Skip to main content

U.S. Census Research Guide: 1890

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

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

Need help? Use the Ask-A-Librarian reference service, or call us at (847) 491-7656, during Research Assistance Desk hours.

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

About the 1890 Census

Highlights

  • 11th decennial census
  • US population: 62,947,714
  • Illinois population:  3,826,352
  • Electrical tabulating machines first used.
  • First census to use a separate questionnaire for each household.

Questions asked

Address; name; relationship to head of family; race; sex; age; marital status; number of families in house; number of persons in house; number of persons in family; whether a soldier, sailor or marine during Civil War (Union or Confederate) or widow of such person; whether married during census year; for women, number of children born, and number now living; place of birth of person and parents; if foreign born, number of years in the U.S., whether naturalized or whether naturalization papers had been taken out; profession, trade, or occupation; months unemployed during census year; months attended school during census year; literacy; whether able to speak English, and if not, language or dialect spoken; whether suffering from acute or chronic disease, with name of disease and length of time afflicted; whether defective in mind, sight, hearing or speech, or whether crippled, maimed, or deformed, with name of defect; whether a prisoner, convict, homeless child, or pauper; home rented or owned by head or member of family; if owned by head or member, whether mortgaged; if head of family a farmer, whether farm rented or owned by him or member of his family; if owned, whether mortgaged; if mortgaged, post office address of owner. Supplemental schedules for the Indian population; for persons who died during the year; insane; feeble-minded and idiots; deaf; blind; diseased and physically defective; inmates of benevolent institutions; prisoners; paupers and indigent persons; surviving soldiers, sailors, and marines, and widows of such; inmates of soldier's homes.

For more information:

Map Coverage of the 1890 Census

For more information:

Map Guide to the U.S. Federal Censuses, 1790-1920

 

Statistics of the 1890 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

Report on population of the United States (2 pts)
 Gov Info Census C 3/a. 11/ 5: 15   (reprint)

From the Census Bureau

Report on the Insane, feeble-minded, deaf and dumb, and blind in the United States
 Gov Info Census C 3/a. 11/ 5: 8   (reprint)

From the Census Bureau

Report on crime, pauperism, and benevolence:  (2 pts)
 Gov Info Census C 3/a. 11/ 5: 4-5  (reprint)

From the Census Bureau

Report on vital and social statistics (4 pts)
 Gov Info Census C 3/a. 11/ 5: 20   (reprint)

From the Census Bureau

Reports on the statistics of agriculture
 Gov Info Census C 3/a. 11/ 5: 1  (reprint)

From the Census Bureau

Report on manufacturing industries (3 pts)
 Gov Info Census C 3/a. 11/ 5: 11, 12, 13    (reprint)

From the Census Bureau

Report on mineral industries
 Gov Info Census C 3/a. 11/ 5: 14  (reprint)

From the Census Bureau

Report on population and resources of Alaska
 Gov Info Census C 3/a. 11/ 5: 2   (reprint)

From the Census Bureau

Report on statistics of churches
 Gov Info Census C 3/a. 11/ 5: 3    (reprint)
(Note: pages 713 and 795-812 missing from edition on Census website)

From the Census Bureau

Report on Indians taxed and Indians not taxed in the United States (except Alaska)
 Gov Info Census C 3/a. 11/ 5: 7    (reprint)

From the Census Bureau

Report on insurance business (2 pts)
 Gov Info Census C 3/a. 11/ 5:9-10     (reprint)

From the Census Bureau

Report on real estate mortgages
 Gov Info Census C 3/a. 11/ 5: 17    (reprint)

From the Census Bureau

Report on farms and homes: Proprietorship and indebtedness
 Gov Info Census C 3/a. 11/ 5: 6     (reprint)

From the Census Bureau

Report on transportation business (2 pts)
 Gov Info Census C 3/a. 11/ 5: 18-19     (reprint)

From the Census Bureau

Report on wealth, debt, and taxation (2 pts)
 Gov Info Census C 3/a. 11/ 5: 24-25     (reprint)

From the Census Bureau

Compendium of the Eleventh Census (3 pts)
 

From the Census Bureau

Part 1 - US Serial Set (Readex) NU Affiliates only

Part 2 - US Serial Set (Readex) NU Affiliates only

Part 3 - US Serial Set (Readex) NU affiliates only

Proquest Congressional - NU Affiliates only

 

Abstract of the Eleventh Census: 1890.

From the Census Bureau

US Serial Set (Readex) NU affiliates only

Proquest Congressional NU Affiliates only

Statistical atlas of the United States based upon results of the Eleventh Census: 1890

From American Memory

US Serial Set (Readex) NU Affiliates only

Proquest Congressional NU Affiliates only

Special census report on the occupations of the population of the United States

From the Census Bureau

US Serial Set (Readex) NU Affiliates only

Proquest Congressional NU Affiliates only

Vital Statistics of New York and Brooklyn covering a period of six years ending May 31, 1890
Gov Info Microtext (non-circulating)   I1202-10

From the Census Bureau

Vital statistics of the District of Columbia and Baltimore covering a period of six years ending…

From the Census Bureau

The five civilized tribes in Indian territory: The Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, and Seminole Nations.
 Gov Info Microtext (non-circulating)   I1207-1

From the Census Bureau

Indians. Eastern band of Cherokees of North Carolina

  Gov Info Microtext (non-circulating)   I1207-3

From the Census Bureau

Indians. Six Nations of New York. Cayugas, Mohawks (Saint Regis), Oneidas, Onondagas, Senecas, Tuscaroras.
 Gov Info Microtext (non-circulating)   I1207-2

From the Census Bureau

HeinOnline NU Affiliates only

 

Loading