1940 Census United States – Census Form Headings
Information from the 1940 Census
The 1940 Census gives the same basic information obtained from previous census years: name, age, place of birth, family relationships, place of residence, gender, education, and citizenship. There are a few new questions asked that would help in genealogical research.
- 1. Name of informant: (Column 7): An “X” is placed by the name of the person giving the information. This would then allow knowing the credibility of the information given.
- 2. Individual present or absent (Column 7): Those who usually live in the home but currently not there were to be marked with “Ab” as being absent from the home.
- 3. Residence as of April 1 1935 (Columns 17-20). These series of questions help to establish a residence of 5 years previous.
- 4. Education (Columns 13-14): A broader spectrum of level of education is given.
- 5. Employment (Columns 23-33): Specific questions about employment, unemployment and income give greater insights into the lives of the people.
- 6. Census Sampling used (2 lines from each page) A few more questions were asked concerning native language, parents’ place of birth, veterans and employment.
1940 Census Form Categories
The following sections and numbers correlate with the headings, columns and questions found on the 1940 Federal Population Schedule.
- 1. Street, Avenue or road
- 2. House Number
- 3. Number of Household in order of visitation
- 4. Home owned (O) or rented (R)
- 5. Value of home or Monthly rental if rented
- 6. Farm (Yes or No)
- Names were written for those whose usual place of residence on April 1, 1940, was in this household
- “Ab” was written after names of persons temporarily absent from household
- “Infant” was written for children under age 1 who had not been named
- An “X” was written after the name of the person furnishing the information.
- 7. Name of Person
- 8. Relationship of the person to the head of household
- 9. Sex
- 10. Color or Race
- 11. Age at Last Birthday
- 12. Marital Status
- 13. Attend school or college at any time since March 1, 1940
- 14. Highest grad of school completed
Place of Birth:
- If in the US give state, territory or possession
- If foreign born, give country in which birthplace was situated on Jan 1, 1937
- Distinguish : Canada-French from Canada-English and Irish Free State from Northern Ireland
- 15. Where born:
- 16. Citizenship of the foreign born
Place of Residence on April 1 1935 (if the person lived in a different place):
- 17. City, town or village having 2600 or more inhabitants (enter “R” if less)
- 18. County
- 19. State (or Territory or foreign country)
- 20. On a Farm (Y or N)?
Persons 14 years old and over – Employment Status:
- 21. Working for pay or profit in private or nonemergency Government work during week of March 24-30? (Y or N)
- 22. If not, worked on or assigned to public Emergency Work (WPA, NYA, CCC, etc.) during week of March 24-30? (Y or N)
- If no to questions 21 and 22:
- 23. Was this person seeking work? (Y or N)
- 24. If not seeking work, did the person have a job (business, etc)? (Y or N)
- If no to questions 21-24:
- 25. Indicate whether engaged in home housework (H), in school (S), unable to work (U), or other (Or)
- If yes to question 21:
- 26. Number of hours worked March 24-30, 1940
- If yes to questions 22 or 23:
- 27. Duration of unemployment up to March 30, 1940 (in weeks)
- Occupation, Industry, and Class of Worker:
- If answered yes to questions 21, 22, 24: enter present occupation
- If answered yes to question 23: enter past occupation or work
- If no previous work experience: enter “New Worker” (leave columns 29 and 30 blank)
- 28. Trade, profession
- 29. Industry or business
- 30. Class of Worker
- 31. Number of weeks worked in 1939
- Income in 1939 (12 months ending Dec. 31, 1939):
- 32. Amount of money, wages or salary received (including commissions)
- 33. Did this person receive income of $50 or more from sources other than money wages or salary (Y or N)
- 34. Number of Farm schedule
Census Sampling Questions
- Persons whose names were listed on specific lines had the following additional questions:
- Note: Some census pages have lines 14, 29, 55, and 68 designated as the sampling question lines but other pages will have different line numbers.
For Persons of all ages (from labeled lines):
- 35. Name
- Place of Birth of Father and Mother:
- 36. Father’s Place of Birth
- 37. Mother’s Place of Birth
- Mother Tongue:
- 38. Language spoke in home in earliest childhood
- Veterans - Is this person a veteran or a wife, widow or child under 18 of a veteran?
- 39. If so, enter yes
- 40. If child, is the father dead?
- 41. War or military service
For Persons 14 years old and over (from labeled lines):
- Social Security:
- 42. Does the person have a Federal Social Security number? (Y or N)
- 43. Were deductions for Federal Old-Age Insurance or Railroad Retirement taken from this person’s wages or salary in 1939? (Y or N)
- 44. If so, were deductions made from (1) all, (2) one-half or more, (3) part, but less than half of pages or salary?
- Usual Occupation, Industry, and Class of Worker:
- What occupation does the person regard as his usually occupation and is physically able to do?
- If unable to determine, what occupation has the person worked the longest in the past 10 years and physically able to?
- For a person without previous work experience enter “None” on column 45 and skip columns 46 and 47.
- 45. Usual Occupation
- 46. Usual Industry
- 47. Usual Class of worker
For All Women who are or have been married:
- 48. Has this woman been married more than once (Y or N)
- 49. Age at first marriage
- 50. Number of children ever born (do not include stillborn)
- Columns listed with the alphabetical letters, A-Z, were for codes and office use only.
- The following table lists the meaning of symbols and Explanatory Notes:
|Key to Symbols and Explanatory Notes|
|Column Number and Heading||Codes Used||Code Meaning|
| Column 10:
Color or Race
| White |
| Column 11:
Age at Last Birthday
| Column 14:
Highest Grade of
1 to 8
H-1 to H-4
C1 to C4
| None |
Elementary School, 1st to 8th
High School, 1st to 4th year
College, 1st to 4th year
College, 5th year or more
| Column 16:
the Foreign Born
| Columns 30 and 47:
Class of Worker
| Wage/Salary Worker in Private Work |
Wage/Salary Worker in Gov't Work
Working on Own Account
Unpaid Family Worker
| Column 41:
| World War |
Spanish-American War; Philippine
Insurrection or Boxer Rebellion
Spanish-American War & World War
Regular Establishment or
Other War or Expedition
- "1940 Federal Population Census", The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, http://www.archives.gov/research/census/1940/general-info.html, accessed February 2012.