During the eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the Sami and the Kvens were classified and categorized in different ways by the Norwegian state authorities in their official censuses. The process whereby various categorization principles were applied was heavily imbued with ideological and political considerations. During the eighteenth century, when main concern was establishing and consolidating the borders of the state, a kind of geographical enclosure and delimitation took place. During the nineteenth century and through to the Second World War, however, the overriding ambition was to depict all the inhabitants within these established borders as being as culturally homogeneous as possible. Today, it has once more become desirable to acknowledge the presence of both the Sami and the Kvens.