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Census.gov History Through the Decades Overview -- " Fulfilling the U.S. Constitution's requirement to count the population has been a complex operation since the first census in 1790. In this section, you can learn about legislation related to the censuses, the efforts to improve the count, and the technical innovations introduced to improve data collection, processing, and publication"
United States Historical Census Browser
University of Virginia web site with population, housing data and other data 1790-1960. Data varies by year and is available down to the county level.
Statistical Abstracts of the United States (1870 - 2010 Census) The U.S. Census Bureau terminated the collection of data for the Statistical Compendia program effective October 1, 2011
A supplement to the Statistical Abstract of the United States with approximately 3,000 statistical time series which cover various periods from 1789 to 1945.
A compendium which includes more than 8,000 statistical time series which cover periods from 1610 to 1957.
A two-part compendium which includes more than 12,500 time series providing a statistical history of U.S. social, economic, political, & geographic development. (The library also un updated edition of this in the Reference Collection -- Ref HA202 .H57 2006
IPUMS-USA (Minnesota Population Center) -- This is a project dedicated to collecting and distributing United States census data. Great place to locate Enumeration Forms, Published Census Volumes and Errata and Revisions
United States Census
"Representation and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers ... . 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."
-- Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution of the United States
About What We Do
Our Mission - To serve as the leading source of quality data about the nation's people and economy. Full Mission Statement
Our Authority - The United States Census Bureau operates under Title 13 and Title 26, of the U.S. Code
Our Goal - To provide the best mix of timeliness, relevancy, quality, and cost for the data we collect and services we provide
What Data We Collect & When
- Population & Housing Census - every 10 years
- Economic Census - every 5 years
- Census of Governments - every 5 years
- American Community Survey - annually
- Our many surveys -- both Demographic & Economic
- Economic Indicators - each indicator is released on a specific schedule, see the Economic Indicator Calendar