In 1787, the Constitution of the United States was adopted by a convention of the states and later ratified on 21 June 1788. Among other items, the document called for an enumeration to be made within three years after the first meeting of Congress and then every ten years thereafter.
While many avid genealogists would like to think the U.S. Census was created to fuel our hobby, the reality is much more basic. In the U.S. Constitution, Article I, Section 2 states "Representatives and direct taxes shall be apportioned among th several states which may be included within this Union according to their respective numbers...". Note the wisdom and simplicity of this document that allowed for future growth without a need for modification to the basic principles being set forth. Luckily, the first such census conducted in 1790 not only counted each states' population, but also recorded the names of heads of household, along with information about the age and gender of other persons in the household, and the number of slaves owned.
|16||1940||April 1st||132,164,569||48||Franklin D. Roosevelt|
|15||1930||April 1st||123,202,624||48||Herbert Hoover|
|14||1920||Jan 1st||106,021,537||48||Woodrow Wilson|
|13||1910||April 15th||92,228,496||46||William Howard Taft|
|12||1900||June 1st||76,212,168||45||William McKinley|
|11||1890||June 1st||62,979,766||44||Benjamin Harrison|
|10||1880||June 1st||50,189,209||38||Rutherford B. Hayes|
|9||1870||June 1st||38,558,371||37||Ulysses S. Grant|
|8||1860||June 1st||31,443,321||33||James Buchanan|
|7||1850||June 1st||23,191,876||30||Millard Fillmore|
|6||1840||June 1st||17,069,453||26||Martin Van Buren|
|5||1830||June 1st||12,866,020||24||Andrew Jackson|
|4||1820||Aug 7th||9,638,453||23||James Monroe|
|3||1810||Aug 6th||7,239,881||17||James Madison|
|2||1800||Aug 4th||5,308,483||16||John Adams|
|1||1790||Aug 2nd||3,929,214||13||George Washington|
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