Data gathering for the 2020 Census, also known as the decennial census, looks a little different from the first census nearly 230 years ago. Since 1790, the United States has been collecting census information about the people living here – it’s even mandated in the US Constitution, Article 1, Section 2.
This year, the population of the US will primarily provide responses online, or via phone or mail in an effort to protect the thousands of Census Bureau employees and the public health during the COVID-19 global health pandemic while still collecting this essential data.
Though the methods have changed slightly over the years – the importance of participating in the Census has not. In fact, it is just as essential as ever to participate – Census data shapes US Congressional districts, federal funding for education, highways, and libraries, and many many other areas of your community for the next 10 years!
Eventually the anonymized data will become part of the Library of Congress’ permanent collections through our webarchives, our depository library collection, and through the hundreds of thousands of books, journal and newspaper articles, reports, studies, and other items that are written and researched using Census data. And will be used for decades to come.
The Serial & Government Publications Division is home to the Library’s government documents collections, including US Census Bureau publications. Have questions about the Census? Get in touch with us through our Ask-a-Librarian Service – or through chat Monday-Friday from 12-4pm!
Here’s a look at a few more Census related items from the Library’s collections:
- United States Census Bureau
- Inside Adams blog: How the U.S. Census Drove Computing Technology
- Inside Adams blog: The US Census – A Business Librarian’s Perspective
- Inside Adams blog: The Sesquicentennial: 8th Census of 1860
- Library of Congress Research Guide: Finding Government Documents
- Library of Congress Research Guide: Doing Industry Research: Census Bureau
- Business & Economics Research Advisor: Census Search Strategies