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                 August, 2008

      Charles Hansen, Editor

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  1940 US Federal Census
— Charles Hansen

        Census records have been very important to genealogists since it is easy to trace the movements of your family as they migrated across the country. It has always been important to check every census for your ancestors. I know you already know where they were so why go to the work to check for your grandparents in each census? You might just be surprised by what you find in the census. Will you be in the 1940 census? I won't appear in a census till the 1950 census, but I sure want to see myself in a census.

        The 1940 census will be released April 1, 2012 or not quite 4 years from now (72 years after it was taken). Like the 1930 census there is no index or soundex, but I bet soon after it is released there will be a mad scramble to index it by several groups to see who can get the index online first.

        Steve Morse is working with volunteers on an index of the enumeration districts so you can put in an address and it will tell you which enumeration district to look in. Before the 1930 census came out I made a map of all the enumeration districts in Spokane, I wanted to be able to find my mother and her parents and I knew their address. So the first day the 1930 census showed up in our library I knew what enumeration district to look in, and on page one of that enumeration district was my grandparents and my mom. It was weeks later before any index of that census appeared and so I did not have to wait that long. Doing the map was pretty easy, I downloaded the descriptions of the enumeration districts and started drawing the lines on a map of the city.

        In August of 1939, Congress added a requirement to do a housing census, so several of the questions are on housing. They also used advanced statistical techniques, including probability sampling. Sampling allowed them to add a number of questions without a larger burden on the respondents.

        Some of the questions on the 1940 census; location, house number, owned or rented, value or monthly rent, and is it a farm? Residence April 1, 1935, city, town, or village over 2500, county, state, on a farm? Then there are thirteen questions on employment, most having to due with the depression. Each 1940 census page has 40 numbered lines, and there is a list of supplementary questions and these questions were not asked of everyone, usually only those listed on line numbers 14 and 29 were asked those questions, They did use other lines sometimes to ensure a random sampling, but these are the questions most genealogists would be interested in:

1. Place of birth of father and mother: father
2. Place of birth of father and mother: mother
3. Mother tongue (or native language)
4. Veteran?
5. Veteran: If child of veteran is veteran dead?
6. Veteran: War or military service?
7. Social Security: Does this person have a social security number?
8. Social Security: Did your employer deduct social security or railroad retirement?
9. Social Security: If so on all your wages, half or more, part but less than half of wages?
10. Usual occupation?
11. Usual industry?
12. Usual class of worker?
13. For women who are married or have been married: Were you married more than once?
14. For women: Age at first marriage?
15. For women: Number of children born (not stillborn)?

        The 1940 census showed the population of the United States was 132,164,569, or an increase of 7.3% over 1930 population of 123,202,624.

1. New York 13,479,142
2. Pennsylvania 9,900,180
3. Illinois 7,897,241
4. Ohio 6,907,612
5. California 6,907,387
6. Texas 6,414,824
7. Michigan 5,256,106
8. Massachusetts 4,316,721
9. New Jersey 4,160,165
10. Missouri 3,784,664
11. North Carolina 3,427,796
12. Indiana 3,427,796
13. Wisconsin 3,137,587
14. Georgia 3,123,723
15. Tennessee 2,915,841
16. Kentucky 2,845,627
17. Alabama 2,832,961
18. Minnesota 2,792,300
19. Virginia 2,677,773
20. Iowa 2,538,268
21. Louisiana 2,363,880
22. Oklahoma 2,336,434
23. Mississippi 2,183,796
24. West Virginia 1,961,974
25. Arkansas 1,949,387
26. South Carolina 1,899,804
27. Florida 1,897,414
28. Maryland 1,821,244
29. Kansas 1,801,028
30. Washington 1,736,191
31. Connecticut 1,709,242
32. Nebraska 1,315,834
33. Colorado 1,123,296
34. Oregon 1,089,684
35. Maine 847,226
36. Rhode Island 713,346
37. South Dakota 642,961
38. North Dakota 641,935
39. Montana 559,456
40. Utah 550,310
41. New Mexico 531,818
42. Idaho 524,873
43. Arizona 499,261
44. New Hampshire 491,524
45. Vermont 359,231
46. Wyoming 250,742
47. Delaware 206,505
48. Nevada 110,247
x District of Columbia 663,091

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