Transients and New Arrivals in the U.S. 1940 census

What do the codes mean on the 1940 census?

One common code is the x with a circle around it, which appears after some names. This indicates who gave the information to the census taker. There are other codes for race, military service, citizenship, and class of worker.

Why can’t I find someone in the 1940 census?

Don’t know where the person you’re searching for lived in 1940? You must have a location or enumeration district number to begin a 1940 census search since there is no name index available. If you don’t have either of these we recommend searching for the person in the 1930 census first.

What was the 1940 census question?

Many of the questions on the 1940 census are the standard ones: name, age, gender, and race, education, and place of birth.
Household Data:

  • Number of household in order of visitation.
  • Home owned (O) or rented (R).
  • Value of home, if owned, or monthly rental, if rented.
  • Does this household live on a farm? (Yes or No).

Is the 1940 census indexed?

The National Archives does not currently have a name index to the 1940 Census. However, and have both indexed this census on their websites.

What does ot mean on census?

Regardless of what it means, the “OT” is an annotation that was added some time after the census was recorded, maybe by a worker in the census office or maybe by a later researcher. It looks like they marked all of the female heads of household that way.

What does AL mean on census?


The answers are “Al” for alien, “Pa” for “first papers,” and “Na” for naturalized. The 1920 census (column 15) indicates the year in which the person was naturalized. These clues may lead to naturalization records.

What happened to the 1950 census?

Because of a 72-year restriction on access to the records, the most recent census year currently available is 1950. On April 1, 2022, the 1950 Census was released, and users can access it for free through a dedicated website at

Why is there a 72-year restriction on the census?

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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