Census in 1800 vs 2010

1800 Census Questions:

  • Name of Head of Household (First / Last)
  • Number of Free White Males: under 10 years old
  • Number of Free White Males: over 10 and under 16
  • Number of Free White Males: over 16 and under 26
  • Number of Free White Males: over 26 and under 45
  • Number of Free White Males: over 45
  • Number of Free White Females: under 10 years old
  • Number of Free White Females: over 10 and under 16
  • Number of Free White Females: over 16 and under 26
  • Number of Free White Females: over 26 and under 45
  • Number of Free White Females: over 45
  • All Free Persons of Color
  • Slaves of All Ages
  • In other words, how many people live there? The only break-down they wanted was whether or not they were free or slaves. (I guess you could argue the age thing too, but here they just want a number of people, not all the other info!)

    2010 Census Questions:

  • How many people were living or staying in this house, apartment, or mobile home on April 1, 2010?
  • Were there any additional people staying here April 1, 2010 that you did not include in Question 1?
  • Is this house, apartment, or mobile home: owned with mortgage, owned without mortgage, rented, occupied without rent?
  • What is your telephone number?
  • Please provide information for each person living here. Start with a person here who owns or rents this house, apartment, or mobile home. If the owner or renter lives somewhere else, start with any adult living here. This will be Person 1. What is Person 1’s name?
  • What is Person 1’s sex?
  • What is Person 1’s age and Date of Birth?
  • Is Person 1 of Hispanic, Latino or Spanish origin?
  • What is Person 1’s race?
  • Does Person 1 sometimes live or stay somewhere else?
  • Today they want to know your name, age, sex, latino connection, race,  how you pay for your shelter, and last but not least your phone number. Oh and I think question 2 is hinting at whether or not you have anyone illegal staying at your place.

    I think I am going to do what RJ suggested… answer Question 1 and then the rest will be written in random symbols. Then they can’t say that I didn’t fill it out, but I’m also not giving them any information. They are getting the same information they got in 1800, and that is all they need.




    6 Responses to “Census in 1800 vs 2010”

      12 March 2010 at 11:21

      OMG – This is so cool ! Thanks for providing the link to the 2010 Census website. I see a whole new world of opportunities opening up here. But first, my friend, go to the census site so you can follow along on my diatribe, and switch over to one of the tabs – like, “How it works”

      Please note the little box in the lower left hand corner, that keeps changing script for different languages. That will help us – if you decide to do what I plan to do – with additional symbols to use. I can answer one question in one script and the next question in a different script. If you use the drop down window, you can even get the country or social culture that uses those symbols. Then maybe we can go to Wikipedia and get the entire alphabet !! One other point on this tab, then we’ll look at some of the others. (This is really fun !!!! Hehehehehe…) “We can’t move forward until you mail it back.” Wow ! Tugs at the old patriotic heartstrings. Makes me want to go invade Vietnam again, just to get the economy going !! [You aren’t going to tell on me, are you ? If you do, we might end up sharing a cell at Gitmo – is it still open ? – then you can show me your gun and I’ll show you mine. So no ratting me out !] {BTW – can you put Rich Text on here, so I can underline, embolden, and all the rest of that stuff ?}

      OK – on to the next Tab: Why It’s Important. Still have our little language script box, working away; but an important new message in bold type: “Participation isn’t just important—it’s mandatory.” Whoa ! I guess we’ve been told ! But there is another, much more important message contained in the text on this page: “And people from many walks of life use census data to advocate for causes, rescue disaster victims, prevent diseases, research markets, locate pools of skilled workers and more.” Keep this in mind for later – when we are told that it is against federal law for the Census Bureau to share any of the date which they obtain. Huh ! I wonder how all these other people ‘advocate’ for all their causes using the census data, if it is against federal law for the Census Bureau to….oh well. I’m sure it’s all for a good cause, right ? People never advocate for bad causes, so we must know these are all going to be for good causes !! I think I’m getting the hang of this.

      Oh, here it is, right on the next Tab – “Protecting Your Answers” – with the forlorn face of a native American who obviously is in need, since we killed all of her ancestors off, and got the rest of her people drunk. I’m sure she feels safe now. But, just in case, some dude from L.A. (the city of ‘bro-love’) assures us: “It is rock solid secure.” I don’t remember ever hearing that cliche used before, so it must be either gov’t lingo, or L.A. speak. Anyway, I feel a lot better, having heard that bold statement. But there is other good info here, too. Did you know that Census Bureau employees take an oath FOR LIFE, to protect the confidentiality of the data ! I didn’t know that. “No, honey – I can’t tell you..stop that..I can’t..I’m not allowed…stop that, you know what..what..happens…I’ve taken an OATH to uphold..uh..uphold..uh..uh..OMG !….awwahh!! huh, huh, huh… What were we talking about ?” Sorry, got distracted: The penalty for “unlawful disclosure is a fine of up to $250,000 or imprisonment of up to 5 years, or both.” (Unless you’re Bill Clinton.) Whew. That was a hard one. To write. So, do you figure the folks who ‘advocate’ for all kinds of ‘good’ things – as noted under the “Why It’s Important” tab – just go ahead and pay the $250,000 fine and spend five years in prison on behalf of the Census Bureau employee who gives them the information they need in order to advocate efficiently ? Or how do you think that works ?

      Not much that I can understand under the “What You Can Do” tab; so I switched over to:

      Job Opportunities !!! Cool. Here’s my big chance to really help out. I wonder if they do background checks on potential employees ? That could be a problem. Maybe I can just misspell a bunch of words on the application, and write illegibly, so they don’t know I’m a, ah…Republican. Maybe I get to wear full body armor and carry a Taser. Uh-oh, what if they find out I’ve been on your blog ? Oh shit !

      Now, one more thing I want you to BE SURE TO READ – it’s THAT good. Go back to the “Why It’s Important” tab, and click on the link in the box on the left side: “Census in the Constitution” Man, there is so much good stuff here, I don’t know where to start or stop. You may have to just cut me off. Let’s start with this goodie: “The U.S. Constitution empowers the Congress to carry out the census in “such manner as they shall by Law direct” (Article I, Section 2)”. Then they go on to interpret what the Founders meant, and what they were thinking at the time. It’s like listening to MSNBC tell us what the president just said. Not the words he said – because we all heard those. What he MEANT by what he said. Like he needs an interpreter…except all the reporters are talking in the same language, so I’m not sure they are really ‘interpreters’ as the Founders intended…..I’m going to have to think about that a little more. But, as far as the census and the Constitution, personally I would have thought that all the Founders meant by in “such manner…” is that congress could conduct the census using the mail service, individuals riding on horseback, or the local doctor. Heck, maybe they even foresaw that one day a great leader (Dr. Albert Phineas Einstein Goreman) would invent a way to collect the census information using electricity !! So they wanted to leave several options open as to how the information could be collected.

      But, let me hurry forward…there is so much to cover on this page. About half way down the page is the intriguing title: “Questions beyond a simple count are Constitutional” Huh. I wonder why the Census Bureau thought they had to make a statement like that, then follow it with citations from two court decisions, neither of which – as far as I can see – support all the questions being asked on the current census. But it looks impressive.

      In the first case cited, a district court ruled that the census: “…is not limited to a headcount of the population and “does not prohibit the gathering of other statistics, if ‘necessary and proper,’ for the intelligent exercise of other powers enumerated in the constitution,…” – the key phrase here being “…the INTELLIGENT exercise of other powers…” (emphasis mine). Since the court didn’t define “INTELLIGENT” I would say that renders this particular decision, moot, as to the question at hand.

      In the second case cited, yet another district court (why can’t they get these cases to the Supreme Court ?) ruled: “These decisions are consistent with the Supreme Court’s recent description of the census as the “linchpin of the federal statistical system … collecting data on the characteristics of individuals, households, and housing units throughout the country.” Once again, the court having failed to define the nature of the “characteristics” in question, I would personally think that sex, age, and ethnicity would pretty well sum up the “characteristics” of any particular individual. Anything else, I would think, would constitute “profiling.”

      That’s all I can get written right now. Has taken me three hours, including too many interruptions, to get this far. I was also looking at the Census in the schools – checking to see if the bastards were going to have the kiddies fill out a ‘pretend’ census on their own family, using their Mommy’s or Daddy’s name, so they could cross check what the tyke said (seven people live at my house) against what the official census form says (only two people here). But I couldn’t get anything pinned down and don’t have any time to spend on it right now. More research later.

      However, if you want to print out the official form, the only place I could find it is in the School section of the website. So you have to go: Partners > Census in Schools > 2010 Census. On that page is a link to a PDF of the Census form. I presume it is the ‘short’ form.

      (I still owe you a couple other responses. Maybe this weekend, if I can stay out of jail.)
      Stay cool. R-J

    2. 12 March 2010 at 20:13

      @RJ: Good analysis of the webpage! I actually have done research of many past Censuses. This one is surprisingly less than some of the past. Nevertheless, still more than they need.

      I asked my mom the other day if this census was being hyped or if it was always like this (this is only my second census). She said they are always hyped like this. I doubt it has always been like this though. I mean, they had a commercial during the Superbowl for the Census this year. And we all know how much Superbowl Commercials cost! Again, a waste of money.

      There are no rich-text features availible to users. However, if you know html then that is still active – i for itallics, b for bold, etc.

      Stay outta jail and I hope the kids don’t turn you in for putting symbols on the census form.

      14 March 2010 at 13:00

      Howdy, cell-mate: It is interesting that more questions were asked on previous censuses. (And, I learned the plural of ‘census.’ I’m still stuck, though, on the plural form of ‘Lexus.’ Would it be ‘Lexuses’ or ‘Lexii’ ?) What were some of the questions about in decades past ? I’m not asking you for the specific questions – just what was the nature of the questioning back in Y2K; in 1950; in 1980; and so on ? I’ve been alive for several decades, but honestly I don’t remember what, if anything, we have been asked in the past.

      I can’t even say with any degree of confidence whether, in the past, a census form went to every house; or whether the census was taken using scientific sampling methods. Do you know, from your research ? For that matter, is a census form going to every household address this time around ? (Gad, what a nightmare that has to be for the Post Office if a form goes to every household ! Not the delivery or return of completed forms – the sheer number of undeliverable letters; letters with inaccurate addresses created by people moving, getting divorced, dying, new houses appearing and old houses disappearing or being vacated; the number of people that don’t want to receive mail anymore because of complications with their mortgage. How does the P.O. know whether a post office box is the only address for the renter, or a second address for some household that also receives mail delivery ? The household could be in another city or state.)

      I think there are only two question buried in the above: nature of questions on previous censii; and, whether the census has been, and will be, done on every household, or by scientific sampling.

      Thanks for the tip on using HTML. I’ll have to get somebody to show me how to do that. Also, no worries, mate – our one and only daughter is out on her own. So she won’t rate me out; I just wonder how many parents with youngsters or teenagers realize what is going on in the schools about the census. The liberals and welfare cases won’t care (and wouldn’t know anyway); but the conservatives and libertarians might tend to get a little annoyed if Johnny or Susie comes home from school with the good news that he/she filled out an actual census form at school today and turned it back in to the teacher !!!! And BTW, I’m pretty much planning to end up in jail before too much longer. So don’t fret about it – I’m not. R-J

    4. 16 March 2010 at 03:55

      @RJ: The questions of past censuses vary widly. I did most of my research for the years 1790 to 2010, to include the ACS reports that are done in off years. In 2000 the Census was 11 pages long – Page 1 was directions and general headcount in home, Page 2 was a listing of people, Page 3-10 were for the Person 1, and Page 11 was for Person 2.

      Question for Person 1 are as follows: (1) Full name, (2) Telephone Number, (3) Sex, (4) Age/DOB, (5) Spanish/Hispanic/Latino, (6) Race, (7) Marital Status (8) Regular school or College (8b) What grade (9) Highest Level of School (10) Ancestry/Ethnic Origin (11) Language (12) Born in (13) Citizen of the United States (14) When did this person come to live in the United States (15) House or Apartment 5 years ago (15b) Previous Address (16) Disabilities (17) Disability, difficulty doing any of the following (18) Under 15 years old on April 1, 2000 (19) Grandchildren <18 (20) Served in U.S. Armed forces? (21) Last week did this person do any work for pay or profit (22) Address of where last worked (23) How did person get to work (23b) how many people took same transportation in #23 (24) What time did person leave for work (25a) Laid of from job (25b) Temporary absent from job (25c) Recalled to work (25d) Looking for work? (25e) Could return to work if offered (26) When did last work, year (27) Industry or Employer (28) Occupation (29) Type of Employee (30) Last year work for job/business (31) Income (wages, self-employment income, interest, SS, SSI, welfare, RSD pension, VA payments/other) in 1999 (32) Total income in 1999 (33) Ownership of home (34) Type of building (35) Building built (36) When moved into residence (37) Rooms in home (38) Bedrooms (39) Plumbing in home (40) kitchen facilities (41) Telephone services (42) Fuel to heat home (43) How many automobiles (44) Mobile home specific questions (45) Annual cost of utilities (46) Rent specific questions (47) If buying this home specific questions (48) Second mortgage or equity loan (49) Real estate taxes (50) Insurance on this property (51) Value of this property (52) Condominium questions (53) Mobile home questions

      Person 2: (1) Name (2) relationship to person 1 (3) Sex (4) Age/DOB (5)
      Spanish/Hispanic/Latino, (6) Race, (7) Marital Status…

      More in another post…

    5. 16 March 2010 at 04:31

      @RJ, part 2: Sorry, that was getting a bit long so I figured I’d break it up. As you can see though, 2000 Census was practically a mini autobiography. A slew of things they didn’t need to know. All they needed was page 1 – the number of people in the home.

      Looking back at 1790, this is pretty much all it was – Address, how many free whites, and how many slaves. That was it. It was the same way for 1800, 1810, and 1820.

      In 1830 they started asking about deaf, blind, and dumb people as well as foreign status (aliens).
      1840 they started asking about military service, occupations, and schooling.
      1850 they added the real estate values, marrital status, and birth place.
      1860 personal estate value was added.
      1870 the Constitutional Relations were added as well as parental lineage.
      1880 nativity to the United States was added
      1890… not really sure. It appears that a lot of the data was destroyed in a fire.
      1900 ownership of home status
      1910 language spoken
      1920 birthplace and language of parents
      1930 veteran

      And the rest goes on and on… But, you can see that each year they added one or two questions more. I give VERY SPECIAL attention to the 1870 census. Constitutional Relations? The two columns read, “Male Citizens of U.S. of 21 years of age and upwards” and “Male Citizens of U.S. of 21 years of age and upwards where rights to vote is denied on other grounds than rebellion of other crime.”


      We are always told that if we are born in America that we are Citizens. But, I think this is not so. I think this language is a product of the changes in law and then carried forth in public ignorance. The 14th Amendment was passed in 1868, so the 1870 is paramount to being a first glimpse of how the 14th Amendment took effect. The 14th Amendment gave people “US Citizenship.” Today in 2010 this may seem commonplace, but back then it was not – people called themselves “Citizens of STATE.” In other words, becoming a “US Citizen” meant something more than just being born on American soil.

      So what did it mean to them back then? And why did they have to add the “Are you a US Citizen” in 1870 if in 1850 they started asking where people were born? Couldn’t they just look at the birth place and go, “Oh yeah, RJ was born in XYZ, Kentucky… yep hes a citizen!” But it wasn’t that way. Birth place did not equate to “US Citizenship.”

      Why? Why is all that different today?

      As for the delivery method… in the old days someone carried around what was essentially a spreadsheet door to door. I have plenty of copies of the enumerator papers where they jotted down all the names for each house they went to. Today, it is just sent out en masse. As for the post office… they know no different. you can’t see it on my above graphic but it simply says “To the resident of…” It doesn’t make any reference to ME. So the the PO, it is just another piece of mail… and the letters and surveys are just sent to every place that has a residential address. Hell, they deliver 250lbs of junk mail to my house every month, I am sure that 1 letter and 1 survey isn’t a thing to them. If someone does not return the letter… then a census person will be dispatched to enumerate the home.

      The little kids… I have heard of schools “checking in” on the parents back home. So, I wouldn’t doubt to have a kid census since kids in their youth are easy to manipulate and “have no reason to lie” on something as such. Pity. Not this year it sounds like, but sometime in the future I am sure. Look at how the Nazis had people ratting their neighbors out. Even the kids joined in to rat their Jewish friends out.

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