Any photos not otherwise credited are from the personal collection of Frank Passic, Albion Historian.
By Frank Passic, FR, Calhoun County, Michigan
Team 24 News, Volume 8, #4. September-October 2007. U.S. Census Bureau Detroit Regional Office. pg. 8.
As we approach the U.S. Census 2010 operations, we are reminded of the importance that the decennial Census has upon our country each time it is conducted. The primary purpose, to conduct an accurate population count in order to determine the number of representatives for the U.S. House of Representatives, is just one aspect of how the gathered statistics are used.
The distribution of millions of tax dollars to state and local municipalities is another major ramification of the decennial count. That is why an accurate count is so critical, and the U.S. Census Bureau will be training U.S. Census 2010 workers in the coming months to successfully accomplish that goal.
The effects that the U.S. Census results have upon a community can be very profound. Such was the case in the 1950 decennial concerning the city of Denver, Colorado. The Denver metropolitan area experienced a 46% increase in population between 1940 and 1950-- from 383,373 to 560,309 persons.
The ramifications were so profound, that the Denver Post newspaper published a full page feature “ad” in late 1950 thanking the U.S. Census Bureau for their fine work, and especially the Census taker himself. The illustration shows the blushing male Census taker with ledger and pencil in hand. He is being showered with: roses, a handshake, a tip of the hat, candy, a hug, and a photograph. Gosh, don’t you wish we were treated like that all the time to make our job easier? At least the candy.
The text reads, “Some other cities, whose population ‘guesstimates’ were a little optimistic, may be mad at the census taker. But we’re not. We have good reason to think he’s a very nice man. According to preliminary figures released by the Census Bureau, here’s what he found:” which was followed by the comparison statistics.
Perhaps newspapers in our communities ought to bring back “nice ads” like this one. This is certainly a “classic” in Census-related collectibles. We are reproducing it here for our readers to enjoy and marvel at. May it serve as an inspiration for the work that will be done by U.S. Census enumerators in the coming months for U.S. Census 2010.
Denver Post full page feature “ad” in late 1950
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