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Government Documents: Other Census Resources
About Census Questions and Variables
The questions asked on each census vary from decade to decade. The first
census in 1790 looked at three different variables, while the 2000
census looked at over 70 different variables. Because the questions are
not consistent from census to census, though, it is often difficult to
compare changes from decade to decade.
If you want to compare different variables, you will want to make sure the censuses you are comparing have used the same variable. Suzanne Schulze has written a number of books that allow you to see what variables are included in any given census volumes and at what level of geography.