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The Anniversary of the First US Census
August 1

By Sarah Lane
Feb 16, 2006, 19:37 PST

The Anniversary Of The First U.S. Census

How does the government know what, where, how, and why we do what we do?  The United States Census Bureau, of course.  Although the first US Census was done in 1790, it wasn't until 1902 that the U.S. Census Bureau was created. The year 2002 marked the Centennial Celebration of the National Census.  It used to take 18 months to count and list the population of 79.2 million people.  Now the improved fact finding skills developed by the Census Bureau during the last 100 years make it possible to record findings on the 284.8 million people in this country today.
Individual Card Punching Machine and Schedule Holder. 1902
Created by Congress in 1902, the Census Bureau has spent the last century comparing general lifestyle data and preserving historical artifacts and photographs.  Their catch phrase ‘From Inkwell to Internet’ gives you an idea of how far technology has come since the beginning of the 20th century.  Their web site holds valuable information in the form of timelines and multimedia.  Listen to the Census Anthem, view a PowerPoint presentation called Spotlight on 1930’s, watch a timeline video, and read the complete history of the National Census.  
Take a look at the Centennial Quilt that was created for the 100th anniversary in 2002.  Carol Briggs, a Census Bureau employee for 12 years, created the quilt in the form of the story of the establishment of the U.S. Census Bureau as a tribute to its 100 years in operation. 

Did you know that the average life expectancy in 1902 was 51.5 years, and as of the year 2002, it is now 77.1 years?  That’s the kind of startling statistics you’ll find when taking a closer look at this valuable part of our nation’s history.
Source:      The U.S. Census Bureau Marketing Services Office 

Learning Links
"Personal Interviewing" Photographed by Lloyd Wolf for the U.S. Census Bureau.
Official Site of the U.S. Census Bureau
People, business, geography, tools, special topics, and a newsroom are all available here.  Learn projections for the future and more about American communities.
         The History of the US Census
         Lesson Plans using Census Bureau Data
Source:      U.S. Department of Commerce
Kid’s Corner at the U.S. Census Bureau
Learn fun facts, take a quiz, and find out why the Census Bureau is important.  Click on your state from the map and go!
Source:      U.S. Census Bureau
U.S. Department of Commerce
This is the parent of the U.S. Census Bureau.  You can research statistics, economic information, trade, patents, and the latest news here.
Source:      U.S. Department of Commerce
A gateway to over 100 U.S. Federal Agencies, you can research by state or specific topic.  Check out the kid’s pages with access to several games, facts, and project ideas from various government sites.

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