Population Research and Policy Review 21: 17–18, 2002. © 2002 Kluwer Academic Publishers. Printed in the Netherlands. Comment on “A ﬁrst look at the 21st Century: Census 2000”, Population and Policy Review, Special Issue: Census 2000 CHARLES B. NAM 820 Live Oak Plantation Road, Tallahassee, FL 32312-2413, U.S.A. When I joined the Census Bureau’s staff in 1950 as a GS-5 Junior Pro- fessional, I was told that the census was an ever-changing data-collection instrument in terms of procedures, format, and content. The ﬁrst census in 1790 was taken by marshals on horseback. They drew up their own census forms, and there were only a few items of information gathered. In subsequent decades, census procedures became increasingly formalized, the schedules were standardized and then mass-produced, and subject items were added progressively. The census in 1950 was indeed signiﬁcantly different from earlier ones. It was the ﬁrst to include a sample block of information for a substantial segment of the population, it used new ﬁeld and ofﬁce procedures and enhanced post-enumeration inquiries, and it incorporated a wide range of demographic and socioeconomic items (many of them in the sample block). From the perspective of Census 2000, the enumeration of 1950 was
Population Research and Policy Review – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 10, 2004
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