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U.S. Census Research Guide: 1940

The U.S. Census Bureau conducts several data collection programs about the U.S. population which have their own language, geography, and data portals. This guide is based on a similar guide created by Kelly Smith at UCSD.

For more info...

Raw Data Files

These are computer files intended to be loaded into statistical software for analysis and creating your own tables. In some cases these files can be used with spreadsheet software as well.

Population Schedules 1940

The 1940 census was released digitally on April 2, 2012..

Census population schedules (or "name schedules" or "manuscript census") are copies of the original questionnaires collected during each decennial census. They list the individual names and family information of the people enumerated. Unlike the statistics published soon after the census, the population schedules remain confidential for 72 years. 1930 is the most recent population schedule available.

Contact

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To consult with a government information specialist by appointment, contact govinfo@northwestern.edu

About the 1940 Census

Highlights

  • 16th decennial census
  • US population: 131,669,275
  • Illinois population: 7,897,241
  • New focus on labor and economic issues.
  • The Census of Housing was the first nationwide, detailed inventory of housing.
  • First census to use sampling.
  • Statistics for census tracts reported for the first time for select cities (Note: Chicago was included - see chart (scroll to mid-page) which lists which cities have data reported for Census tracts in 1940, 1950, 1960, and 1970)

Questions asked

Information obtained from all persons: Address; home owned or rented; value or monthly rental; whether on a farm; name; relationship to head of household; sex; race; age; marital status; school or college attendance; educational attainment; place of birth; citizenship of foreign born; county, State, and town or village of residence 5 years ago and whether on a farm; employment status; if at work, whether in private or non-emergency government work, or in public emergency work (WPA, NYA, CCC, etc.); if in private or non-emergency government work, number of hours worked during week of March 24-30; if seeking work or on public emergency work, duration of unemployment; occupation, industry, and class of worker; number of weeks worked last year; wage or salary income last year and whether received other income of $50 or more.

Information from 5-percent sample: Place of birth of parents; language spoken in home in earliest childhood; veteran status; which war or period of service; whether wife or widow of veteran; whether a child under 18 of a veteran and, if so, whether father is living; whether has Social Security number, and if so, whether deductions were made from all part of wages or salary; occupation, industry, and class of worker; of women ever married-whether married more than once, age at first marriage, and number of children ever born.

Supplemental schedule for infants born during the four months preceding the census.

For more information:

Statistics of the 1940 Census

Multi-year census compilations (compare across years): These sources tend to include statistics for large geographic areas (e.g. states), but can be very useful when comparing statistics over time.

Digitized Data Sources

Key publications:

Print available in the Library

Online access

Census of Population Vol. I: Number of Inhabitants
 Gov Info Census C 3/a. 16

From the Census Bureau

Census of Population Vol II: Characteristics of the Population (7 pts)
 Gov Info Census C 3/a. 16

From the Census Bureau

Census of Population Vol III: The Labor Force (5 pts)
 Gov Info Census C 3/a.. 16:

From the Census Bureau

Census of Population Vol IV: Characteristics by age (4 pts)
 Gov Info Census C 3/a. 16:

From the Census Bureau

Census of Population: Characteristics of persons not in the labor force, 14 years old and over
 Gov Info Census C 3/a. 16:

From the Census Bureau

Census of Population: Characteristics of the non-white population by race
 Gov Info Census C 3/a. 16:

n/a

Census of Population: Comparative occupation statistics for the United States, 1870 to 1940
 Gov Info Census C 3/a. 16

From the Census Bureau

From HeinOnline (NU affiliated users only)

Census of Population: Differential Fertility, 1940 and 1910 (5 v.)
 Gov Info Census c 3/a. 16

n/a

Census of Population: Internal Migration, 1935 to 1940 (4 v.)
 Gov Info Census C 3/a. 16

From the Census Bureau

From HeinOnline (NU affiliated users only)

Census of Population: The Labor Force (6 v.)
 Gov Info Census C 3/a. 16:

From the Census Bureau

Census of Population: Nativity and parentage of the white population (3 v.)
 

From the Census Bureau

Census of Population: Special report on institutional population…
 

From the Census Bureau

Census of Population: Families (4 v.)
 

n/a

Census of Housing Vol. 1: Data for Small Areas (2 pts)
 

From the Census Bureau

Census of Housing Vol. 2: General Characteristics (5 pts)
 

From the Census Bureau

Census of Housing Vol. 3: Characteristics by Monthly Rent or Value (3 pts)
 

From the Census Bureau

Census of Housing Vol. 4: Mortgages on Owner-Occupied Nonfarm Homes (3 pts)
 

From the Census Bureau

Census of Population and Housing: Families (4 pts)
 

From the Census Bureau

Population and housing. Statistics for census tracts, Chicago IL
 

n/a

Census of Population: Education
 

n/a

Areas of the United States
 

n/a

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