The 1940 Census has arrived!

1940 Census

Download a blank copy of the 1940 census to see what information was asked by enumerators

Download Front - Obverse (PDF)
Download Back - Reverse (PDF)

Uncle Sam Calling

Listen to a radio program produced to promote and educate people about the 1940 census.

via Wikimedia Commons

Did You Know?

Back in 1870, it took 7 years to compile statistics from the facts taken by census takers

Herman Hollerith invented a 'unit tabulator.' This machine was fed cards containing census information at the rate of 400 a minute and from these, 12 separate bits of statistical information could be extracted.

Eugene M. La Boiteaux, Census Bureau inventor, turned out a smaller, more compact machine, which extracted 58 statistics from 150 cards per minute.

With the aid of this newer machine, statistical information from the 1940 census was expected to be compiled in 2 1/2 years. The secret of the machine lay in the cards. The written information taken by census takers was brought in and the data translated into code numbers which were punched on the card, and the legible data was locked up in vaults away from prying eyes. Cards were fed into the machine, sensitive steel fingers felt out the punches, set up electrical impulses, and in no time at all, the card set down on the large sheet just what statistic from each individual goes in what place!

Source: Library of Congress



72 Years in Waiting...

The 1940 census was released on April 2, 2012 and it's one of the most anticipated events in recent times for family historians


The digital images are be accessible free of charge at NARA facilities nationwide through NARA public access computers as well as on personal computers via the internet.

To learn more about the 1940 Census visit:

The National Archives - 1940 Census Records

1940 Census Research

1940 Census on


The census images will take some time to get indexed for searching on your favorite genealogy sites like, so if you'd like to find your research targets faster than skimming through thousands of images, here are some tips:

What was their address in or near 1940? The address of your family determines what Enumeration District (ED) they were in. There are many places you may find the address if you don't have one:

If you have an address:

Visit the page "Obtaining EDs for the 1910-1940 Census in One Step" by Stephen P. Morse to learn more.