Re: 2020 US Census, post census thoughts #general

Mark Jacobson

Your statement about the amount of information in the 2020 US census is not accurate. It is less than any of the publicly available census records since 1850 but that only spans to 1940. The US census from 1960 to 2000 were very short forms, most with less than 10 questions, for the majority of the population and a small percentage sampling of the population received longer forms with specifically targeted questions. Whether these longer forms even survive is unknown. For example, in 1960, the first year the census was mailed to the population, 25% received a long form with more than 20 questions focused on housing and employment. For the rest of the population, 75% of the US, "The census "short form" collected only five questions: relationship to head of household, age, sex, race, and marital status."
I think that we will not find any US census after 1950 of any real genealogical value in the future (unless the long form survives and our family happened to be included and answer the questions).

Mark Jacobson
Past President, JGSPBCI
Gesher Galicia Board member
JRI-Poland Town Leader Boryslaw and Drohobycz
Boca Raton, FL

DOGULOV/DOVGALEVSKY - Tripolye/Vasilkov/Kiev Ukraine;
COHEN/KANA/KAHAN - Tripolye, Ukraine;
JACOBSON - Polotsk/Lepel, Belarus; KOBLENTZ - Polotsk, Belarus;
KOPPEL - Stebnik/Drohobycz, Galicia;
JACOBI - Stratyn/Rohatyn, Galicia; ROTHLEIN - Stratyn/Rohatyn, Galicia;
TUCHFELD - Rzeszow/Stryj/Lvov, Galicia; GOLDSTEIN - Ranizow, Galicia

On Saturday, April 18, 2020, 02:48:31 PM EDT, jeremy frankel <jfrankel@...> wrote:

The coronavirus pandemic has pushed the 2020 US Census off the front-page news. Obviously people have more important things on their mind. Looking at the California figures, some 47% of households have already responded online, making it the #1 state for online response. Admittedly I didn't fill it out on 1st April (but did it the next day) and got a confirmation number. Hence it was very interesting to receive in the mail (alas unstamped, undated) last week a pristine paper copy. This will augment my digital blank and filled-out copy.

As many of us have now seen, a census it may be, but it has about the least amount of genealogical information since, well, 1850. Why is that? Here's my take; as has already been reported in the BBC News about next year's UK 2021 Census, so many government agencies already have the goods on us; asking us to repeat what they know would be a waste of time. However, to amend the Constitution would be a massive undertaking and there would probably be a huge 'push-back' from the citizens of America. Hence, it's far better, every decade to have a meaningless census than amend the Constitution.


Jeremy Frankel
formerly: Edgware, Middlesex, England
now: Sacramento, California, USA

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