1940 United States Census

The Sixteenth United States Census, conducted by the Census Bureau, determined the resident population of the United States to be 132,164,569, an increase of 7.3 percent over the 1930 population of 123,202,624 persons. The census date of record was April 1, 1940. A number of new questions were asked including where people were 5 years before, highest educational grade achieved, and information about wages. This census introduced sampling techniques; one in 20 people were asked additional questions on the census form. Other innovations included a field test of the census in 1939.

Census questions

1940 United States Census

The 1940 census collected the following information:</p>

In addition, a sample of individuals were asked additional questions covering age at first marriage, fertility, and other topics. Full documentation on the 1940 census, including census forms and a procedural history, is available from the Integrated Public Use Microdata Series.

Data availability

1940 United States Census

Following completion of the census, the original enumeration sheets were microfilmed; after which the original sheets were destroyed.

As required by Title 13 of the U.S. Code, access to personally identifiable information from census records was restricted for 72 years. Non-personally identifiable information Microdata from the 1940 census is freely available through the Integrated Public Use Microdata Series. Also, aggregate data for small areas, together with electronic boundary files, can be downloaded from the National Historical Geographic Information System.

On April 2, 2012â€"72 years after the census was takenâ€"microfilmed images of the 1940 census enumeration sheets were released to the public by the National Archives and Records Administration. The records are indexed only by enumeration district upon initial release; several organizations are compiling indices, in some cases through crowdsourcing.

State rankings


External links

  • Official 1940 census website
  • 1940 Census Records from the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration
  • 1940 Federal Population Census Videos, training videos for enumerators at the U.S. National Archives
  • Selected Historical Decennial Census Population and Housing Counts from the U.S. Census Bureau
  • Snow, Michael S. (opinion) "Why the huge interest in the 1940 Census?" CNN. Monday April 9, 2012.
  • 1940 Census Questions Hosted at CensusFinder.com.

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