Monday, December 25, 2006

1900 Census: Background Information

An article called "How the Census Was Taken" appeared in the Chicago Daily Tribune on 21 Aug 1900. Here are some things I learned from it:

  • The census was to reflect the population as it was on June 1. Anyone who died during the fifteen days "succeeding" to that was to be counted. Births later than June 1 weren't to be recorded and individuals who were in jail on June 1 but released before the enumerater arrived were to be recorded as prisoners.
  • Thirty interpreters were used in areas with languages other than English.
  • Enumerators were paid by Washington according to the number of names they recorded.
  • Enumeration took 15 days but "more than double that time" was spent on corrections and complaints.
  • Complaints included enumerators skipping hotel guests; a number of men were put in charge of investigating and correcting returns
Another article stated that enumerators wore badges and that the census books were 2 ft x 1 ft.