I completely understand your point. And this plays to my point.
In your case, I won't spend the time to do the GEDCOM, I would supply the name as enter in the source , the source reference XREF, a NAME.TYPE of "census", and some notes etc. This way when I print a report the type value tells me the name came from a census and the source tell me which census. I would create a census event, but you don't need to enter this name information in this census event unless you added it as a note to tie things together.
From my name entry you could get,
"John Smyth's name was found in the 1890 US census for Boone county."
Where the 1890... line comes from the title of the source, it could be "birth certificate" or "immigration papers" as well.