The 1950 United States census was released by the National Archives and Records Administration on April 1, 2022. Now those images are freely available for browsing on FamilySearch.org.
While a comprehensive index to these records is being reviewed and published, the census can be browsed by location. Once the 1950 United States Census Community Project is completed, text-search capability will be available for all the names in the census.
Read more below about using the 1950 United States census image collection, or, if you’ve searched records by image before and want to jump right in, you can browse images now.
Accessing the 1950 United States Census Image Collection
The 1950 census includes more than 6.5 million images. To find them on the FamilySearch site, visit the 1950 United States census map page. The new explore-images experience features a map that shows each state and territory included in the census.
Using the Map to Find and Browse Images
Clicking a state or territory on the map exposes the next level of navigation, typically at the county level. Clicking a county name allows you to see all enumeration districts in that county. (An enumeration district is a geographical area that was assigned to one census-taker.) Each row on the list of districts represents a distinct district, and a description of the district can be found in the Volume field for that row.
Municipalities with populations of more than 50,000 include multiple enumeration districts, so the descriptions will help you distinguish between them. Each district may include just one census image, or it may include multiple images, depending on its size. You can see all images for a district by clicking on the row for that district in the results.
To find people in the 1950 census before the index is published, check where they might have been living in April 1950. For help learning where someone lived or for help identifying which ancestors to look for, see Will Your Ancestors Be in the 1950 Census?
Additional Resources for Identifying Enumeration Districts
Ancestry recently released a 1950 census district finder that allows people to drill down or search for a specific address to locate the correct enumeration district.
Stephen Morse and Joel Weintraub have updated their Unified Census ED Finder to include the 1950 census. Here are some instructions for using this resource.
- Select 1950 as the census year at the top of the finder page.
- Select the state and county in the fields provided on the page.
- Select the city or town (which is shown if the county had multiple enumeration districts).
- Enter additional street or address information (available only for larger municipalities).
- Add one or more cross streets if they are known and available.
With each bit of information you add to the form, the page updates with a list of links for matching 1950 enumeration district numbers. Clicking the link to the enumeration district takes you to the Universal 1950 Census Image Viewer, with also a link to view those images on FamilySearch.org.
Start exploring the 1950 United States census today to find your family!