Editorial | Published:

The United States Census

    Abstract

    WE are surprised that so little attention is being given here to the totals of the United States census which are just being published. There is no more important record in the life of a people than its census. Accounts of progress are impossible, without it. In the United States, also, special attention is given to the census, partly because it is a requirement of the Constitution, which assigns representatives to States and districts in accordance with the population figures. Every ten years, in the United States, there is a vast outlay on the business, with which outlay nothing spent in Europe can compare. But now there are loud complaints all over the United States that the record for 1890 is wrong; that the population of cities and places has been miscounted grossly. If these complaints are true, the United States might almost as well have had no census at all. All the elaborate work which is to be based on these population figures is rendered useless before it is begun. Apart from the direct loss to the United States people themselves, who lose the information about their own affairs the census might have given them, the whole world sustains a loss in being deprived of comparisons of many kinds with so remarkable a progress as that of the United States. Has a colossal blunder, then, been made? and what can be the reason of it?

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