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Questionnaires

President Obama completes quesetionnaire
President Obama completes his 2010 Census
questionnaire.

Since the first census in 1790, the U.S. Census Bureau has collected data using a census "schedule," also called a "questionnaire." Between 1790 and 1820, U.S. Marshals conducting the census were responsible for supplying paper and writing-in headings related to the questions asked (i.e., name, age, sex, race, etc.). In 1830, Congress authorized the printing of uniform schedules for use throughout the United States.

The 1940 Census included separate questionnaires to count the population and collect housing data. The 1960 and later censuses combined population and housing questions onto a single questionnaire mailed to households or completed during a census taker's visit.

Between 1970 and 2000, the U.S. Census Bureau used two questionnaires. Most households received a short-form questionnaire asking a minimum number of questions. A sample of households received a long-form questionnaire that included additional questions about the household. The 2010 Census had just one questionnaire consisting of ten questions.


Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Census History Staff | Last Revised: October 18, 2012