Saturday, April 3, 2010

A Delaware Population History

I went all geeky for the Census. Not that that was really a change for me, of course. My default approach is geek-lite, as you well know.

In any case, in the run-up to Census Day (this past Thursday, in case you missed it), I ran a daily series of Census history tweets, reporting facts from each decennial Census and reporting on the counted populations of Delaware and the three Delaware counties.

I also created a Google spreadsheets table of those census counts, adding a decennial Census' results each day. The table above is from that spreadsheet.

A very cool by-product of all of this is a collection of links to scanned copies of the Delaware portions of historic Census publications back to 1790 (the first US Census).

These are fascinating glimpses into the official, and the bureaucratic, history of the nation. What was important? Who was counted, and how?

This exercise has helped me to better understand the joy that historians must feel in digging back into the past through documents and artifacts.

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