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1940 Census FAQs

Below are answers to frequently asked questions about the 1940 Census. If you have a question that hasn't been answered here, please email us at inquire@nara.gov.

 

Accordion

The 1940 Census population schedules have been available for research since April 2, 2012.

The National Archives and Records Administration provides free online access to the 1940 Census at 1940census.archives.gov. Researchers may search the 1940 Census using NARA's public access computers at any NARA research facility or using any other computer connected to the Internet.

No. NARA's 1940 Census website is free. Users can download the results of their searches.

The National Archives does not currently have a name index to the 1940 Census. However, Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org are both working on indexing projects.

You can locate people by identifying the enumeration district in which they lived in 1940 and then browsing the census population schedules for that enumeration district. The National Archives has placed copies of the enumeration district maps and descriptions in the National Archives Catalog. For more information, see How to Start Your 1940 Census Research.

There are other sources that may provide addresses from around 1940. For more information, see How to Start Your 1940 Census Research.

A list of questions, including those on the supplemental schedules, is available on our website. See Questions Asked on the 1940 Census.

The supplemental questions were asked for the people listed on two lines on each page of the census schedules (about a five-percent sample of the census). The supplemental schedule asked:

  • The place of birth of the person's father and mother;
  • The language spoken in earliest childhood home;
  • If the person was a veteran;
  • If the person was a child whose father was a veteran;
  • If the veteran served in a specific war or in peacetime military service;
  • For persons 14 years old or older, if the person had a Social Security number or had deductions for Federal Old Age Insurance or Railroad Retirement made in 1939;
  • The person's usual occupation (not just what they were doing the week of March 24-30, 1940, when the census was taken); and
  • For all women who were or had been married, if the woman had been married more than once, her age at first marriage, and the number of children born.

There are 10 separate codes on the census. The Bureau of the Census entered the codes at their headquarters after the enumerator shipped the census schedules to Washington, DC. A complete list of occupational and industrial codes is available at Occupation and Industry Classifications.

The National Archives will certify copies of pages in the 1940 Census. Please visit the National Archives or send your request to inquire@nara.gov. Please see our Reproduction Fee Schedule for current reproduction fees.

Yes. The entire 1940 Census and copies of schedules from individual states are available in digital format.  Please email inquire@nara.gov for more information.

No. You can only order the entire census or the schedules from individual states from us. However, you can go to the 1940 Census website and download all images for a particular county or enumeration district for free.

 

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