How to narrow down date of U.S. census data collection before 1850?

What was the date of the 1850 census?

June 1, 1850

Census Day was June 1, 1850.

What are the earliest US census records?

The first census in the United States took place beginning on August 2, 1790. Although it took months to collect all the data from households, census takers were instructed to collect information as of August 2. For more information, see the 1790 Overview page.

Can you look up old census records?

The National Archives has the census schedules on microfilm available from 1790 to 1940, and online access is available through our digitization partners (free at any National Archives facility). See our Census Resources page to search the digitized records on our partners’ websites.

What years were US census taken?

The first Federal Population Census was taken in 1790, and has been taken every ten years since. Because of a 72-year restriction on access to the Census, the most recent year available is 1950. The 1950 Census was released on April 1, 2022.

What happened to the 1850 census?

Although the official date of the census date was June 1, 1850, completed census forms indicate that the surveys continued to be made throughout the rest of the year. This was the first census where there was an attempt to collect information about every member of every household; women and children were named.

How was the census taken in 1850?

The 1850 census saw a dramatic shift in the way information about residents was collected. For the first time, free persons were listed individually instead of by family. There were two questionnaires: one for free inhabitants and one for slaves.

How far back do US Census records go?

The United States has collected data about its population since 1790 and continues to collect data every 10 years. Currently, the National Archives has the 1790 to 1940 census records available to the public.

Why are census records sealed for 72 years?

Why 72? The most common explanation is that 72 years was the average lifespan at the time, although documentation corroborating this is sparse. The 1940 Census counted 132.2 million Americans, 89.8% of whom were white. At the time there was no census category for Hispanics (it was not added to census forms until 1980).

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