On This Day

**since 1790**

On this day, the constitutionally mandated headcount administered every decade launched when Pres. Washington was in office.

It will be conducted for the 24th time this year, but faces a challenge in the Supreme Court.

On This Day

1790 Census

  • Took 18 months & $45K to count America’s 3.6M people.
  • Conducted by U.S. marshals who traveled the 13 states and soon-to-be states of KY, ME, TN  & VT.
  • Asked only 6 questions: the family name, as well the number of slaves & free people (white females, white males above and below 16-years-old, all other free people) in each household.
On This Day

“A census aims to count the entire population of a country, and at the location where each person usually lives … The goal is to count everyone once, only once, and in the right place.”

U.S. Census Bureau, which also aims to record the sex, age, and race of every American.
On This Day


Results used to determine this over next 10 years:

  • federal $ states receive
  • members states get in the House of Representatives (ex: per 2010 Census, CA: 53; FL: 27)
  • electoral votes states get in presidential elections (ex: per 2010 Census, PA: 20; TX: 38)
On This Day

Census Controversy

  • March 2018: U.S Census Bureau announces new citizenship question, after the DOJ requested in 2017 the question be included in the 2020 Census.
  • Feb 2019: After a federal judge ruled in Jan. the Commerce Dep’t didn’t follow proper procedure to implement the new citizenship question, the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case.
On This Day

Citizenship Question

Argument Against: It will lead to fewer responses from immigrants, causing inaccurate state population (citizens & immigrants – legal or not) counts used for $$ & political power.

Argument For: Supporters say data will be more “complete and accurate.” The question has been asked previously in 1950 and in limited form from 1970 to 2000.

On This Day

The Supreme Court will hear the case in April, crucial as the gov't has to finalize questions by end of June for printing, though this will be the first time the census can be completed online. Fun Census Fact: Did you know an American is born every 8 secs?

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