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1960 Federal Census Will Not Include Question on Religion

December 13, 1957
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The 1960 U.S. census of population will not include an inquiry on religion. This decision was announced today by director Robert W. Burgeon of the Bureau of the Census, U.S. Department of Commerce.

The primary reason for this decision, Dr. Burgess said, was recognition that at this time a considerable number of citizens would be reluctant to answer such a question in the census where a reply is mandatory.

Jewish organizations and other groups concerned with basic liberties had protested to the government against the inclusion of a question on the 1960 census that would legally require persons to state their religion. (In New York, Dr. Israel Goldstein, president of the American Jewish Congress, hailed the dropping of the religious question as a “victory for traditional American freedom.”)

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