Discusses Some Questions about 1940 Census Records

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The United States has been collecting census records since 1790, most of which have been digitized. There’s a 72-year access restriction in place, but anyone can access the US census records from 1940 and 1950. People often use the information for genealogical and academic research, and now, most publically available census records can be viewed online, making it easier than ever for average Americans to perform active and accurate historical research, according to Before diving into the 1940 census for the first time, read on to find answers to some questions that have been asked.

What Is the Purpose of the 1940 Census?

The most common modern use for the 1940 census is genealogical research, More questions have been added since then, though. Researchers can browse around this site to learn more about the history and evolution of the US census.

Why Did the Government Wait Until 2012 to Release the 1940 Census Data?

The US government could not release the 2012 census data until 72 years after it was first collected. The purpose of this 72-year waiting period is to protect the privacy of those who answered the census, with 72 years being the average lifespan at the time the rule was put into place. The 72-year waiting period means that the 1950 Census released by U.S. National Archives is now available to the public, as well.

How Many People Were Counted During the 1940 Census?

There were 131,669,275 people counted in the continental US on the 1940 census. Data was also gathered on an additional 2,477,023 people who lived in American territories. At the time, those included Alaska Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, the American Virgin Islands, and the Panama Canal Zone.

Why Would Anyone Want to See 1940 Census Data?

Most people are interested in 1940 census data because it offers information about both individual Americans and historical trends. Many people use the information in the course of performing genealogical research. As long as the researchers know the names of their family members who were alive and living in the United States when the census was taken, they should be able to find additional information.

How Can People Find Relevant Information in the 1940 Census?

While the Federal government made the 1940 census data publically available in 2012, they were not under any obligation to organize it in an easy-to-search way. The only way to access data about a specific person living in America in 1940 using the Federal database is to search by location or enumeration district. People who want to search for specific people need to use a separate service such as Genealogy Bank.

Start Researching Family History Online

People ready to start learning more about their ancestors or the general American population have two options. They can either explore the US census directly or enlist the help of a third-party service to search for relevant information. Get the search started today.

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