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Freedom of Information Act

US Census Bureau  | Published on 3/15/2021


According to, “Launched in 2005, Sunshine Week has grown into an enduring annual initiative to promote open government and push back against excessive official secrecy…

“Sunshine Week was created by the American Society of News Editors and is now coordinated in partnership with the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, but freedom of information isn’t just a press issue. It is a cornerstone of democracy, enlightening and empowering people to play an active role in their government at all levels. It helps keep public officials honest, makes government more efficient and provides a check against abuse of power.”

From The American Presidency Project, Proclamation 5447—Freedom of Information Day, 1986, “March 16 is the anniversary of the birth of James Madison, our fourth President and one of the principal figures in the Constitutional Convention. Madison eloquently expressed the guarantees in the Bill of Rights, in particular in the freedoms of religion, speech, and of the press protected by the First Amendment. He understood the value of information in a democratic society, as well as the importance of its free and open dissemination. He believed that through the interaction of the Government and its citizens, facilitated by a free press and open access to information, the Government could be most responsive to the people it serves. Surely the American experience has proved him right.

“This year [1986] marks the twentieth anniversary of the enactment by the Federal government of the Freedom of Information Act [1966]. On President Madison's birthday, it is particularly fitting that we recognize the value of reasonable access to information in our political process.”


Key Stats


Source: 2019 American Community Survey (ACS) 1-Year Estimates.


TableID B24124, Detailed Occupation for the Full-Time, Year-Round Civilian Employed Population 16 Years and Over


Note: The table above contains over 550 occupations and is scrolled to highlight news analysts, reporters, journalists, and editors. Click on the image to see the full table and other related occupations.