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U.S. Census Research Guide: 1870

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.


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About the 1870 Census

Highlights of the 1870 Census

  • 9th decennial census
  • US population: 39,818,449 (revised count)
  • Illinois population:  2,539,891
  • First census taken after the 13th amendment abolished slavery.
  • First census to fully record information on the black population.

Questions asked

Name; age; sex; race; occupation; value of real estate; value of personal estate; place of birth; whether parents were foreign born; month of birth if born within the year; month of marriage if married within the year; school attendance; literacy; whether deaf and dumb, blind, insane, or idiotic; male citizens 21 and over, and number of such persons denied the right to vote for other than rebellion. Supplemental schedules for persons who died during the year; paupers; prisoners.

For more information:

Map Coverage of the 1870 Census

For more information:

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

Statistics of the 1870 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

Statistics of the Population of the United States...
 Gov Info Census C 3/a. 9/ 5: 1  (reprint)

From the Census Bureau

From Newsbank

Vital Statistics of the United States
 Gov Info Census C 3/a. 9/ 5: 2   (reprint)

From the Census Bureau

From Newsbank

The Statistics of the wealth and industry of the United States
 Gov Info Census C 3/a. 9/ 5: 3   (reprint)

From the Census Bureau

From Newsbank

Compendium of the ninth census
 Gov Info Census C 3/a. 9/ 2: C73  (reprint)

From the Census Bureau

From Newsbank

Statistical Atlas of the United States based on results of  Ninth Census, 1870 ...

Government Info Microtext (non-circulating)   I1002-1

From American Memory