1940 Census United States – Census Form Headings

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United States go to U.S. Census go to 1940 Census go to 1940 Census United States – Census Form Headings

Information from the 1940 Census[edit | edit source]

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[edit | edit source]

The following sections and numbers correlate with the headings, columns and questions found on the 1940 Federal Population Schedule.[1]


1. Street, Avenue or road
2. House Number

Household Data:

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

Personal Description:

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)

Farm Schedule

34. Number of Farm schedule

Census Sampling Questions[edit | edit source]

  • 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)

Additional Information[edit | edit source]

  • 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:[1]
Key to Symbols and Explanatory Notes
Column Number and Heading Codes Used Code Meaning
Column 10:
Color or Race
Column 11:
Age at Last Birthday

April 1939
May 1939
June 1939
July 1939
August 1939
September 1939
October 1939
November 1939
December 1939
January 1940
February 1940

Column 14:
Highest Grade of
School Completed
1 to 8
H-1 to H-4
C1 to C4
Elementary School, 1st to 8th
High School, 1st to 4th year
College, 1st to 4th year
College, 5th year or more
Column 16:
Citizenship of
the Foreign Born
Am Cit

Having First Papers
American Citizen Born Abroad

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:
War or
Military Service




World War
Spanish-American War; Philippine
Insurrection or Boxer Rebellion
Spanish-American War & World War
Regular Establishment or
Peace-Time Service
Other War or Expedition

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 "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.