1940 Census United States – Census Form Headings
The 1940 Census gives the same basic information obtained from previous census years: name, age, place of birth, family relationships, place of residence, gender, education, and citizenship. There are a few new questions asked that would help in genealogical research.
- 1. Name of informant: (Column 7): An “X” is placed by the name of the person giving the information. This would then allow knowing the credibility of the information given.
- 2. Individual present or absent (Column 7): Those who usually live in the home but currently not there were to be marked with “Ab” as being absent from the home.
- 3. Residence as of April 1 1935 (Columns 17-20). These series of questions help to establish a residence of 5 years previous.
- 4. Education (Columns 13-14): A broader spectrum of level of education is given.
- 5. Employment (Columns 23-33): Specific questions about employment, unemployment and income give greater insights into the lives of the people.
- 6. Census Sampling used (2 lines from each page, example: lines 14 & 29) A few more questions were asked concerning mother tongue, parents’ place of birth, veterans and employment.
1940 Census Form Categories
- 1. Street, Avenue or road
- 2. House Number
- 3. No. of Household in order of visitation
- 4. Home owned (O) or rented (R)
- 5. Value of home or Monthly rental if rented
- 6. Farm (Yes or No)
- Names were written for those whose usual place of residence on April 1, 1940, was in this household
- “Ab” was written after names of persons temporarily absent from household
- “Infant” was written for children under age 1 who had not been named
- An “X” was written after the name of the person furnishing the information.
- 7. Name of Person
- 8. Relationship of the person to the head of household
- 9. Sex
- 10. Color or Race
- 11. Age at Last Birthday
- 12. Marital Status
- 13. Attend school or college at any time since March 1, 1940
- 14. Highest grad of school completed
Place of Birth:
- If in the US give state, territory or possession
- If foreign born, give country in which birthplace was situated on Jan 1, 1937
- Distinguish : Canada-French from Canada-English and Irish Free State from Northern Ireland
- 15. Where born:
- 16. Citizenship of the foreign born
Place of Residence on April 1 1935 (if the person lived in a different place):
- 17. City, town or village having 2600 or more inhabitants (enter “R” if less)
- 18. County
- 19. State (or Territory or foreign country)
- 20. On a Farm (Y or N)?
Persons 14 years old and over – Employment Status:
- 21. Working for pay or profit in private or nonemergency Government work during week of March 24-30? (Y or N)
- 22. If not, worked on or assigned to public Emergency Work (WPA, NYA, CCC, etc.) during week of March 24-30? (Y or N)
- If no to questions 21 and 22:
- 23. Was this person seeking work? (Y or N)
- 24. If not seeking work, did the person have a job (business, etc)? (Y or N)
- If no to questions 21-24:
- 25. Indicate whether engaged in home housework (H), in school (S), unable to work (U), or other (Or)
- If yes to question 21:
- 26. Number of hours worked March 24-30, 1940
- If yes to questions 22 or 23:
- 27. Duration of unemployment up to March 30, 1940 (in weeks)
- Occupation, Industry, and Class of Worker:
- If answered yes to questions 21, 22, 24: enter present occupation
- If answered yes to question 23: enter past occupation or work
- If no previous work experience: enter “New Worker” (leave columns 29 and 30 blank)
- 28. Trade, profession
- 29. Industry or business
- 30. Class of Worker
- 31. Number of weeks worked in 1939
- Income in 1939 (12 months ending Dec. 31, 1939):
- 32. Amount of money, wages or salary received (including commissions)
- 33. Did this person receive income of $50 or more from sources other than money wages or salary (Y or N)
- 34. Number of Farm schedule
Additional Census Questions:
- Persons whose names were listed on lines 14 and 29 had the following additional questions:
For Persons of all ages (from lines 14 and 29):
- 35. Name
- Place of Birth of Father and Mother:
- 36. Father’s Place of Birth
- 37. Mother’s Place of Birth
- Mother Tongue:
- 38. Language spoke in home in earliest childhood
- Veterans - Is this person a veteran or a wife, widow or child under 18 of a veteran?
- 39. If so, enter yes
- 40. If child, is the father dead?
- 41. War or military service
For Persons 14 years old and over (from lines 14 and 29):
- Social Security:
- 42. Does the person have a Federal Social Security number? (Y or N)
- 43. Were deductions for Federal Old-Age Insurance or Railroad Retirement taken from this person’s wages or salary in 1939? (Y or N)
- 44. If so, were deductions made from (1) all, (2) one-half or more, (3) part, but less than half of pages or salary?
- Usual Occupation, Industry, and Class of Worker:
- What occupation does the person regard as his usually occupation and is physically able to do?
- If unable to determine, what occupation has the person worked the longest in the past 10 years and physically able to?
- For a person without previous work experience enter “None” on column 45 and skip columns 46 and 47.
- 45. Usual Occupation
- 46. Usual Industry
- 47. Usual Class of worker
For All Women who are or have been married:
- 48. Has this woman been married more than once (Y or N)
- 49. Age at first marriage
- 50. Number of children ever born (do not include stillborn)
- Columns listed with the alphabetical letters, A-Z, were for codes and office use only.
The following table lists the meaning of symbols and Explanatory Notes: