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The United States Census is conducted every ten years by the Census Bureau, a division of the Commerce Department. Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution established the Census, which was originally used only to determine the total population and the number of representatives to which each state was entitled. Over the years, though, the census bureau has added more and more questions, as shown in the list below (asterisks mark questions that were not used in the 2000 census).

    Year: Question Added
  • 1790: race, gender
  • 1800: age
  • 1820: industry, citizenship
  • 1830: disability
  • 1840: veteran status
  • 1850: place of birth, education, occupation
  • 1880: marital status
  • 1890: year of immigration, language spoken at home, tenure (owner or renter)
  • 1900: # children ever born to respondent*
  • 1910: class of worker
  • 1930: value of home, labor force status, amount of rent
  • 1940: plumbing facilities, year home was built, number of rooms in home, number of units in structure, place of residence 5 years ago, type of fuel used for heating, last year's work status, income
  • 1960: last year respondent was employed*, # of vehicles, # of bedrooms, type of kitchen facilities, source of water*, place of work, journey to work, sewage disposal*, year respondent moved into current location
  • 1970: Hispanic origin, residence on farm
  • 1980: cost of shelter, residence in condominium, ancestry, availability of telephone
  • 2000: grandparents as caregivers

* questions not planned for Census 2000

Source: US Census Bureau

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