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U.S. Census Research Guide: 1980

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

1980 Census schedules have not yet been released.

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 1980 Census

Highlights of the 1980 Census

  • 20th decennial census
  • US population: 226,545,805
  • Illinois population: 11,426,518

Questions asked

Information obtained from all persons: age; sex; color or race; if American Indian, name of tribe; relationship to head of family or household; marital status

Information obtained from a sample of the population: ancestry/ethnic origin; age at or date of first marriage; married more than once; if remarried, was first marriage terminated by death?; ill or disabled; school attendance; educational attainment; place of birth; citizenship; if foreign born, year of immigration; language; Spanish origin or descent; number of children ever born to mother; veteran status; in service date; place of residence in previous year; year moved to present residence; industry; occupation; class of worker; employment status; duration of unemployment; year last worked; weeks worked in preceding year; hours worked in preceding week; value of real estate; income; place of work; means of transportation to work

For more information:

Statistics of the 1980 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 Source

Key publications:

Print available in the Library

Online access

Census of Population

Vol. I: Characteristics of the Population:

Ch. A - Number of Inhabitants (tables 1-13)

From the Census Bureau

Ch. B - General Population Characteristics (tables 14-55)

From the Census Bureau

Ch. C - General Social and Economic Characteristics (tables 56-193)

From the Census Bureau

Ch. D - Detailed Population Characteristics (tables 194-251)

From the Census Bureau

Vol. II: Subject Reports:

Characteristics of American Indians by Tribes and Selected Areas
American Indians, Eskimos, and Aleuts on Identified Reservations and in the Historic Area of Oklahoma (Excluding Urbanized Areas)
Asian and Pacific Islander Population in the United States
Geographic Mobility for States and the Nation
Geographic Mobility for Metropolitan Areas
Living Arrangements of Children and Adults
Marital Characteristics
Persons in Institutions and Other Group Quarters
Journey to Work: Metropolitan Commuting Flows
Journey to Work: Characteristics of Workers in Metropolitan Areas
Place of Work
Occupation by Industry
Earnings by Occupation and Education
Poverty Areas in Large Cities
Characteristics of the Rural and Farm-Related Population

Supplementary Reports:

Age, Sex, Race, and Spanish Origin of the Population by Regions, Divisions, and States: 1980
Population and Households by States and Counties: 1980
Race of the Population by States: 1980
Population and Households for Census Designated Places: 1980
Standard Metropolitan Statistical Areas and Standard Consolidated Statistical Areas: 1980
Nonpermanent Residents by States and Selected Counties and Incorporated Places: 1980
Persons of Spanish Origin by State: 1980
Detailed Occupation and Years of School Completed by Age, for the Civilian Labor Force by Sex, Race, and Spanish Origin: 1980
State of Residence in 1975 by State of Residence in 1980
Ancestry of the Population by State: 1980
Congressional District Profiles, 98th Congress
Asian and Pacific Islander Population by State: 1980
American Indian Areas and Alaska Native Villages: 1980
Population and Land Area of Urbanized Areas for the United States and Puerto Rico: 1980 and 1970
Detailed Occupation of the Experienced Civilian Labor Force by Sex for the United States and Regions: 1980 and 1970
Residence in 1975 for States by Age, Sex, Race and Spanish Origin
Gross Migration for Counties 1975-1980
Metropolitan Statistical Areas
Rural and Farm Population by Current (1980) and Previous (1970) Farm Definitions, for States and Counties: 1980
Selected Characteristics of Persons With a Work Disability by State: 1980
Summary Characteristics of the Black Population for States and Selected Counties and Places: 1980

Census of Population and Housing:

Block Statistics

Block Statistics Maps

Census Tracts

Summary Characteristics for Governmental Units and SMSAs

Congressional Districts of the 98th Congress

Census of Housing:

Vol. I: Characteristics of Housing Units

Vol II: Metropolitan Housing Characteristics

Vol. III: Subject Reports

Vol. IV: Components of Inventory Change

Vol. V: Residential Finance


Census Data at ICPSR
Northwestern University is a member of ICPSR.  NU-affiliated users can create an ICPSR account and download data, codesbooks, etc.

ICPSR archives and disseminates census data acquired from the United States Census Bureau as well as files prepared by ICPSR and other principal investigators.The microdata comprise individual responses to census questions.

The Microdata are public-use samples randomly selected from all of data collected by a census. ICPSR has microdata from the censuses of 2000, 1990, 1980, 1970, 1960, 1950, 1940, and some earlier censuses, with sampling fractions ranging from 10 to 0.01 percent.

1980 Census Data at ICPSR
Congressional District Equivilency File, Master Area Reference Files, Equal Employment Opportunity Special Files, Group Quarters Population by Age, Race Sex, and Spanish Origin, and more available for analysis.

iPUMS at the Minnesota Population Center
The Minnesota Population Center hosts historic U.S. Census data and makes it freely available to all.  Census data from 1960 to 2010 has been harmonized to allow comparisons across time.  Harmonized international census data also allows comparison across national boundaries.  Online tools allow data extraction and limited data analysis.  Online training modules are providedTraining videos for the online extraction tool are also available.