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Economic FAQs

When was the first economic census?

During the 1810 census, U.S. Marshals collecting the population data also asked the first questions of manufacturing establishments. Questions that measured the nation's economy would continue to be asked at the time of the decennial census until 1905, when the U.S. Census Bureau conducted a separate census of manufactures.

1810 census of manufacturers
Excerpt of a table from containing manufactures data from the 1810 census.

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Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Census History Staff | Last Revised: October 21, 2019