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Governments FAQs

The U.S. Census Bureau began collecting data from governments during the 1840 census, when U.S. marshals gathered information about schools and school attendance. Since that time, governments' data collection has expanded to include a quinquennial census and numerous surveys.

The questions to the left are a few of those frequently asked about the history of the Census Bureau's collection of data from governments.

census employees
Census Bureau employees tabulate data using sorters (right) and accounting machines (left).

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