July 1, 2019

Making sense of the census

Topic: Events

By Pete Hanebutt, NDFB Public Policy Director

A few weeks ago, I was at a conference and one of the presenters shared with the attendees everything there is to know about the decennial census. The U.S. Constitution mandates a population count every ten years. Our country has held a nose count every year since 1790. In their wisdom, the authors and framers of the Constitution, primarily James Madison, included the census for several reasons, one being they wanted to make sure the people were adequately represented. You can imagine the horse trading and haggling that went on as the various regions of our fledgling nation sought to hammer out a new form of government equally representing all the people: Big states, small states, north and south, and all the factions within. The small states were no-doubt pleased to have equal representation in the proposed Senate, but Pennsylvania, New York and Virginia wanted their land mass and the farming population to be on equal footing with Massachusetts and Connecticut. In the end our founding fathers agreed to what is now our marvelous system, including the requirement of a national census every ten years.

We’re probably all familiar with the census, but we don’t think about the impact this event has on our lives.

Read the rest of Pete's post on My NDFB Life.