people in each household, professions of the householders, but no ages.
The census of 1790–92 for areas of Poznan (Posen) and Kraków includes school-age children as well as adults and has dates of birth, marriage, and death.