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First State of the Union

January 4, 2015

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Profile America — Sunday, January 4th. Early this month in 1790, President George Washington addressed a joint session of Congress to deliver the first State of the Union report, as called for the in the still young Constitution. The requirement didn't demand a speech, and after delivering just one, President Thomas Jefferson began reporting in writing, feeling a speech was too magisterial. The spoken presentation was revived over a century later by Woodrow Wilson. Washington's address has echoes to this day, as he stated "the terms on which foreigners may be admitted to the rights of citizens should be speedily ascertained by a uniform rule of naturalization." The first U.S. census, taken just months later, counted a population of just over 3.9 million residents. Today's foreign-born population in the U.S. is over 10 times that number. Profile America is in its18th year as a public service of the U.S. Census Bureau.

First address
Written SOTU
First Census
Naturalized and non-citizen population

Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Public Information Office | Last Revised: January 05, 2015