CENSUS, a periodical enumeration of the people of any State or country, with information regarding sex, age, -family, occupation, possessions, religious beliefs, and other details. The original idea of counting the people was for the sake of obtaining the greatest number of men capable of bearing arms, and, secondly, of facilitating the raising of taxes. Such enumerations go back to a remote antiquity. Amasis in Egypt made a cen sus 500 years before Christ. The first chapter of "Numbers" chronicles an enumeration of the Children of Israel for military purposes. King David num bered the people, and it is said that it was contrary to the will of the Lord, and consequently was punished by a plague which carried off 50,000 people (see Book of Kings). Solon at Athens established a census for the purpose of facilitating taxation and classifying the citizens. It is stated that after the time of Servius Tullius, or about 443 B. C., the census was taken every five years for military and tax purposes in Rome. The especial officers who served in this work were called censors. The property of the Roman citizens was registered by means of a census taken under Augustus. It is said that during the Middle Ages re ligious prejudices prevented the census from being taken, but various cities made attempts at different times to reg ister the number of inhabitants. Thus Nuremberg held an enumeration in 1449 and Strasburg in 1475. Many of the details of these medimval censuses are valuable as showing the property quali fications and other facts regarding life at this time. The ancient church books also contain interesting details regard ing marriages, births, and deaths of citizens.
In the 18th century censuses began to be made in the more important coun tries of Europe. Thus in Sweden, in 1748, the first important enumeration of the people took place in 1749, and a special board for that purpose was called into life. Regular censuses were first established in the United States in 1790, in England and France in 1801, in Prussia in 1816, in Holland in 1819, in Sardinia in 1838, in Switzerland in 1841, and in Belgium in 1846. Censuses are now taken in Austria, Belgium, Italy, Norway, Sweden, Russia, Switzerland, the United States of America, India, and most of the British colonies, every ten years; in France and Germany, every five years; in Spain, at irregular inter vals, the last having been in 1900. The International Statistical Congress, which consists of eminent statisticians from all countries, has done much to improve the taking of censuses, and now several countries, such as Austria, Belgium, Italy, Prussia, Russia, and Switzerland, have statistical bureaus for the purpose, among other things, of controlling the taking of the periodical census. In the United Kingdom the practice is for Par liament to pass special acts directing the taking of each census.
The United States Census of 1910 had as its head Edward Dana Durand, who enlisted more than 71,400 employes. The local enumerators, on June 1, began to gather the required information by going through the country from house to house, and all the information was tab ulated at Washington by more than 3,000 clerks.
In the enumeration of 1910 the ter ritory of Hawaii and that of Porto Rico were included. It was required that the four principal reports, those on popula tion, mortality, manufactures, and agri culture, should be published by July, 1912. The salaries of the 3,000 clerks amounted to nearly $3,000,000 a year, and the pay of the enumerators was more than $5,855,500, so that the total expenses of the Census of 1910 amounted to nearly $15,000,000.
Census of 1920.—The Fourteenth De cennial Census was of the date of Jan. 1, 1920. It included in its scope (1st) pop ulation; (2d) agriculture, including drainage and irrigation; (3d) manufac turing; (4th) forestry and forest prod ucts; and (5th) mines, quarries, and oil and gas production. It is estimated that at least three years were required be fore all the subjects treated were com pleted. The cost of the census will be approximately $20,500,000. Over 90,000 enumerators, besides special agents, • clerks, and supervisors, were employed. In 1925 a special census of manufactures will be taken and provision has been made for a biennial census of the prod ucts of manufacturing industries.
The population census of continental United States was completed on Oct. 7, 1920. The population of the United States, as a result of the census, was found to be 105,683,108, compared with 91,972,266 for 1910, and 75,994,575 for 1900. The percentage of increase in the decade was 14.0 per cent., compared with an increase in the previous decade of 21 per cent. The large falling off in the growth of the country as a whole as shown by these figures was due chiefly to an almost complete cessation of immigration for more than five years preceding the taking of the census in January, 1920. In some degree the re sult is also due to the epidemic of influ enza in 1919 and to the casualties re sulting from the World War.
The census indicated that the trend of the population from the country to the city had become greatly accentuated since 1910, and that for the first time in the history of the country more than one-half of the population in 1920 lived in urban territory as defined by the cen sus bureau. 51.9 per cent. lived in in corporated places of 2,500 inhabitants and more, and 48.1 per cent. in rural ter ritory. The urban population increased in the decade 28.6 per cent., and the rural population 3.1 per cent.
The following table gives the popula tion of cities of 25,000 and over, accord ing to the census of 1920: