National Census Day

A diverse group of people, wearing colorful and unique outfits, gathered in a vibrant city square for National Census Day celebrations..
National census day illustration

Welcome to your new favorite unofficial holiday - National Census Day! This is the day when you can count on having a good time (pun intended)! Let's dive into the interesting history behind this day, which has been bowed down to by the number of online mentions it received on April 1st, 2020.

When is Census Day?

It's national census day on the 1st April.

All About National Census Day

National Census Day, celebrated every decade in the US on April 1, is the reference day used by the United States Census Bureau for the population count. This day became a viral sensation on April 1, 2020, almost as popular as the infamous pranks that epitomize April Fool's Day!

The Online Explosion

On April 1st, 2020 this normally quiet and understated day of governmental administration shot up in the internet stakes with a whopping 3514 online mentions. It's amazing what people will talk about when they should be filling out forms!

The Role of Social Media

One of the key factors in this unexpected surge of online chatter about National Census Day was the role of social media. Tweets, posts, hashtags - the whole digital community rallied around this day, turning a heretofore unremarkable occasion into an internet cause celebre! And who said counting wasn't cool?

Ahead of Its Time

National Census Day has been ahead of its time in terms of creating awareness about the importance of population counting. It's a day that combines finance, property and awareness, making it a truly versatile, modern holiday.

History behind the term 'Census'

4000 BCE

Ancient Beginnings

The concept of census can be traced back to ancient civilizations, where rulers and empires conducted population counts for administrative and military purposes. In Mesopotamia around 4000 BCE, the Sumerians recorded headcounts for taxation and to ensure enough laborers for public projects.

500 BCE

Roman Innovations

The Romans, known for their meticulous administration, introduced the term 'census' derived from the Latin word 'censere,' meaning 'to estimate.' In 500 BCE, Rome conducted regular censuses every five years to assess population size, property ownership, and military readiness.


Domesday Book

In England, the famous Domesday Book was commissioned by William the Conqueror in 1086. Although not called a 'census' explicitly, it was an extensive survey that determined landownership, livestock, and wealth in England. It provided valuable insights into the kingdom's resources and helped establish taxes.


United States Decennial Census

The United States conducted its first nationwide decennial census in 1790. Initiated by Thomas Jefferson, the census aimed to determine the country's population, assess representation, and allocate resources. This practice has continued every ten years, evolving into a comprehensive survey covering various demographic, economic, and social aspects.


Introduction of Machine Tabulation

In 1911, the use of machine tabulation was introduced for the census in the United States. Developed by statistician Herman Hollerith, this innovation significantly reduced processing time and ushered in a new era of data analysis. Hollerith's invention formed the foundation for modern electronic data processing.


Digital Census

Today, many countries conduct their censuses digitally, leveraging advanced technology for data collection, storage, and analysis. Online forms, automation, and data integration techniques streamline the process, ensuring more accurate and timely results. The digital census enables countries to adapt to changing demographics and plan effective public policies.

Did you know?

Did you know that in 2020, the date of the Census Day - April 1st - was not a coincidence at all, but a deliberate nod to the fool's day? The idea was to remind people that not answering the census was the biggest April's Fool one could make!


awareness fun finance property numbers counting

First identified

10th May 2016

Most mentioned on

1st April 2020

Total mentions


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