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1790 United States Census facts for kids

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1790 United States Census
Seal of the United States Census Bureau.svg
1790a-01-page-001.jpg
Title page of 1790 United States Census
General information
Country United States
Date taken August 2, 1790 (1790-08-02)
Total population 3,893,635
Most populous state Virginia
747,610
Least populous state Delaware
59,094

The United States Census of 1790 was the first United States Census. It recorded the population of the United States as of August 2, 1790. In the First Census, the population of the United States was 3,929,214.

Data was collected from all thirteen states (Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, and Virginia), and districts and territories that would become Vermont, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Maine.

Reaction

Both Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson and President George Washington didn't fully believe in the results. They believed that there were more people in the United States than what the census said. A reason why there may be more people would be because of the people living farther apart, bad roads that would go to where people may live, limited technology, and people simply not giving any information.

Loss of information

The records for many states were lost sometime between 1790 and 1830. Almost one third of the original census data have been lost or destroyed since the original census. These include some 1790 data from: Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, and Vermont. The data can still be proven in many secondary sources about the first census.

Data

Census data included the name of the head of the family. They put people into these categories: free white males at least 16 years old (to figure out the country's industrial and military potential), free white males under 16 years old, free white females, all other free persons (reported by sex and color), and slaves. The Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson told marshals to get data from all thirteen states (Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, and Virginia), and from the Southwest Territory.

17.8% of the people were slaves. This is the highest percentage of slaves in any American census.

State Free white males of 16 years and upward, including heads of families Free white males under 16 years Free white females, including heads of families All other free persons Slaves Enslaved % of state population Total  % of US population
Vermont 22,435 22,328 40,505 255 16 0.02% 85,539 2.2%
New Hampshire 36,086 34,851 70,160 630 158 0.1% 141,885 3.6%
Maine 24,384 24,748 46,870 538 0 0.0% 96,540 2.5%
Massachusetts 95,453 87,289 190,582 5,463 0 0.0% 378,787 9.7%
Rhode Island 16,019 15,799 32,652 3,407 948 1.4% 68,825 1.5%
Connecticut 60,523 54,403 117,448 2,808 2,764 1.2% 237,946 6.1%
New York 83,700 78,122 152,320 4,654 21,324 6.3% 340,120 8.7%
New Jersey 45,251 41,416 83,287 2,762 11,423 6.2% 184,139 4.7%
Pennsylvania 110,788 106,948 206,363 6,537 3,737 0.9% 434,373 11.2%
Delaware 11,783 12,143 22,384 3,899 8,887 15.0% 59,094 1.5%
Maryland 55,915 51,339 101,395 8,043 103,036 32.2% 319,728 8.2%
Virginia 110,936 116,135 215,046 12,866 292,627 39.1% 747,610 19.2%
Kentucky 15,154 17,057 28,922 114 12,430 16.9% 73,677 1.9%
North Carolina 69,988 77,506 140,710 4,975 100,572 25.5% 393,751 10.1%
South Carolina 35,576 37,722 66,880 1,801 107,094 43.0% 249,073 6.4%
Georgia 13,103 14,044 25,739 398 29,264 35.5% 82,548 2.1%
Total 807,094 791,850 1,541,263 59,150 694,280 17.8% 3,893,635 99.9%

City rankings

Pitcher commemorating the first United States census, c. 1790, made in England - National Museum of American History - DSC06150
Commemorative pitcher with census results
Rank City State Population Region (2016) Population (2010)
01 New York New York 33,131 Northeast 1,585,873 [Manhattan only]
02 Philadelphia Pennsylvania 28,522 Northeast 1,526,006
03 Boston Massachusetts 18,320 Northeast 617,594
04 Charleston South Carolina 16,359 South 120,083
05 Baltimore Maryland 13,503 South 620,961
06 Northern Liberties Pennsylvania 9,913 Northeast N/A
07 Salem Massachusetts 7,921 Northeast 41,340
08 Newport Rhode Island 6,716 Northeast 24,672
09 Providence Rhode Island 6,380 Northeast 178,042
10 Marblehead Massachusetts 5,661 Northeast 19,808
11 Southwark Pennsylvania 5,661 Northeast N/A
12 Gloucester Massachusetts 5,317 Northeast 28,789
13 Newburyport Massachusetts 4,837 Northeast 17,416
14 Portsmouth New Hampshire 4,720 Northeast 21,233
15 Sherburne Massachusetts 4,555 Northeast 10,172
16 Middleborough Massachusetts 4,526 Northeast 23,116
17 New Haven Connecticut 4,487 Northeast 129,779
18 Taunton Massachusetts 3,804 Northeast 55,874
19 Richmond Virginia 3,761 South 204,214
20 Albany New York 3,498 Northeast 97,856
21 New Bedford Massachusetts 3,313 Northeast 95,072
22 Beverly Massachusetts 3,290 Northeast 39,502
23 Plymouth Massachusetts 2,995 Northeast 56,468
24 Norfolk Virginia 2,959 South 242,803
25 Rochester New Hampshire 2,857 Northeast 29,752
26 Petersburg Virginia 2,828 South 32,420
27 Alexandria Virginia 2,748 South 139,966
28 Hartford Connecticut 2,683 Northeast 124,775
29 Londonderry New Hampshire 2,622 Northeast 24,129
30 Gilmanton New Hampshire 2,613 Northeast 3,777
31 Hudson New York 2,584 Northeast 6,713
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