Although the U.S. Census Bureau carries out hundreds of surveys every year, its most well-known duty is still to conduct the decennial census. Census results have several high profile applications: they are used to reapportion seats in the House of Representatives, to realign congressional districts, and as a factor in the formulas that distribute hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funds each year. Because of the importance of this population count, procedural changes in the decennial census often reflect larger organizational shifts at the Census Bureau.
This section follows the evolution of the decennial census by detailing the events surrounding each of them. Political and technological changes, and the shifting public demand for information, have all shaped the modern census and the mission of the Census Bureau.
Census Day was April 1, 1990.
|248,709,873||U.S. Resident Population
||Population per square mile of land area
||Percent increase of population from 1980 to 1990
||Number of States
About the 1990 Decennial Census
Read an overview of the 1990 Census, including information on enumeration, efforts to improve coverage & completeness, technological advances, & more.
1990 Decennial Census Historical Facts
Get a quick portrait of the U.S. by decade with pop culture milestones, population highlights, census details, and the 10 largest urban places.
1990 Decennial Census Official Publications
Official publications released by the U.S. Census Bureau have a report number and often list the lead author(s).
1990 Decennial Census Questionnaires & Instructions
Learn how the Decennial Census questionnaires have changed through the decades and download questionnaires from each Census decade.
1990 Decennial Census Datasets
Data files, for public use, with all personally identifiable information removed to ensure confidentiality. Users analyze, extract, customize and publish stats.
1990 Decennial Census Data Tables
Stats displayed in columns and rows with title, ID, notes, sources and release date. Many tables are in downloadable XLS, CSV and PDF file formats.