Interested in the 1940 Federal Census? Find interesting facts and statistics including number of participants, cost of the census and more
At midnight on April 2, 2012, the National Archives will release the long awaited 1940 US census records. Before you look for your family in it (sites like Ancestry.com should start showing census images you can browse through later that same day), check out these facts:
- On the official date of the 1940 census, April 1, there were 132,164,569 people living in the United States.
- The total cost of the 1940 census was almost $68 million.
- The government employed 123,069 workers or enumerators to take the census.
- Information was recorded for anyone who was alive at 12:01 a.m. on April 1, 1940.
- Everyone over the age of 14 was asked whether or not they were employed. Eight million people were unemployed that year — about 14.6 percent.
- Some women were asked if they had been married more than once and the number of children they’d given birth to.
- New York state had the largest population (13,479,142) and Nevada had the smallest (110,247).
- Each person had to answer 34 questions. By comparison, the 2010 census asked only 10 questions.
- For privacy reasons the U.S. government does not give the public access to a census until 72 years after it’s taken.
- Residents of Alaska and Hawaii were included in the census although neither was a state in 1940 and wouldn’t become one for another 19 years. American Samoa, Guam, the Panama Canal Zone, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands were also covered.
- Because this was the first census after the Great Depression, many questions focused on unemployment, income, and government assistance programs.