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Index of Questions

1810

In 1810, the slate of questions asked by assistant U.S. marshals was identical to the 1800 census. This census recorded the name of the county, parish, township, town, or city in which each family resided. Each family was listed by the name of the head of household and asked the following questions:

  • Number of free White males and females aged, respectively:
    • under 10 years of age
    • of 10 years but under 16 years
    • of 16 years but under 26 years
    • of 26 years but under 45 years
    • 45 years and upward
  • Number of all other free persons
  • Number of slaves
First Economic Inquiries

In addition to population inquiries, the 1810 census was the first to collect data about the nation's manufactures. A May 1, 1810, act directed that, "it shall be the duty of the several marshals, secretaries, and their assistants aforesaid, to take, under the direction of the Secretary of the Treasury, and according to such instructions as he shall give, an account of the several manufacturing establishments and manufactures within their several districts, territories, and divisions." The act did not outline specific questions or prescribe a schedule, leaving those matters to the Secretary of the Treasury’s discretion.

To facilitate data collection, the Treasury Department divided manufactured products into 25 broad categories, encompassing more than 220 kinds of goods. As the U.S. marshals and their assistants conducted the decennial census, they also visited the manufacturing establishments in their assigned areas to obtain economic data. These data generally consisted of the quantity and value of products manufactured.

In March 1812, Congress authorized $2,000 for the Treasury Department to prepare a statistical report on the kind, quantity, and value of goods manufactured and the number of manufacturing establishments in each state, territory, district, and county. The May 1813 report noted that the economic data were of poor quality because of serious undercounting and omissions during the enumeration.


Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Census History Staff | Last Revised: October 22, 2012