Government Census

A Governmental Census Prospective

A government census is the platform used by the government to determine the number of people in specific segments of society. It is complete contrast to the process of sampling because a census’s main purpose is to make sure that every person is represented in the statistics. The data is commonly utilized for purposes such as marketing, research, and various planning purposes. The census is supposed provide a systematic method for obtaining information about a certain population but this can lend itself for abuses if there is linking of the anonymous data to individuals.

The Bible mentions a few stories about different censuses. In the Book of Numbers, there are descriptions of a mandated census that took place as Moses lead the Israelites away from Egypt. Referred to as a numbering of people, King David of Israel ordered a governmental census that dealt with retribution of the divine.

It is mandated within the U.S. Constitution that the federal government conduct a census every 10 years. Of course with most matters of state, this can be done more frequently if requested by Congress to do so. These types of census are the most important because they are what will determine the appropriate representation for the House of Representatives. Additionally, this data is used when Congress determines what kind of budget apportionment to dwell out to various departments.

Even with all their best efforts, the U.S. Bureau of the Census has never achieved the goal of accounting for each individual. This can and has lead to the dispute about how accurate these numbers are and what their relevancy is. It has been ruled down from the Supreme Court that only an actual head count is allowed to apportion districts for the U.S. Congress. For example, in the 2000 Census, the state of North Carolina was able to gain a seat in the House because the people of Utah that were living abroad were never counted by the Census.

The United States Bureau of the Census was created as a federal agency in 1902. In most recent census surveys there have been two forms; a long form and a short form. The current plan is that the long form will be revised to included information about housing level, community ranking, commuting times, and housing unit factors. The method in which our governmental census works is that there are forms mailed out to citizens with 1 in about every 6 getting the long form. These are to be returned by postal mail and those that are not returned could have census agents come to their requesting to get these forms returned. There are some that feel census data is an invasion of privacy but each of the questions and the answers to each are used for some sort of federal purpose other than head counting.

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