Wednesday, March 10, 2010

2010 Census


March 2010: The 2010 Census Is Underway!

The 2010 Census is now underway throughout the United States and its territories. In March, the U.S. Postal Service will deliver questionnaires to every household on their route in time for "Census Day," April 1, 2010.

The census is required by Article 1, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution. Since the first census in 1790, conducting an accurate count of the people living in the United States has been the foundation for our nation's representative government.

As you prepare for the arrival of your 2010 Census questionnaire, consider these facts about the history of census-taking in the United States:

•The first census began more than a year after the inauguration of President George Washington. At its conclusion, the U.S. population totaled approximately 3.9 million and the largest cities were New York, NY; Philadelphia, PA; and Boston, MA.

•Following the abolishon of slavery in 1865, ex-slaves were named in the 1870 census for the first time. Before then, they were simply recorded numerically by age.

•The 1900 census included Hawaii (annexed in 1898) for the first time. Census takers counted approximately 154,001 inhabitants on the islands.

•The 1940 census collected information about the population and its housing. It was also the first decennial census to use advanced statistical sampling techniques. Sampling allowed the addition of a number of demographic questions without unduly increasing the overall burden on respondents and data processing.

•Census 2000 incoroporated a $167 million advertising campaign to reach every person living in the United States. This advertising contributed to a reversal in the decline of response rates experienced since the 1970 census.

The French Legation Museum and other histoy-related organziations use Census records to uncover the past. Without Census records, information about the nine African-Americans living on Robertson Hill as enslaved people would not have been uncovered. Just imagine: in 100 years, someone may be looking for YOU and will jump for joy seeing your name and information in the 2010 Census records... help our elected officials today and the historians of the future by completing your Census 2010 questionnaire next month.


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