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Blog Category: Bureau of the Census

The Fourth of July, 2010: Independence Day

John Trumbull's 1818 painting of the signing of the Declaration of IndepenceOn July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was approved by the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, setting the 13 colonies on the road to freedom as a sovereign nation. Written primarily by Thomas Jefferson, the Declaration is a formal explanation of why Congress had voted on July 2 to declare independence from Great Britain, more than a year after the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War. The birthday of the United States of America—Independence Day—is celebrated on July 4, the day the wording of the Declaration was approved by Congress.  See an image of the Declaration of Independence from the National Archives.

As always, this most American of holidays will be marked by parades, fireworks and backyard barbecues across the nation. In 1776, the estimated number of people living in the newly-independent nation was 2.5 million. This year, the Department of Commerce’s Census Bureau estimate is 309.6 million.

For fascinating figures on the Fourth’s fireworks, flags, fanfares, firings (grills) and more, see the Census Bureau’s Facts for Features.

Statement from Commerce Secretary Gary Locke on Retail Sales in April 2010

Commerce's U.S. Census Bureau today released retail sales for April 2010.  Retail sales increased 0.4 percent, following a large 2.1‑percent rise in March.  Sales of building materials and garden equipment and supplies jumped 6.9 percent following a similarly large gain in March.  Private-sector analysts had expected a small decline of 0.1 percent in total sales in April.

“The rising trend in retail sales indicates that consumer spending continues to grow, underlining increasing confidence in the recovery,” U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said.  “The gains in consumer spending are yet another indication that the outlook for sustained economic growth is improving.”

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Door-to-Door Visits Begin for 2010 Census, Census Takers to Follow Up with About 48 Million Households Nationwide

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2010 Census logo. Click to go to Web site.

About 635,000 2010 Census takers across the nation begin going door to door tomorrow to follow up with households that either didn’t mail back their form or didn’t receive one. An estimated 48 million addresses will be visited through July 10. “America’s had a very successful first half of the 2010 Census, where more than 72 percent of the nation’s households mailed back their census forms,” U.S. Census Bureau Director Robert M. Groves said. “But achieving a complete and accurate census requires us to now go door to door to count all the remaining households we’ve not heard back from.” (More) (Take 10 participation map)

America Matches Mail Participation Rate from 2000 Census

2010 Census logo. Click to go to Web site.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke today congratulated the nation for its strong participation in the 2010 Census to date, as the Census Bureau released the latest mail participation data showing that 72 percent of U.S. households have mailed back their 2010 Census forms so far—the same rate the nation achieved at the end of the mail-back period during the 2000 Census. “It’s fantastic that we were able to match the 2000 participation rate despite all the predictions that it couldn’t be done,” Locke said. (More)

Census: Last day to Mail Back 2010 Census Forms?Residents Urged to Act Today to Save Taxpayer Money

2010 Census logo. Click to go to Web site.

Today marks the last day for residents across America to mail back their 2010 Census questionnaires. Households that return their forms after April 16 will likely be visited by census workers when they begin May 1 going door to door to collect census responses. Residents are encouraged to mail back their 2010 Census forms today. Those who wait to mail back their forms should expect to be visited by census workers, who will visit homes in person to ensure an accurate count of every person living in the United States. (More) (Take 10 participation map) (There’s Still Time)

Secretary Locke Statement on New Residential Construction in March 2010

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The Commerce Department’s U.S. Census Bureau today released new residential construction data for March 2010. Permits for new housing units jumped 7.5 percent in March, housing starts increased 1.6 percent in March and starts in February were revised up considerably. Permits have advanced 37.6 percent and starts have risen 30.7 percent above their low points in April 2009. (More)

Countdown: Two Days Left to Mail Back 2010 Census Forms

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2010 Census logo. Click to go to Web site.

Today marks the two-day countdown for residents across America to mail back their 2010 Census questionnaires. Households that return their forms after Friday, April 16 will likely be visited by census workers, who begin May 1 going door to door to collect census responses. Residents are encouraged to promptly mail back their forms, because doing so would reduce the cost of administering the census by $1.5 billion—funds that would be given back to taxpayers. (More) (en español) (Take 10 participation map)

Secretary Locke Statement on March 2010 Retail Sales

Locke gesturing with microphone in hand.

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The Commerce Department’s U.S. Census Bureau today released retail sales for March 2010. Retail sales increased 1.6 percent compared with an expected increase of 1.2 percent, and recent months were revised upwards. Excluding motor vehicles, retail sales rose 0.6 percent. Retail sales have grown 7.6 percent over the past year. “The strong growth in retail sales demonstrates consumers’ increasing confidence in the economic recovery,” Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said. (More) (Release)

Secretary Locke Statement on February 2010 U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services

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U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke issued the following statement on the release of the February 2010 U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services report by the Commerce Department’s U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Today’s report showed that U.S. exports in February 2010 increased by 0.2 percent to $143.2 billion from their January 2010 level. Imports in February increased 1.7 percent over January to $182.9 billion. (More) (Release) (Fact sheet)

Secretary Locke Encourages Census Participation at New York Rally with Congressman Crowley

2010 Census logo. Click to go to Web site.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke joined Congressman Joseph Crowley for a 2010 Census meeting with New York community leaders. Locke and others rallied community leaders from the Bronx and Queens to make a “last call” for New Yorkers to participate in the 2010 Census. Although heavily populated, New York City is traditionally undercounted in the census, which causes the city and state to lose important federal funding. In 2000, only 57 percent of New York City households returned their census forms. Communities around the nation are focusing on getting residents to mail back their forms in a “March to the Mailbox” effort. (Remarks)