Jamison Chow, Journalist

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The census works by counting the United States’ population every 10 years.  The task is assigned to the commerce department that promotes economic growth.  The census dates back to 1790. “The main purpose of the census is to figure out how many seats each state receives in the House of Representatives. Since 1911, there have been 435 seats in the House, and each state is guaranteed at least one [source: U.S. House of Representatives]. Additional seats are apportioned by population, with the most populous states receiving the most seats. California, the winner in this category, has 53 seats in the House, while states like Delaware, Alaska and South Dakota only have one.” says Dave Roos


Early counting for 2020 census started in alaska trying to count the people in the harder reach areas while the water bodies are still frozen.  The methods of transportation will be modes of transportation such as bush plane, dog sled and snowmobile. Adding to the challenge some residents will follow the spring thaw to fish and hunt or to get a warm weather job.  This makes counting even harder because everyone is moving around.


1950 census form

Some examples of the census of 2010 are:



  1. How many people were living or staying in this house, apartment, or mobile home on April 1, 2010?
  2. Were there any additional people staying here April 1, 2010 that you did not include in Question 1?
  3. Is this house, apartment, or mobile home: owned with mortgage, owned without mortgage, rented, occupied without rent?
  4. What is your telephone number?
  5. Please provide information for each person living here. Start with a person 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?
  6. What is Person 1’s sex?
  7. What is Person 1’s age and Date of Birth?
  8. Is Person 1 of Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin?
  9. What is Person 1’s race?
  10. Does Person 1 sometimes live or stay somewhere else?


Some of the other topics are:

Population, Economy, Business, Education, Emergency Preparedness, Employment, Families & Living Arrangements, Health, Housing, Income & Poverty, and  International Trade. In the United states alone there’s one birth every 8 seconds, one death every 12 seconds, and international migrant every 29 seconds, and a net gain of a person every 13 seconds.