A history mystery: Stand Up and Be Counted
Wed, 03/02/2022 - 7:50am admin
People have been counted for centuries, from the earliest of times. “In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that the whole world should be enrolled. This was the first enrollment, when Quirinius was governor of Syria. So all went to be enrolled, each to his own town.” From Luke 2: 1-3.
Governments want their people counted. The first U.S. census began more than a year after the inauguration of President Washington. Congress assigned the 1790 census to the marshals, requiring that every household be visited, and that the completed census schedules be posted in two public places within each jurisdiction.
The 1790 census used the official date of August 2, and it called for the name of the head of the family and the number of persons in each household of the following descriptions: Free White Males of 16 years and upward (to assess the country's industrial and military potential), Free White Males under 16 years, Free White Females, All other Free Persons, and Slaves. [All other Free Persons were mostly free blacks or African Americans, Native Americans, and immigrants from Asia.]
Under the direction of Thomas Jefferson, Secretary of State, marshals took the census in the original 13 States, plus the districts of Kentucky, Maine, and Vermont, and the Southwest Territory (Tennessee). The final count was about 3.9 million people (4.5 persons per square mile), but Washington and Jefferson felt some folks were not counted. The most populous state was Virginia, followed by Pennsylvania. The least populous was Delaware. Four states had more than 100,000 slaves: Virginia, South Carolina, Maryland, and North Carolina.
Look where we are today. South Dakota, with a 2020 population of 886,667, had an 8.9% growth rate (72,487 more people) from 2010 to 2020, the highest growth rate in South Dakota since the 1930’s. The Midwest growth rate was only 3.1%, so South Dakota was a shining star when looking at growth.
South Dakota had 1103 servicemen, federal employees and their families, who were serving outside the country. They are not counted in the census, but are added in for the apportionment population which is used to determine how many U.S. Representatives per state.
South Dakota’s population ranks higher than Wyoming, Vermont, Alaska, and North Dakota.
By studying the included chart, we find the highest growth was in Sioux Falls at over 25%. Small towns continued to decline, especially in western South Dakota. As folks continue shopping in larger cities, small town businesses close. Farms and ranches have gotten larger, and schools are farther apart. Folks have moved into more urban areas. As the data is to be on April 1, 2020, towns such as Brookings have student populations that almost double the population of the town. Changes in student populations affect the numbers for a town’s population.
The 10 largest cities in South Dakota are Sioux Falls (192,517), Rapid City (74,703), Aberdeen (28,495), Brookings (23,377), Watertown (22,655), Mitchell (15,660), Yankton (15,411), Huron (14,263), Pierre (14,091, and Spearfish (12,192). All of them grew in the last 10 years.