The 1890 census was the first to be compiled on a tabulating machine, developed by Herman Hollerith. This introduction of technology reduced the time taken to tabulate the census from seven years for the 1880 census to two and a half years for the 1890 census. The total population of 62,622,250 was announced after only six weeks of processing. Ironically, the public reaction to this tabulation was disbelief, as it was widely believed that the "right answer" was at least 75,000,000.
This census is one of the three for which the original data is no longer available. Almost all the population schedules were destroyed in a fire in 1921. The Other Censuses that have lost almost all information were the 1800 and 1810 enumerations.