United States Census: Wikis

Advertisements
  
  

Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Encyclopedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The United States Census is a decennial census mandated by the United States Constitution.[1] The population is enumerated every 10 years and the results are used to allocate Congressional seats (congressional apportionment), electoral votes, and government program funding.[2] Some states or local jurisdictions also conduct local censuses.

The census is performed by the United States Census Bureau. The first census after the American Revolution was taken in 1790, under Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson; there have been 21 federal censuses since that time.[2] The last national census was held in 2010 and the next census is scheduled for 2020. For years between the decennial censuses, the Census Bureau issues estimates made using surveys and statistical models.

Decennial U.S. Census figures are based on actual counts of persons dwelling in U.S. residential structures. They include citizens, non-citizen legal residents, non-citizen long-term visitors and illegal immigrants. The Census Bureau uses special procedures to ensure that those without conventional housing are counted; however, data from these operations are not considered as accurate as data obtained from traditional procedures.[3] The practice of including non-citizens in the official census figures is controversial because the census is used for the apportionment of seats in the House of Representatives, and derived from that, of electors to the Electoral College. The Census also employs the practice of hot deck imputation to assign data to housing units where occupation status is unknown. This practice has effects across many areas, but is seen by some as controversial because it may increase representation for reliably Democratic districts. However, the practice was ruled constitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in Utah v. Evans. Groups like the Prison Policy Initiative assert that the census practice of counting prisoners as residents of prisons, not their pre-incarceration addresses, leads to misleading information about racial demographics and population numbers.[4]

Contents

History

Censuses had been taken prior to the Constitution's ratification; in the early 1600s, a census was taken in Virginia, and people were counted in nearly all of the British colonies that became the United States.

Through the years, the country's needs and interests became more complex. This meant that statistics were needed to help people understand what was happening and have a basis for planning. The content of the decennial census changed accordingly. In 1810, the first inquiry on manufactures, quantity and value of products occurred; in 1840, inquiries on fisheries were added; and in 1850, the census included inquiries on social issues, such as taxation, churches, pauperism, and crime. The censuses also spread geographically, to new states and territories added to the Union, as well as to other areas under U.S. sovereignty or jurisdiction. There were so many more inquiries of all kinds in the census of 1880 that almost a full decade was needed to publish all the results. In response to this, the census was mechanised in 1890, with tabulating machines made by Herman Hollerith. This reduced the processing time to two and a half years.[5]

For the first six censuses (1790-1840) enumerators recorded only the names of the heads of household and a general demographic accounting of the remaining members of the household. Beginning in 1850, all members of the household were named on the census. The first slave schedules were also completed in 1850, with the second (and last) in 1860. Censuses of the late 19th century also included agricultural and industrial schedules to gauge the productivity of the nation's economy. Mortality schedules (taken between 1850 and 1880) captured a snapshot of life spans and causes of death throughout the country.

The first nine censuses (1790-1870) were not managed by the Executive branch, but by the Judicial branch. The United States federal court districts assigned U.S. marshals, who hired assistant marshals to conduct the actual enumeration.

Advertisements

1790

The first Census was taken August 2, 1790. The federal census records for the first census are missing for five states: Delaware, Georgia, Kentucky, New Jersey and Virginia. They were destroyed some time between the time of the census-taking and 1830. The census estimated the population of the United States at 3,929,214.

1800

The second Census was taken August 4, 1800.

1810

The third Census was taken August 6, 1810.

1820

The fourth Census was taken August 7, 1820.

1830

The fifth Census was taken June 1, 1830.

1840

The sixth Census was taken June 1, 1840. The census estimated the population of the United States at 17,100,000. The results were tabulated by 28 clerks in the Bureau of the Census.

1850

The seventh Census was taken June 1, 1850. The 1850 census was a landmark year in American census-taking. It was the first year in which the census bureau attempted to record every member of every household, including women, children and slaves. Accordingly, the first slave schedules were produced in 1850. Prior to 1850, census records had only recorded the name of the head of the household and tabulated the other household members within given age groups.

1860

The eighth Census estimated the population of the United States at 31,400,000. The results were tabulated by 184 clerks in the Bureau of the Census.

This was the first census where the American Indians officially were counted, but only those who had 'renounced tribal rules'. The figure for the nation was 40,000.

1870

The ninth Census was taken June 1, 1870.

1880

The tenth Census estimated the population of the United States at 50,189,209. This was the first census that permitted women to be enumerators.

1890

The eleventh Census was taken June 2, 1890 because June 1 was a Sunday. Because it was believed that the frontier region of the United States no longer existed, the tracking of westward migration was not tabulated in the 1890 census.[citation needed] This trend prompted Frederick Jackson Turner to develop his milestone Frontier Thesis.

The 1890 census was the first to be compiled on a tabulating machine, developed by Herman Hollerith[6]. The introduction of this technology reduced the time taken to tabulate the census from seven years for the 1880 census to two and a half years for the 1890 census. The total population of 62,622,250 was announced after only six weeks of processing. Ironically, the public reaction to this tabulation was disbelief, as it was widely believed that the "right answer" was at least 75,000,000.

This census is also notable for the fact it is one of only three for which the original data are no longer available. Almost all the population schedules were destroyed following a fire in 1921.

1900

The twelfth Census was taken June 1, 1900.

1910

The thirteenth Census was taken on April 15, 1910.

1920

The fourteenth Census estimated the population of the United States at 106,021,537. This was the first census that recorded a population exceeding 100 million.

1930

The fifteenth Census was taken on April 2, 1930, except in Alaska Territory, where census-taking began October 1, 1929. It was released for public inspection on April 2, 2002.

1940

The sixteenth Census was taken on April 1, 1940. Because of a 72-year privacy law, this census will not be available for public inspection until April 1, 2012.

1950

The seventeenth Census was taken on April 1, 1950. Because of a 72-year privacy law, this census will not be available for public inspection until April 1, 2022.

1960

The eighteenth Census was taken on April 1, 1960. Because of a 72-year privacy law, this census will not be available for public inspection until April 1, 2032.

1970

The nineteenth Census was taken on April 1, 1970. Because of a 72-year privacy law, this census will not be available for public inspection until April 1, 2042.

1980

The twentieth Census was taken on April 1, 1980. Because of a 72-year privacy law, this census will not be available for public inspection until April 1, 2052.

1990

The 21st Census was taken on April 1, 1990. Because of a 72-year privacy law, this census will not be available for public inspection until April 1, 2062.

2000

The 22nd Census was taken on April 1, 2000. Because of a 72-year privacy law, this census will not be available for public inspection until April 1, 2072.

2010

The 23rd Census is planned to take place on April 1, 2010. Because of a 72-year privacy law, this census will not be available for public inspection until April 1, 2082.

Respondent confidentiality

The sole purpose of the censuses and surveys is to secure general statistical information[citation needed]. Replies are obtained from individuals and establishments only to enable the compilation of such general statistics. The confidentiality of these replies is very important. By law, no one — neither the census takers nor any other Census Bureau employee — is permitted to reveal identifiable information about any person, household, or business. Without such protections, those living illegally in the United States or hiding from the government would be deterred from submitting census data.

Historical FBI use of data

Under the Roosevelt administration the FBI, using primarily census records, compiled (1939–1941) the Custodial Detention Index ("CDI") on citizens, enemy aliens, and foreign nationals, who might be dangerous. The Second War Powers Act of 1941 repealed the legal protection of confidential census data, which was not restored until 1947. This information facilitated the internment of Japanese-Americans, following the Japanese attack on the U.S. at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 and the internment of Italian- and German-American internment following the United States's entry into World War II.[7][8]

In 1980, 4 FBI agents went to the Census Bureau's Colorado Springs office with warrants to seize Census documents, but were forced to leave with nothing. Courts upheld that no agency, including the FBI, has access to Census data. [9]

Data analysis

The census records and data specific to individual respondents are not available to the public until 72 years after a given census was taken, but aggregate statistical data derived from the census are released as soon as they are available. Every census up to and including 1930 is currently available to the public and can be viewed on microfilm released by the National Archives and Records Administration, the official keeper of archived federal census records. Complete online census records can be accessed for no cost from National Archives facilities and many libraries[10] and a growing portion of the census is freely available from non-commercial online sources.[11][12][13]

Census microdata for research purposes are available for censuses from 1850 forward through the Integrated Public Use Microdata Series (IPUMS), and scanned copies of each of the decennial census questionnaires are available online from many websites. Computerized aggregate data describing the characteristics of small geographic areas for the entire period from 1790 to 2000 are available from the National Historical Geographic Information System.

Regions and divisions

US Census Bureau Population Regions

The bureau recognizes four census regions, within the United States and further organizes them into nine divisions. These regions are groupings of states that subdivide the United States for the presentation of data. They should not be construed as necessarily being thus grouped owing to any geographical, historical, or cultural bonds.

US Census Regions
Region 1: Northeast Region 2: Midwest Region 3: South Region 4: West

Quantitative state rankings

In the last decade, the Census Bureau has begun to rank the states of the Union in qualitative terms based on their quantitative figures, so that people could more easily understand the changing dynamics of the country. The goal of this effort was to stir up national pride and understanding along with governmental participation at the state and federal level.[citation needed]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Constitution of the United States, Article 1, Section 2: "The actual Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct."
  2. ^ a b "Decennial Census". American FactFinder. http://factfinder.census.gov/jsp/saff/SAFFInfo.jsp?_pageId=sp4_decennial&_submenuId=. Retrieved 2008-02-24. 
  3. ^ Smith, Annetta; Smith, Denise (2001). U.S Census Bureau Census Speical Reports Series CENSR/01-2. US GPO. 
  4. ^ http://www.prisonersofthecensus.org/impact.html
  5. ^ Martin Campbell-Kelly and William Aspray, "Computer a History of the Information Machine - Second Edition", Westview Press, pages 14-19 2004
  6. ^ Truesdell, Leon E. (1965). The Development of Punch Card Tabulation in the Bureau of the Census: 1890-1940. US GPO. 
  7. ^ Minkel, JR (2007-03-30). "Confirmed: The U.S. Census Bureau Gave Up Names of Japanese-Americans in WW II". Scientific American. http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?articleID=A4F4DED6-E7F2-99DF-32E46B0AC1FDE0FE&sc=I100322. Retrieved 2009-11-02. 
  8. ^ El Nasser, Haya (2007-03-30). "Papers show Census role in WWII camps". USA Today. http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2007-03-30-census-role_N.htm. Retrieved 2009-11-02. 
  9. ^ Boyle, Mary (March 24, 2000). "Springs once tested Census' confidentiality". The Gazette (Colorado Springs). http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4191/is_20000324/ai_n9965696/. 
  10. ^ National Archives and Records Administration. "How can I search the Census Records?". http://www.archives.gov/genealogy/census/research.html. Retrieved December 13 2008. 
  11. ^ http://pilot.familysearch.org/recordsearch
  12. ^ http://www.usgwcensus.org/
  13. ^ http://www.us-census.org/

References

  • Anderson, Margo J. "Encyclopedia of the U.S. Census". Washington, DC: CQ Press, 2000. ISBN 1-56802-428-2.
  • Kruger, Stephen, "The Decennial Census", 19 Western State Law Review 1 (1981).
  • Lavin, Michael R. "Understanding the Census: A Guide for Marketers, Planners, Grant Writers, and Other Data Users". Kenmore, N.Y. : Epoch Books, 1996. ISBN 0-89774-995-2.

External links



Genealogy

Up to date as of February 01, 2010

From Familypedia

File:1880 census Kershaw Lindauer.gif
1880 U.S. Census of Hoboken, New Jersey

The United States Census is mandated by the United States Constitution.[1] The population is enumerated every 10 years and the results are used to allocate Congressional seats ("congressional apportionment"), electoral votes, and government program funding. (Some states also conduct statewide censuses as the need arises; these are called state censuses.)

The census is performed by the United States Census Bureau. The first census after the American Revolution was taken in 1790; there have been 21 federal censuses since that time. The next census will be taken in 2010. A detailed page on the most recent census can be found at United States Census 2000.

Decennial U.S. Census figures are based on actual counts of persons dwelling in U.S. residential structures. They include citizens, non-citizen legal residents, non-citizen long-term visitors, and illegal immigrants. In recent censuses, estimates of uncounted housed, homeless, and migratory persons have been added to the directly reported figures.

For years between the decennial censuses, the Census Bureau issues estimates made using surveys and statistical models.

The practice of including non-citizens in the official census figures is highly controversial as the census is used for the apportionment between the states of seats in the House of Representatives, and derived from that, of electors to the Electoral College. The Census also employs the practice of using hot deck imputation to assign data to housing units where occupation status is unknown. This practice has effects across many types of areas but is seen by some as controversial because it may increase representation for reliably Democratic districts. However, the practice was ruled constitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in Utah v. Evans.

Contents

Census data and questionnaires

The census records and data specific to individual respondents is not available to the public until 72 years after they were taken but detailed statistical data derived from the census is freely available contemporaneously. Every census up to 1930 is currently available to the public and can be viewed on microfilm released by the National Archives and Records Administration, the official keeper of old federal census records. These census records are also available online from various sources such as Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.com, which have all released census records available for a subscription. The 1940 census will be available for public review in 2012.

Data is available for all surviving census records, including recent records up to the 2000 census, for research purposes from IPUMS USA. Further, scanned copies of each of the decennial census questionnaires distributed in the United States from 1960 forward are available on-line from IPUMS International.[2]

The contemporaneous statistical data is available in various formats from the Bureau with one of the more popular formats being as layers formatted for the public-domain GIS tool, LandView.

History of the U.S. Census

Censuses had been taken prior to the Constitution's ratification; in the early 1600s, a census was taken in Virginia, and people were counted in nearly all of the British colonies that became the United States.

Down through the years, the country's needs and interests became more complex. This meant that there had to be statistics to help people understand what was happening and have a basis for planning. The content of the decennial census changed accordingly. In 1810 the first inquiry on manufactures, quantity and value of products; in 1840 on fisheries were added, and in 1850, the census included inquiries on social issues, such as taxation, churches, pauperism and crime. The censuses also spread geographically, to new States and Territories added to the Union, as well as to other areas under U.S. sovereignty or jurisdiction. There were so many more inquiries of all kinds in the censuses of 1880 and 1890 that almost a full decade was needed to publish all the results.

For the first six censuses (1790-1840) enumerators recorded only the names of the heads of household and did a general demographic accounting of the remaining members of the household. Beginning in 1850, all members of the household were named by the enumerator. The first slave schedules were done in 1850, with the second (and last) in 1860. Censuses of the late 19th century also included agricultural and industrial schedules to gauge the productivity of the nation's economy. Mortality schedules (taken between 1850 and 1880) captured a snapshot of life-spans and causes of death throughout the country.

The first nine censuses (1790-1870) were not managed by the U.S. Executive Branch, but by the U.S. Judicial Branch. The United States Federal Court districts assigned U.S. marshals, who hired assistant marshals to do the actual census-taking.

First Census of the United States (1790)

The first Census was taken August 2, 1790. The federal census records for the first census are missing for five states: Delaware, Georgia, Kentucky, New Jersey and Virginia. They were destroyed some time between the time of the census-taking and 1830. The census estimated the population of the United States at 3,929,214.

Second Census of the United States (1800)

The second Census was taken August 4, 1800.

Third Census of the United States (1810)

The third Census was taken August 6, 1810.

Fourth Census of the United States (1820)

The fourth Census was taken August 7, 1820.

Fifth Census of the United States (1830)

The fifth Census was taken June 1, 1830.

Sixth Census of the United States (1840)

The sixth Census was taken June 1, 1840. The census estimated the population of the United States at 17,100,000. The results were tabulated by 28 clerks in the Bureau of the Census.

Seventh Census of the United States (1850)

The seventh Census was taken June 1, 1850. The 1850 census was a landmark year in American census-taking. It was the first year in which the census bureau attempted to count every member of every household, including women, children and slaves. Accordingly, the first slave schedules were produced in 1850. Prior to 1850, census records had only recorded the name of the head of the household and broad statistical accounting of other household members, (three children under age five, one woman between the age of 35 and 40, etc.).

Eighth Census of the United States (1860)

The eighth Census estimated the population of the United States at 31,400,000. The results were tabulated by 184 clerks in the Bureau of the Census.

This was the first census where the American indians officially were counted, but only those who had 'nenounced tribal rules'. The figure for the nation was 40,000.

Eleventh Census of the United States (1890)

The eleventh Census was taken June 1, 1890. The 1890 census announced that the frontier region of the United States no longer existed and therefore the tracking of westward migration would no longer be tabulated in the census. This trend prompted Frederick Jackson Turner to develop his milestone Frontier Thesis.

The 1890 census was the first to be compiled on a tabulating machine, developed by Herman Hollerith. This introduction of technology reduced the time taken to tabulate the census from seven years for the 1880 census to two and a half years for the 1890 census. The total population of 62,622,250 was announced after only six weeks of processing. Ironically, the public reaction to this tabulation was disbelief, as it was widely believed that the "right answer" was at least 75,000,000.

The logistical difficulties in compiling the census drove computing technology for the next fifty years until computers became widespread in industry. IBM's first electronic computer was created primarily to deal with the needs of the census in addition to military and academic uses.

This census is also notable for the fact it is the only one for which the original data is no longer available. Almost all the population schedules were destroyed in a fire in 1921.

Fifteenth Census of the United States (1930)

The fifteenth Census was taken on April 2, 1930, except in Alaska Territory, where census-taking began October 1, 1929.

Sixteenth Census of the United States (1940)

The sixteenth Census was taken on April 1, 1940. Because of a 72-year privacy law, this census will not be available for public inspection until April 1, 2012.

Twenty-second Census of the United States (2000)

The 22nd Census of the United States took place on April 1, 2000. Because of a 72-year privacy law, this census will not be available for public inspection until April 1, 2072.

Respondent confidentiality

The sole purpose of the censuses and surveys is to secure general statistical information. Replies are obtained from individuals and establishments only to enable the compilation of such general statistics. The confidentiality of these replies is very important. By law, no one — neither the census takers nor any other Census Bureau employee — is permitted to reveal identifiable information about any person, household, or business.

Without such protections, certain people living illegally in the United States or in any other way hiding from the government would be deterred from submitting census data.

Historical FBI abuses of census data

As with any large collection of personal data which can be traced back to individual persons, the potential for abuse of census data exists. During the period of 1939–1941, the FBI, using primarily census records, compiled the Custodial Detention index ("CDI") on citizens, "enemy" aliens and foreign nationals who might be dangerous, which later led to large-scale internment of Japanese-Americans.

Data analysis

Regions and divisions

US Census Bureau Population Regions

The bureau recognizes four census regions within the United States, and further organizes them into nine divisions. These regions are groupings of states that subdivide the United States for the presentation of data. They should not be construed as necessarily being thus grouped owing to any geographical, historical, or cultural bonds.

US Census Regions
Region 1: Northeast Region 2: Midwest Region 3: South Region 4: West
  • Division 1: New England
  • Division 2: Middle Atlantic
  • Division 3: East North Central
  • Division 4: West North Central
  • Division 5: South Atlantic
  • Division 6: East South Central
  • Division 7: West South Central
  • Division 8: Mountain
  • Division 9: Pacific

Quantitative state rankings

In the last decade, the Census Bureau has begun to rank the states of the Union in qualitative terms based on their quantitative figures so that people can more easily understand the changing dynamics of the country. The goal of this effort is to stir up national pride and understanding along with governmental participation at the state and federal level.

See also

  • United States Census Bureau, the federal agency tasked with implementing the Census
  • IPUMS, a database providing statistical samples of census data
  • Race (U.S. Census)
  • HUD USER
  • Regulatory Barriers Clearinghouse
  • Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) an area that includes adjacent communities to major cities.
  • Combined Statistical Area (CSA) an area that combines adjacents MSAs.
  • Micropolitan Statistical Area
  • Census Designated Place (CDP) an area that is not part of an incorporated city but has an identity.

References

Notes

  1. ^ Constitution of the United States, Article 1, Section 2: "The actual Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct."
  2. ^ Homepage. IPUMS USA. Retrieved on December 17, 2005.

General references

  • Anderson, Margo J. "Encyclopedia of the U.S. Census". Washington, DC: CQ Press, 2000. ISBN 1-56802-428-2.
  • Campbell-Kelly, Martin, and Aspray, William. Computer: A History of the Information Machine. New York: Basic Books, 1996. ISBN 0-465-02990-6.
  • Lavin, Michael R. "Understanding the Census: A Guide for Marketers, Planners, Grant Writers, and Other Data Users". Kenmore, N.Y. : Epoch Books, 1996. ISBN 0-89774-995-2.

External links

This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors). Smallwikipedialogo.png
Facts about United States CensusRDF feed

This article uses material from the "United States Census" article on the Genealogy wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

Advertisements






Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message