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The History of Surveys in the USA

published November 10, 2023
Smiling woman sitting at a desk with a laptop, paperwork on it and a pen in her hand

Whether it's deciding the best place for a farm, keeping tabs on how many of us there are, or settling the debate on the best ice cream flavour, surveys are the go-to. 


For thousands of years, we've relied on people's opinions to make big decisions. Even today, companies like LifePoints team up with brands so you can take surveys and get rewarded for it (more on that later)! 


Ever wonder where they started and how they've made a real impact, especially here in the USA?


When Surveys Were First Introduced


Like most good ideas, the ancient Egyptians got to it first. The earliest known survey was conducted by the Pharaoh and his administrators in 2300 BCE, who wanted to assess the state of agricultural land along the Nile after a flood. With this data they could decide the taxes people had to pay based on the land they farmed on. 


Then, during the Han Dynasty in China (206 BCE – 220 CE), the bureaucracy began surveying the population to figure out the size of their population, and how much tax they could reasonably collect. Around the same time, the Romans counted heads as well. Lucky for us, they kept meticulous records, which historians used to gain insights into size of their empire. 


Why Surveys are Important in Research


  • Representation: A good survey is like a sneak peek into what everyone's thinking
  • Flexibility: You can take surveys anywhere and anyhow – face-to-face chats, online, you name it
  • Economical: Compared to fancy experiments, surveys are the wallet-friendly way to hear from loads of people


The History of Surveys in the USA


The history of surveys here is as long as the length of our democracy! Here’s a quick overview:




  • First-ever census kicks off
  • George Washington's motive? Figuring out House of Representatives seats by counting folks


19th Century:


  • Census gets an upgrade!
  • Not just "who are you?", but "what do you do?" and "how many cows do you have?"

20th Century:


  • Brands jump on the survey train
  • Questions pop up like, "Yay or nay to our new soda?"
  • Market research turns into big biz

1990s & 2000s:


  • The internet changes the game
  • Online surveys make it easy to spill the beans on everything, right from your couch



Surveys are everywhere, from figuring out who you vote for politically, to figuring which Doritos flavor you pick up at the grocery store.

So, from basic "how many of us are there?" to "tell me your deepest snack preferences", the US has been all about that survey life.


Surveys Today – Your Voice Matters


Across the internet and in your inbox there’s a ton of businesses who rely on your opinion to make decisions. However, choosing where and when to use your time can be tricky. That’s where LifePoints comes in.


Get Paid for Online Surveys in the USA


Big companies want to know what you think about their stuff before anyone else sees it. Join LifePoints, take fun, easy online surveys about new products or services, and score gift cards  from top e-commerce brands like PayPal, Apple and high street retailers including Macy's, and Starbucks.


How Much can I Earn Doing Online Surveys?


Taking paid surveys can give you some extra cash. But don't expect it to be like a full-time pay check. How much you earn from these surveys varies based on how often you do them and how many are up for grabs. Think of surveys as a cool side gig, not your main money-maker, and enjoy the perks it brings to those who participate.


Share Your Opinion, Get Rewarded with LifePoints


Surveys have evolved considerably from their ancient origins but remain pivotal in shaping our understanding of the world. From gathering data on agricultural lands in ancient Egypt to modern online questionnaires gauging public opinions on the latest flavor of cola, surveys have consistently offered a structured method to tap into collective knowledge. 


Their adaptability and efficiency ensure they will remain a crucial tool in research, business, and public policy for the foreseeable future.


Now it’s your turn to continue advancing the legacy of surveys, while getting paid for it! 


Sign up today or download the App to earn 10 complimentary points to get started