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United States Census, 1940


Name index of population schedules listing inhabitants of the United States in 1940. This was the sixteenth census conducted since 1790. There were 134 million individuals enumerated this census year. The schedules cover the 48 states as well as Alaska, Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, Panama Canal Zone, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. The index is being created by FamilySearch, BrightSolid, and Inflection.

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Citing this Collection

"United States Census, 1940." Database with images. FamilySearch. : accessed 2017. Citing Sixteenth Census of the United States, 1940, NARA digital publication T627. Records of the Bureau of the Census, 1790 - 2007, RG 29. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2012.

The “Greatest Generation”

The 1940 U.S. Federal Census is the largest, most comprehensive, and most recent record set available that records the names of those who were living in the United States at the time the census was taken.

132 million people were living in the 48 Continental United States in 1940.

Tens of millions of people living in the United States in 1940 are still living today, making this a record set that connects people with recent family records.

Rich and Unique Information

The 1940 census included several standard questions, such as: name, age, gender, race, education, and place of birth. But the census also introduced some new questions. One example is that the enumerator was instructed to mark (with a circled x) who in the household responded to the census questions. Other questions included whether the person worked for the CCC, WPA, or NYA the week of March 24-30, 1940, and the income for the 12 months ending December 31, 1939.

New, interesting questions were asked:

Where people lived 5 years before
Highest educational grade achieved
Detailed income and occupation

As part of the census, 5% of respondents (two names per page) were asked supplemental questions, which included the place of birth of the person's father and mother, the respondent's usual occupation (not just for the week of March 24-30), and questions related to marriage for all women who were or had been married. The enumerators asked women if they had been married more than once, the age at first marriage, and the total number of children to whom they had ever given birth.

1940 Census Research Assistance

FamilySearch has several resources for those who want to learn how to effectively use census records in their research. Discover detailed articles and online courses to help you with your census research.


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