North Dakota Census

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Online Federal Censuses[edit | edit source]

Population Schedules[edit | edit source]

Starting in 1790, federal population schedules were taken every 10 years in the United States. Click here for more information about federal census records.

North Dakota was admitted as a State on 2 November 1889. It was formed from Dakota Territory, which was formed in 1861.

In 1850 census coverage of present-day North Dakota was limited to a few settlements in what was then Minnesota Territory. In 1860, some forts and settlements in the present State were enumerated in Nebraska Territory as well as in Dakota, which was not yet organized. No determination has been made to assign the 1860 Dakota total of 4,837 to what became the two separate States. Census coverage first included the whole State in 1890.[1]

The 1870 and 1880 populations consist of the totals of those counties of Dakota Territory located wholly or primarily in what is now North Dakota, plus (in 1870) an estimated portion of the Territory's unorganized part. The 1890 total includes the population (4,206) of the entire Standing Rock Indian Reservation, much of which was in South Dakota.[2]

United States Federal Censuses with Online Links[edit | edit source]
1850 1860 1870 1880 1890 1900
1910 1920 1930 1940 1950 1960
NARA Index
FamilySearch Images
Release Date
April 1, 2032

Non-Population Schedules for North Dakota[edit | edit source]

Federal non-population schedules included such things mortality schedules, agriculture schedules, slave schedules, and manufacturing schedules.

Year Type of Census Links
1860 Mortality $
1870 Mortality $
1880 Mortality $
1870 Agriculture South Dakota State Historical Society. A transcribed pdf of the Dakota Territory Agriculture Census.

Existing and Lost Censuses[edit | edit source]

Online State and Territorial Censuses[edit | edit source]

State censuses are census records that were taken at the state-level rather than at the federal. Often, but not always, a state took their census in ten year increments 5 years from when the Federal Census was taken, such as 1885. State censuses can even serve as substitutes for missing federal censuses. For more information on state censuses, visit United States Census Bureau.

Territorial censuses were taken by the federal government to count the population in federal territories. The government needed to count the population in the territory to see if it could qualify for statehood. For more information on territorial censuses, visit the US Territorial Census page.

Year Type of Census Links
1857 Territorial (then part of the Minnesota territory) FamilySearch - index and images ($) - index and images
1885 Territorial ($) - index and images
North Dakota State University Archives - index
1915 State FamilySearch - index and images ($) - index and images
1925 State FamilySearch - index and images ($) - index and images

Microfilm Images[edit | edit source]

Indian Census Rolls of North Dakota[edit | edit source]

Indian rolls, Turtle Mountain, 1910-1939 Indian census rolls, Ft. Berthold, 1889-1939
Indian census rolls, Fort Totten, 1906-1939 Males over 18 years of age, 1889
Indian rolls, Devils Lake Agency, 1885-1905 Standing Rock Agency census, 1876-1939
Turtle Mountain Chippewa, Roulete, ND, 1900

Why Use the Census?[edit | edit source]

State census records can be one of the easiest ways to locate where an ancestor's family lived and when they lived there. Information varies based on year and location, but information that may be included in a census can include:

  • Name of each person in the family at the time the census was taken
  • Street or Avenue, or number Rural Free Delivery
  • Sex
  • Age
  • Color
  • Nativity
  • Place of birth of this person
  • Place of birth of Father of this person
  • Place of birth of Mother of this person
  • Period of Residence
  • How long a resident of this State (years and months)
  • How long a resident of this enumeration district (years and months)
  • Regular occupation
  • Military service

References[edit | edit source]

  1. World Population Review, "North Dakota Boundary, Census, and Statehood History" in North Dakota Population 2021,, accessed 3 November 2021.
  2. Ibid.