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American Dictionary of the English Language

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Census


CENSUS, noun

1. In ancient Rome, an authentic declaration made before the censors, by the citizens, of their names and places of abode. This declaration was registered, and contained an enumeration of all their lands and estates, their quantity and quality, with the wives, children, domestics, tenants, and slaves of each citizen. Hence the word signifies this enumeration or register, a mans whole substance, and the tax imposed according to each mans property.

2. In the United States of America, an-enumeration of the inhabitants of all the States, taken by order of the Congress, to furnish the rule of apportioning the representation among the States, and the number of representatives to which each State is entitled in the Congress; also, an enumeration of the inhabitants of a State, taken by order of its legislature.