A census is a counting of all individuals within a given area where more specific demographic information is usually collected as well. The United States government began in 1790 and the authority for it comes from the Constitution, which calls for a population survey every 10 years. Other major countries followed in the 19th century. It is a major topic in Demography.
In 2009, the Obama Administration took the unprecedented step of moving control of the 2010 U.S. census from the Commerce Department to direct control by the White House and Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. Many congressional Republicans believe this was done as a "power grab" by the administration in order to manipulate congressional redistricting nationwide to favor Democrats. Additionally, it was discovered that the partisan, pro-Obama, fraud-laden group ACORN would assist in the census.
Jesus was born during a Roman census dictated by Augustus Caesar. Because of this census and the decree that all inhabitants were to register based on their tribal House, Joseph had to go back to Bethlehem. If the census had never occurred, then Jesus would not have been born in Bethlehem.