their home states based on “home of record” information from the Department of Defense or the employees’ parent agency (e.g., the Department of State).1 This overseas population count tallied 576,367 military and federal personnel, just over 59,000 of whom were allocated to California and 52,000 to Texas. Other states with large military installations gained from the inclusion of these residents, such as the 22,187 added to Virginia’s total. As would be significant shortly after the 2000 census, North Carolina—with its large naval facilities—was credited with 18,360 overseas residents while Utah received 3,545.

Estimates suggest that the overseas military and federal employees (and their dependents) represent a small share of the total American citizenry living in other countries. As of July 1999, the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs estimated that 4,163,810 private American citizens lived in foreign nations (not counting military and government personnel and their dependents).2 Private American citizens living in Mexico account for 25 percent of that total, and Canada another 17 percent, by far the largest single-country contingents. Regionally, 28 percent of private American citizens overseas reside in Europe, 12 percent in Asia and Oceania, 7 percent in the Middle East, and 2 percent in Africa. Other estimates put the number of Americans outside the country at up to 10 million.


The 1830 and 1840 censuses were the first to include the counts of some segment of the American overseas population when they included U.S. naval crews in the counts (Mills, 1993:3); otherwise, consideration of the overseas population is absent from both census tabulations and enumerator instructions until the beginning of the 20th century.3 The 1900 census counted 91,219 Americans living abroad, consisting of military and federal civilian personnel at military stations and their dependents, along with the crews of naval vessels. Census authorities noted that these were counted and printed in the census volume because, “except for conditions arising out of the Spanish-American War, they would have been found residing largely within the limits of the United States proper, and they are, therefore, included properly in the


This included 2,037 persons allocated to the District of Columbia; the District’s population is excluded from the subsequent calculation of seats in the House of Representatives.


The 4.1 million total is shown on versions of the State Department data such as that published by American Citizens Abroad ( [10/5/05]) and cited by U.S. Government Accountability Office (2004a). An archived version of the Bureau of Consular Affairs tabulation at [10/5/05] records the total as 3,784,693.


The 1870 and 1880 census enumerator instructions did include the somewhat vague rule that “seafaring men are to be reported at their land homes, no matter how long they may have been absent, if they are supposed to be still alive,” without specifying naval vessels (Mills, 1993:10).

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