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Agency History FAQs

The U.S. Census Bureau was established as a permanent agency within the Department of the Interior in 1902. Prior to that, the work was performed by a temporary office overseen by other agencies, including the Department of State and Department of Interior. The first censuses were conducted by U.S. Marshals and their assistants, and replaced by specially-appointed and trained census takers in 1880.

The questions to the left are some of the most frequently asked about the Census Bureau's history and the people who have worked here.

census employees
Census Bureau employees use electronic duplicating key punches to
copy census data onto multiple punch cards to tabulate data for
thousands of tables following the 1940 census

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Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Census History Staff | Last Revised: December 05, 2022