Released: January 26, 2010
Why the U.S. Census Does Not Ask about Religion
The U.S. Census Bureau has not asked questions about religion since the 1950s, but the federal government did gather some information about religion for about a century before that.
An essay commissioned by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life looks into the history of census questions about religious affiliation. It explores the debate over the propriety, merit and feasibility of including them on government surveys.