Census Bureau

Congressional Apportionment--How Long It's Been Done

Picture of Thomas Jefferson

As prescribed by the Constitution, the first decennial census was conducted in 1790. Thomas Jefferson, Secretary of State at the time, directed the enumeration. Since then, the census has been taken in each year ending in the zero digit. Thus, the most recent enumeration (Census 2000) was the last census of the 20th century. The results of Census 2000 will be a statistical bridge into the fourth century of census taking in the United States.

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