BIRTHS, DEATHS, AND MARRIAGES.] In addition to these means of information re Specting the population, there are in most states returns respecting property, which further illustrate the condition of the people. [STATISTICS.] In the nited States of North America the representative system is based on numbers, and whenever direct taxation is resorted to, it is apportioned on the same princip.e. A census is therefore indispensable; and provision was made respecting it by the constitution of the United States. There are other reasons which render a census of peculiar im portance. Professor Tucker, of the uni versity of Virginia, remarks :—" Our changes are both greater and more rapid than those of any other country. A re gion covered with its primeval forests is, in the course of one generation, covered with productive farms and comfortable dwellings, and in the same brief space villages are seen to shoot up into wealthy and populous cities. The elements of our population are, moreover, composed of different races and conditions of civil freedom, whose relative increase is watched with interest by every reflecting man, however he may view that diversity of condition, or whatever he may think of the comparative merit of the two races." Th.: first census was taken in 1790, and referred to the 1st of August of that year ; the second in 1800, and subsequently in every tenth year. In 1830 the period of enumeration was changed to the 1st of June, so that the preceding decennium was two months short of ten years. The last census was taken on the 1st of June, 1840.
In the first census of the United States the heads of inquiry were five, and the numbers were ascertained of-1, Free white males, aged sixteen and upwards. 2, The same under sixteen. 3, Free white females of all ages. 4, Slaves. 5, Free persons of colour, for the phrase " all other persons" could comprise only them. In the second census the ages of the white population were ascertained and distributed under five heads, showing the number under 10; between 10 and 16 ; 16 and 26 ; 26 and 45; and 45 and upwards. The census of 1810 was taken in the same manner as that of 1800. In the succeeding census, in 1820, free coloured persons and slaves were for the first time classified as to age and sex, and they were distributed in four divi sions of ages. A column was added for
white males aged between 16 and 18. The population was also classified as to occupations in the three great divisions of agriculture, commerce, and manufac tures. In 1830 the population was dis tinguished with greater minuteness as to age. The white population under 20 was classed into quinquennial periods, and from 20 and upwards into decennial periods. The free coloured persons and slaves were classed, in respect to age, in six divisions. The number of persons blind, and deaf and dumb, were ascer tained in each class of the population, and their ages distinguished. No notice was taken in the census of 1830 of the occupations of the people. The census of 1840, on the contrary, is remarkable for its attempt to supply minute details of every branch of industry in the United Sates, but in other respects the heads of inquiry were the same as in 1830. Not only were the people classified according to their occupations, but estimates were obtained relative to the annual products of industry, under the six heads of— Mines, with nine subdivisions ; Agricul ture, with twenty-nine ; Commerce, with five ; Fisheries, with five ; the Forest, with five; Manufactures, with forty-six subdivisions. It appears, however, from the American Almanac' (Boston, 1845) that the statistical details of productive in dustry are not so correct as could be wished. Professor Tucker, however, is of opinion that the errors so balance and compensate each other, as to afford on the whole "an approximation to the truth, which is all that the subject admits of." (Progress of the Unitea States in Population and lirealth in Fifty Years, as exhibited by the Decennial Census. By George Tucker, Prof. of Moral Philosophy and Political Economy in the University of Virginia, Boston, 1843. This is a valu able and useful work, and it is to be regretted that no writer of this country has undertaken a similar task for the five censuses of Great Britain, the results of which are only to be found in the cum brous volumes of Parliamentary Returns which give the details of each census.)