United States Census, 1950 - FamilySearch Historical Records

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United States
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Record Description
Record Type Census Population Schedules
Record Group RG 29: Records of the Bureau of the Census, 1790-2007
Collection years 1950
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
National Archives and Records Administration

What is in This Collection?[edit | edit source]

Index to the population schedules of the Seventeenth Census of the United States,1950. The collection is part of Record Group 29, Records of the Bureau of the Census. The schedules cover the 48 states as well as Alaska, Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, Panama Canal Zone, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. The census will identify the place of residence on April 1, 1950 for each person counted.

Federal census takers were asked to record information about all those who were in a household on the census day, which was April 1 for the 1950 census. A census taker might have visited a house on a later date, but the information collected was supposed to have been about the people who were in the residence on the census day. The basic census enumeration unit was the county. Each county was divided into enumeration districts, one for each enumerator. The completed forms were then sent to the Census Office of the Commerce Department in Washington, D.C. The 1950 census covers 95 to 97 percent of the population.

Population schedules consist of large sheets with rows and columns. The schedules are arranged by state, county, place, and enumeration district. The districts are not always filed in sequential order. The arrangement of families on a schedule is usually in the order in which the enumerator visited the households.

The 1950 United States Census Population Schedules include: all states plus American Samoa and Guam, Consular Services, Panama Canal Zone, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.

The U.S. federal census has been taken at the beginning of every decade, beginning in 1790, to apportion the number of representatives a state could send to the House of Representatives. In the absence of a national system of vital registration, many vital statistics and personal questions were asked to provide a statistical profile of the nation and its states.

Federal censuses are usually reliable, depending on the knowledge of the informant and the care taken by the census enumerator. Realize that any family member or even a neighbor may have supplied information to the census taker. Some information may have been incorrect or deliberately falsified.

Additional records and/or images may be added to this collection in the future.

Image Visibility[edit | edit source]

Whenever possible FamilySearch makes images and indexes available for all users. However, rights to view these data are limited by contract and subject to change. Because of this there may be limitations on where and how images and indexes are available or who can see them. Please be aware some collections consist only of partial information indexed from the records and do not contain any images. For additional information about image restrictions see Restrictions for Viewing Images in FamilySearch Historical Record Collections.

To Browse This Collection[edit | edit source]

You can browse through images in this collection using the waypoints on Historical Images for United States 1950 Census.

What Can These Records Tell Me?[edit | edit source]

The following information may be found in these records: "Form P1, Population and Housing Schedule."
Household Information

For All Persons

  • 7. Name: What is the name of the head of this household? Name: What are the names of all other persons who live here?
List in this order: The head; His wife; Unmarried sons and daughters (in order of age); Married sons and daughters and their families; Other relatives; Other persons such as lodgers, roomers, maids, or hired hands, who live in, and their relatives
  • 8. Relationship. Enter relationship of person to head of the household, as Head, Wife, Daughter, Grandson, Mother-in-law, Lodger, Lodger's wife, Maid, Hired hand, Patient, etc.
  • 9. Race
  • 10. Sex: (M) Male, (F) Female
  • 11. How old was he on his last birthday
  • 12. Is he now married, widowed, divorced, separated, or never married
  • 13. What State (or foreign country) was he born in? If born outside Continental United States, enter name of Territory, possession, or foreign country. Distinguish Canada -French from Canada other
  • 14. If foreign born, is the person naturalized ?

For Persons 14 Years of Age and Over

  • 15. What was this person doing most of last week--working, keeping house, or something else ? ("WK" working; "H" keeping house; "U" unable to work; "Ot" other)
  • 16. Did this person do any work at all last week, not counting work around the house ?
  • 17. Was this person looking for work ?
  • 18. Even though he didn't work last week, does he have a job or business ?
  • 19. How Many Hours Did He Work Last Week ?
  • 20.a. What kind of work does the person do ? b. What kind of business or industry is the person in ? c. Class of worker the person is. ("P" private employment; "G" government employment; "O" own business; "NP" working

Supplemental Questions: Every 5th person enumerated was asked the following questions
For All Ages

  • 21. Was he living in this same household a year ago ? (Yes/No)
  • 22. If no in item 21. Was he living on a farm a year ago ? (Yes/No)
  • 23. If no in item 21. Was he living in this same county a year ago ? (Yes/No)
  • 24. If no in item 23. What county and state was he living in a year ago ?
  • 24.a. County. (If county unknown, enter name of place or nearest place.
  • 24.b. State or foreign country
  • 25. What country were his father and mother born in ? (Enter US or name of territory, possession, or foreign country) Father; Mother
  • 26. What is the highest grade of school that he has attended ?
  • 27. Did he finish this grade ? (Yes/No)
  • 28. Has he attended school at any time since February 1st? (For those under 30 years of age check yes or no. For those 30 years old or over, check 30 or over)
  • 29. If looking for work (Yes in item 17-) How any weeks has he been looking for work? (Number of weeks)
  • 30. Last Year, in how many weeks did this person do any work at all, not counting work around the house ? (Number of weeks in 1949)

For Persons 14 years old and older

  • 31. Income Received by this person in 1949
  • 31.a. Last year(1949), how much money did he earn working as an employee for wages or salary ?
  • 31.b. Last year, how much money did he earn working his own business, profession practice or farm ?
  • 31.c. Last year, how much money did he receive from interest, dividends, veteran's allowances, pensions, rents, or other income, (aside from earnings) ?
  • 32. If this person is a family head (see definition below) -- Income received by his relatives in this household:
  • 32.a. Last year (1949), how much money did his relatives in this household earn working for wages or salary (before taxes and other deductions)?
  • 32.b. Last year (1949), how much money did his relatives in this household earn in their own business, professional practice, or farm (net income)?
  • 32.c. Last year, how much money did his relatives in this household receive from interest, dividends, veteran’s allowances, pensions, rents, or other income (excluding salary or wages)?
  • 33. If male, did he ever serve in the U.S. Armed Forces during:
  • 33.a. World War I (April 6,1917-November 11, 1918)
  • 33.b. World War II (September 16, 1940, to July 25, 1947)
  • 33.c. Any other time including present service? (Yes/No)
  • 34. To enumerator: If worked last year (1 or more weeks in Item 30): Is there any entry in Items 20a, 20b, or 20c? If Yes: Skip to Item 36; If No: Make entries in Items 35a, 35b, and 35c.
  • 35a. What kind of work did this person do in his last job?
  • 35b. What kind of business or industry did he work in?
  • 35c. Class of worker (P, G, O, or NP, as in Item 20c).
  • 36. If ever married (Mar, Wd, D, or Sep in Item 12): Has this person been married more than once? (check box for Yes or No)
  • 37. If Mar: How many years since this person was (last) married?
If Wd: How many hears since this person was widowed?
If D: How many years since this person was divorced?
If Sep: How many years since this person was separated? (Enter number of years or check Less than 1 year.)
  • 38. If female and ever married (Mar, Wd, D, or Sep in Item 12): How many children has she ever borne, not counting stillbirths? (Enter number of children or None.)

Collection Content[edit | edit source]

Sample Images[edit | edit source]

How Do I Search This Collection?[edit | edit source]

Before searching this collection, it is helpful to know:

  • Name of the person
  • Residence
  • Names of other persons in the household

Search the Index[edit | edit source]

Search by name on the Collection Details Page.
  1. Fill in the search boxes in the Search Collection section with the information you know
  2. Click Search to show possible matches

This collection has a Keyword search available. The Keyword search can be found in the Add Record Options section of the Collection Details page. This allows you to search in the residence (name of street and house number), marital status, and occupation fields.

On the census form these fields are questions number 1, Name of street, avenue, or road; 2, House (and apartment) number; 12, Is he now married, widowed, divorced, separated, or never married; and 20a, What kind of work was he doing?

View the Images[edit | edit source]

View images in this collection on Historical Images. You can also search these images by Enumeration District (ED) number.

How Do I Analyze the Results?[edit | edit source]

Compare each result from your search with what you know to determine if there is a match. This may require viewing multiple records or images. Keep track of your research in a research log.

What Do I Do Next?[edit | edit source]

I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]

  • Add any new information to your records
  • If available, check the image for additional information
  • Analyze the entry to see if it provides additional clues to find other records of the person or their family

I Can’t Find the Person I’m Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]

  • Try searching by surname only
  • The person may be recorded with an abbreviated or variant form of their name
  • Remember that spelling was generally not standardized until the early part of the 20th century

Research Helps[edit | edit source]

The following articles will help you in your research for your family in the United States.

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Citing This Collection[edit | edit source]

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Collection Citation:
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