Census Records for Pennsylvania

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This entry was originally written by Roger D. Joslyn, CG, FUGA, FGBS, FASG for Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources.

This article is part of
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the Pennsylvania Family History Research series.
History of Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania Vital Records
Census Records for Pennsylvania
Background Sources for Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania Maps
Pennsylvania Land Records
Pennsylvania Probate Records
Pennsylvania Court Records
Pennsylvania Tax Records
Pennsylvania Cemetery Records
Pennsylvania Church Records
Pennsylvania Military Records
Pennsylvania Periodicals, Newspapers, and Manuscript Collections
Pennsylvania Archives, Libraries and Societies
Pennsylvania Immigration
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Ethnic Groups of Pennsylvania
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Map of Pennsylvania


Population Schedules

• Indexed'1790, 1800, 1810, 1820, 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930 • Soundex'1880, 1900, 1910 (miracode), 1920

Industrial and Agricultural Schedules

• 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880

Mortality Schedules

• 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880 (1880 not indexed)

Veterans Schedules

• 1890

From the first federal census of 1790, the records are nearly complete for Pennsylvania, and microfilms of the federal copies are widely available at the National Archives'Mid-Atlantic Region , the Pennsylvania State Archives, the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania State Library, the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh (see Pennsylvania Archives, Libraries and Societies), and other libraries. Two enumerations were taken in Philadelphia in 1870; the second includes the street address. Gaps in the records are the following: 1800 (parts of Bedford and Westmoreland counties); 1810 (parts of Bedford, Cumberland, and Philadelphia counties); and 1820 (parts of Lancaster, Lehigh, Luzerne, and Monroe counties). There are three published book indexes for the 1800 census and two for 1810. The 1850 census also has two indexes, one arranged by county. An all-name index to the 1850 to 1880 censuses for Pittsburgh and Allegheny City is at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. For the 1910 Miracode, Philadelphia County is indexed apart from the rest of the commonwealth. The original schedules of the 1880 census, microfilmed by the National Archives, are now in the state archives. The state copies of the 1840 to 1870 censuses are no longer extant, but a few county copies are known to exist. Microfilm of the non-population and mortality schedules for 1850 to 1880 are at the state library and at the National Archives'Mid-Atlantic Region. Pennsylvania took no state censuses, but an enumeration of taxpayers compiled every seven years from 1779 through 1863 is commonly called the Septennial Census. These records have only survived in small numbers and are available at the state archives and on microfilm at the The Family History Library (FHL) at Salt Lake City.


Pennsylvania has never taken a state census. There was a colonial census taken in 1671 that included Philadelphia and Delaware counties. There was also a Chester County census taken in 1857. Those are the only non-Federal censuses from Pennsylvania that exist.

External Links

  • Pennsylvania Census Records - free up-to-date guide to accessing Pennsylvania census records. Identifies federal, state, and colonial censuses, as well as substitute records (FamilySearch Research Wiki).