United States Census 1950

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Release Date and Updates[edit | edit source]

According to law, the census is scheduled for public release on 1 April 2022.

Census Forms[edit | edit source]

  • Principal Data Collection Forms Used in the 1950 Censuses. (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1952).

Census Questions[edit | edit source]

Census day was April 1, 1950. Everyone living in the United States were to be counted at their place of residence. For those individuals not at home during the enumeration, information may have been obtained by other family members or neighbors, etc. Individuals serving in the military were enumerated were they were stationed. College students away at school were enumerated where they were attending school. This census had separate forms for population and housing. The population schedule was separated into three sections of questions: For Head of Household, For All Persons, For Persons 14 Years of Age and Over. Every fifth person counted was asked a set of supplemental questions starting with question 21. Full documentation on the 1950 census, including census forms and a procedural history, is available from the Integrated Public Use Microdata Series. A PDF copy of the United States Census Bureau 1950 Instructions is available.

Population Schedule[edit | edit source]

A copy of the form can be downloaded at the Census Bureau's 1950-History-U.S. Census Bureau page.

Form Header[edit | edit source]

The header of the population questionnaire included the following fields:

  • a. State (including territory of district)
  • b. County (including parish, independent city, district or municipality)
  • c. Incorporate place or township (minor civil division)
  • d. E.D. (Enumeration District) number
  • e. Hotel, large rooming house, institution, military installation, etc. (Name & Type)
  • f. Date Sheet Started
  • g. Enumerator's Signature
  • h. Checked by (crew leader) & date
  • Sheet number

Household Information[edit | edit source]

The following questions are listed in the order they appear on the form.

For Head of Household

  • 1. Name of street, avenue or road.
  • 2. House (and apartment) number
  • 3. Serial number of dwelling unit.
  • 4. Is this house on a farm (or ranch) ? (Yes or No)
  • 5. If no in item 4- Is this house on a place of three or more acres ? (Yes or No)
  • 6. Agricultural Questionnaire Number.

For All Persons

  • 7. Name: What is the name of the head of this household ?
  • 7. Name: What are the names of all other persons who live here ? List in this order: The head; His wife; Unmarried sons and daughters (in order of age); Married sons and daughters and their families; Other relatives; Other persons such as lodgers, roomers, maids, or hired hands, who live in, and their relatives
  • 8. Relationship. Enter relationship of person to head of the household, as Head, Wife, Daughter, Grandson, Mother-in-law, Lodger, Lodger's wife, Maid, Hired hand, Patient, etc.
  • 9. Race
  • 10. Sex: (M) Male, (F) Female
  • 11. How old was he on his last birthday
  • 12. Is he now married, widowed, divorced, separated, or never married
  • 13. What State (or foreign country) was he born in? If born outside Continental United States, enter name of Territory, possession, or foreign country. Distinguish Canada -French from Canada other
  • 14. If foreign born, is the person naturalized ?

For Persons 14 Years of Age and Over

  • 15. What was this person doing most of last week--working, keeping house, or something else ? ("WK" working; "H" keeping house; "U" unable to work; "Ot" other)
  • 16. Did this person do any work at all last week, not counting work around the house ?
  • 17. Was this person looking for work ?
  • 18. Even though he didn't work last week, does he have a job or business ?
  • 19. How Many Hours Did He Work Last Week ?
  • 20.a. What kind of work does the person do ? b. What kind of business or industry is the person in ? c. Class of worker the person is. ("P" private employment; "G" government employment; "O" own business; "NP" working

Supplemental Questions: Every 5th person enumerated was asked the following questions

  • 21. Was he living in this same household a year ago ? (Yes/No)
  • 22. If no in item 21. Was he living on a farm a year ago ? (Yes/No)
  • 23. If no in item 21. Was he living in this same county a year ago ? (Yes/No)
  • 24. If no in item 23. What county and state was he living in a year ago ?
  • 24.a. County. (If county unknown, enter name of place or nearest place.
  • 24.b. State or foreign country
  • 25. What country were his father and mother born in ? (Enter US or name of territory, possession, or foreign country) Father; Mother
  • 26. What is the highest grade of school that he has attended ?
  • 27. Did he finish this grade ? (Yes/No)
  • 28. Has he attended school at any time since February 1st? (For those under 30 years of age check yes or no. For those 30 years old or over, check 30 or over)
  • 29. If looking for work (Yes in item 17-) How any weeks has he been looking for work? (Number of weeks)
  • 30. Last Year, in how many weeks did this person do any work at all, not counting work around the house ? (Number of weeks in 1949)

For Persons 14 years old and older

  • 31. Income Received by this person in 1949
  • 31.a. Last year(1949), how much money did he earn working as an employee for wages or salary ?
  • 31.b. Last year, how much money did he earn working his own business, profession practice or farm ?
  • 31.c. Last year, how much money did he receive from interest, dividends, veteran's allowances, pensions, rents, or other income, (aside from earnings) ?
  • 32.a. Last year (1949), how much money did his relatives in this household earn working for wages or salary (before taxes and other deductions)?
  • 32.b. Last year (1949), how much money did his relatives in this household earn in their own business, professional practice, or farm (net income)?
  • 32.c. Last year, how much money did his relatives in this household receive from interest, dividends, veteran’s allowances, pensions, rents, or other income (excluding salary or wages)?
  • 33. If male, did he ever serve in the U.S. Armed Forces during:
  • 33.a. World War I (April 6,1917-November 11, 1918)
  • 33.b. World War II (September 16, 1940, to July 25, 1947)
  • 33.c. Any other time including present service? (Yes/No).

Housing Schedule[edit | edit source]

A copy of the form can be downloaded at the Census Bureau's 1950-History-U.S. Census Bureau page. The following questions are listed in the order they appear on the form.

Sheet No

  • 1. Serial number of dwelling unit
  • 2. Block number

For All Dwelling Units

  • 3. Type of living quarters 1.) House, apartment, or flat; 2.) Trailer; 3.) Tent, boat, railroad car; X.) Non-dwelling unit quarters within a large rooming house, institution, hotel, tourist court, etc.
  • 4. Type of structure
  • 5. Number of dwelling units in structure
  • 6. Is there a business unit in the structure ?
  • 7. What is the condition of the unit ?
  • 8. We have listed (number) persons living here. Have we missed anyone away travelling? Babies? Lodgers? Other persons staying here who have no home anywhere else?
  • 9. How many rooms are in this unit, not counting bathrooms ?
  • 10. Piped water supply
  • 11. Type of toilet
  • 12. Toilet--exclusive use
  • 13. Installed bathtub of shower
  • The following five questions were asked in rotation:
  1. Kitchen sink / Cooking fuel used most
  2. When was this structure built
  3. Heating equipment / Heating fuel used most
  4. Does this unit have electric lighting / What type of refrigerator does this unit have
  5. Is there a radio in this unit / Is there a television set in this unit
  • Occupancy

For All Vacant Units

  • Non-seasonal or seasonal

For Nonfarm Vacant Units Only

  • 18. If "For rent"--monthly rent for this unit
  • 19. If "For sale only"--sale price asked

For Nonfarm Units Occupied by Owner

  • 20. How much would this property sell for ?
  • 21. How many dwelling units are included in this property ?
  • 22. Is there any mortgage (trust) on this property ? 1.)Yes; 2.) No

For Nonfarm Units Occupied by Renter

  • 23. What is the monthly rent for this unit ?
  • 24. In addition to rent, how much do you pay for: (monthly average) Electricity; Gas; Water; Wood, coal and oil
  • 25. Is this rented.. 1.)Unfurnished;2.)Furnished
  • 26. If rented furnished--What would it rent for monthly if unfurnished ?

Overseas Census Report[edit | edit source]

This form was used for:

  • Members of the armed forces
  • Civilian American citizens employed by the government

First Page

  • 1. Date (Date Form Filled Out)
  • 2. Location (Country or Island)
  • 3. Service Serial Number
  • 4. Are Any Members of Your Family Living with you Overseas ? (Yes/No)
  • 5. The the Box Which Applies to You ?
  • Member of Armed Forces: Army
  • Member of Armed Forces: Navy
  • Member of Armed Forces: Air Force
  • Member of Armed Forces: Marine Corps
  • Member of Armed Forces: Coast Guard
  • Civilian Employee of (Agency)
  • Other

Second Page

  • 1. Answer the following questions for yourself and any members of your family living with you overseas April 1, 1950.
  • Name (Enter last name, first name, and middle initial), Relationship to You, Sex (Male/Female), Age at last birthday (Enter "Under 1" for children under one year of age) Age (Years Old), Marital Status (Married/Widowed/Divorced/Never Married),Race, Place of birth, Citizenship (Citizen/Not a Citizen)
  • Name
  • Your Wife's Name
  • Name of your son, daughter, or other relative living with you

Indian Reservation Schedule[edit | edit source]

  • Alternate (Native American) name
  • Tribe and clan
  • Degree of blood - full, half, quarter, or less than quarter
  • Read, write, speak English
  • Read, write, speak another language
  • Did you participate in any native American ceremonies in 1949?

National Archives Catalog[edit | edit source]

1950 Census Enumeration District Maps - Selected[edit | edit source]

1950 Census Enumeration District Census Maps are included in the series: Enumeration District and Related Maps, 1880 - 1990 NAID 821491. On that page click the Search within this series link. Go through the results to find the locality you are looking for, and click the link to see the map.

Sample Census Enumeration District maps:

Read the post on the National Archives' blog, The Unwritten Record, "Snapshot USA:1950 Census Enumeration District Maps".

Related Sources - National Archives Catalog[edit | edit source]

Statistical Reports[edit | edit source]

Enumeration Form[edit | edit source]

Related FamilySearch Historical Record Collections[edit | edit source]