Skagit County Trends Newsletter


Seal of the United States Census Bureau

Article I, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution requires a Census occur for the main purpose of tax apportionment based on population numbers.

The first census, taking place in 1790, had six categories. According to the 1790 Census Overview, the census was required to the name of the head of the family, and count the number of: free white males 16-years and older, free white males under 16-years of age, free white females, all other free persons, and slaves.

A population census takes place every ten-years, but now has a much smaller scope than in prior decennial censuses. In turn, the detailed data that were formerly found only in the decennial census are now available annually for most of the population in the U.S. through the American Community Survey (ACS). Topics beyond population counts such as housing, employment, education, insurance, race, ethnicity and many more, can be found in the ACS. This broad,

very frequent coverage comes, as the title suggests, through a survey. Depending on population size, 1-year estimates (for areas with populations greater than 65,000) and 5-year estimates (all populations) are used.

A new census data dissemination tool is now in beta version and available for previewing. To use the old (and still current) platform, the American FactFinder, one needed patience to work through the typical trial and error to find the desired data. The new platform, which still offers all of the same data as the old, automatically presents a snapshot of a selected area by providing some of the more commonly accessed census information, clearer explanations on how to get to some of the lesser accessed census information, and sports an interactive county-level U.S. map for purposes of comparison.

We will update readers of this newsletter when the census beta site becomes the official data dissemination website of census information. Currently, June 2018 is the target date.