1940 U.S. Census

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The United States Federal Census

This article is part of a series.
Overview of the U.S. Census
Finding and Reading U.S. Census Records
1790 U.S. Census
1800 U.S. Census
1810 U.S. Census
1820 U.S. Census
1830 U.S. Census
1840 U.S. Census
1850 U.S. Census
1860 U.S. Census
1870 U.S. Census
1880 U.S. Census
1890 U.S. Census
1900 U.S. Census
1910 U.S. Census
1920 U.S. Census
1930 U.S. Census
1940 U.S. Census
Census Indexes and Finding Aids
Using the Soundex with Census Records
Non-Population Schedules and Special Censuses
State and Local Censuses
Census Substitutes
African American Census Schedules
Reconstructed 1790 Census Schedules
Censuses of Native Americans
List of Useful Census References

The 1940 census was taken on April 1, 1940. The official census population count was 132,164,569 for the US proper but doesn't include the populations of the territories of the US. The 1940 census became available to the public on Monday, April 2, 2012.

Questions Asked in the 1940 Census

The 1940 Census form called for the street, avenue, road, and house number; the number of dwelling house and family in order of visitation; whether the home was owned or rented; the value of home, if owned, or monthly rental, if rented; whether the family lived on a farm; the name of each person whose usual place of residence on April 1, 1940 was with this family; the relationship of this person to the head of the family; each person's sex; color or race; age at last birthday; marital condition; whether he or she attended school or college any time since March 1, 1940; highest grade of school completed; his or her place of birth; citizenship of the foreign-born; place of residence on April 1, 1935; his or her trade, profession, or particular kind of work done, and the industry of business with which he or she was involved, and his or her class of worker and number of weeks worked in 1939; wages or salary received in 1939 and whether or not $50 or more was earned from non-wage or non-salary sources; It also includes, if applicable, the number of the corresponding farm schedule.

Supplementary questions were asked of those enumerated on two designated lines on each sheet: name of the individual; place of birth of both parents; native language; if the person is a veteran or the wife, widow or minor child of a veteran; if a minor child, if their veteran father is dead; war or military service of veteran; if the person has a social security number; if old-age insurance or railroad retirement deductions were taken from their wages or salary in 1939 and if so, were they made from all, half or more, or less than half the wages or salary; his or her usual trade, profession, or particular kind of work done, and the usual industry of business with which he or she was involved, and his or her usual class of worker; for all women, whether they have been married more than once, age at first marriage and number of live births she has had.

Other Significant Facts about the 1940 Census

Coming soon...

Research Tips for the 1940 Census

For additional information on the 1940 census, see the 1940 Census Records website.

Comparison of Census Information, 1790-1940

Personal Info on Census 1790 1800 1810 1820 1830 1840 1850 1860 1870 1880 1900 1910 1920 1930 1940
Name of family head only
Headcount by age, gender, ...
Standard census form
Names of all individuals
Profession or occupation
Place of birth
Attended school that year
Highest grade completed
Married that year
Read or write
Deaf, blind, insane, idiotic, ...
Real estate value
Personal estate value
Separate slave schedule
Father of foreign birth
Mother of foreign birth
Month of birth
Month of birth that year
Male citizen over 21 years
Male over 21 denied vote
Visitation number of dwelling
Visitation number of family
Street name in city
House number in city
Relationship to family head
Marital status
Month of marriage that year
No. of months unemployed
Father's birthplace sup
Mother's birthplace sup
Sickness on census day
Year of birth
No. of years present marriage
Mother how many children sup
Number of children living
Year of immigration to US
No. of years in US
Naturalization status
Months attended school