1920-2020: Women's History, Arlington History and the Census

Published on February 27, 2020

On March 16, 2020, we're celebrating the 100th anniversary of the naming of Arlington County at 7 p.m. in the County Board room with a proclamation, panel discussion and birthday cake! Everyone is invited to join the celebration of Arlington's naming centennial and Women's History Month. 

This year, Women's History Month falls during the 100th anniversary of  the 19th Amendment guaranteeing women the right to vote. It kicks off with an exhibit at Central Library celebrating Women's Work: Then & Now.   

Women's Work and the Census

According to 1920 census data, the U.S. Government was the top industry that employed Arlington women. In fact, the U.S. Census Bureau was ahead of the curve in hiring women, as it has been employing women since 1880, when it started using professional enumerators rather than U.S. marshals to conduct the census. By 1909, 10 years before the 19th amendment granted national women's suffrage, over 50 percent of the Census Bureau's 624 permanent employees were women. And in 1920, the Census Bureau appointed the first five female supervisors, as well as the first three female expert chiefs of divisions. 

As we gear up for the 2020 Census, the U.S. Census Bureau is hiring men and women in temporary jobs to help count everyone in the U.S.  Apply now to earn extra income and help your community.

100 Years: 1920 - 2020

There are numerous events being held around the County to commemorate 100th anniversary eventsWomen's History Month, and educate the public about the importance of being counted in the 2020 Census. Below are some highlights of events planned for March. More events will be posted throughout the month on the Arlington County Library page and Arlington's Naming Centennial website. 

Check out the following resources to learn more:   


APRIL 1, 2020 IS CENSUS DAY! ThU.S. Census counts every resident in the nation, including right here in Arlington County. As mandated by the U.S. Constitution, America gets just one chance each decade to count its population. The collected data help to determine things like the number of seats Virginia has in the House of Representatives, and how to distribute federal funds to local communities like ours.