The American Census
A history and examination of the American Census, including reasons why it is important and some of the more ridiculous questions asked.
“Even though the actual long form of census was not devised until 1940, when the whole country was struggling to survive from the Great Depression, the concept of using the census data to help distribute the federal aid and to benefit the people’s lives has had its early root back in 1800s. Census data has since become a dominating statistical engine driving decisions made by the government or the private enterprise. In order to be able to make right decisions, not biased by either extremes of the population, sound and complete information of all aspects of life is therefore an imperative. Yes, the question `Do you have a flush toilet? seems to be trifling to most Americans, if not ridiculous. But the fact that there are still people living in the US without flush toilets makes the question important, however few they are in the whole population. Thus next time, if you happen to be the one who receives the long form of census, please remember that sound information is the basis for correct decision making`. It is not impossible that you be the beneficiary of that correct decision!”