1950 - 17th Population Census of the United States

Individual Census Records from 1790 to 1950 are maintained by the National Archives and Records Administration, not the U.S. Census Bureau.

The 1950 census started on April 1, 1950 from What day was the census taken each decade? at the United States Census Bureau. The release date for public viewing of the 1950 Federal Census was 12:01 April 1, 2022. This is the standard 72 years after the census started collecting data for privacy reasons.

Indexing the Allen County, Indiana 1950 Census for 184,128 names in all 20 townships was completed June 10, 2022 by Allen County Genealogical Society of Indiana volunteers. The official population count for Allen County was 183,722, but the index included a few additional names which were not included in the official count.

Family Histories and Beyond: Investigations in 1950 U.S. Census Sheets Scheduled for Oct 13, 2022 by US National Archives on YouTube.
In April 2022, the manuscript records of the 1950 U.S. census were finally made public. They represent a matchless resource for all who want to know more about their families, communities, and this country. Join a panel of experts from leading libraries across the United States as they show us how these new records can help extend, expand, and enrich the picture we draw from genealogical investigations. Dan Bouk, author of Democracy’s Data will moderate a discussion with Elizabeth Hodges from the Genealogy Center, Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, IN; Philip Sutton from the Milstein Division of United States History, Local History & Genealogy at the New York Public Library, and Bob Timmermann from the History & Genealogy Department of the Los Angeles Public Library. See also: Family Histories and Beyond: Investigations in 1950 U.S. Census Sheets at The National Archives. Their October 13, 2022 event notice on Facebook showed an Image: Electronic statistical machine used in the 1950 Census, 1950.

Genealogy Series: Overview of What's in the 1950 Census (2022 March 2) posted March 2, 2022 by the US National Archive on YouTube.

1950 Census: Overview of Website Features published April 1, 2022 by the US National Archives on YouTube, their description:
A brief demonstration of the website features for the 1950 Census release, presented by Michael L. Knight, Web Branch Chief for the Office of Innovation (Digital Engagement Division) at the National Archives and Records Administration. A longer and more detailed version of this video exploring the design, development, and features of the 1950 Census website can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xp-jt.
Additional videos covering the genealogical aspects of the 1950 Census can be viewed in this playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list.
More information and access to the 1950 Census: https://www.archives.gov/1950Census

  1. Indexing the Allen County, Indiana 1950 Census for 184,128 names in all 20 townships was completed June 10, 2022 by Allen County Genealogical Society of Indiana volunteers. The official population count for Allen County was 183,722, but the index included a few additional names which were not included in the official count.
  2. 1950 Census Records: https://www.archives.gov/research/census/1950 resources at The National Archives is the official website.
    1. 1950 Census Official 1950 Census Website is https://1950census.archives.gov/ released by the U.S. National Archives on April 1, 2022. This website provides full access to the 1950 census images, including population schedules, enumeration district maps, and enumeration district descriptions. It is AI, Artificial Intelligence, indexed and searchable by name and location with a tool available to offer corrections to transcription errors.
    2. Questions Asked on the 1950 Census: https://1950census.archives.gov/howto/questions-asked.html
    3. Finding Aids for the 1950 Census: https://1950census.archives.gov/howto/finding-aids.html
    4. Enumeration District (ED) Maps: https://1950census.archives.gov/howto/ed-maps.html
    5. 1950 Census Allen County, Indiana 70 Enumeration District search results: https://1950census.archives.gov/search/?county=Allen&page=1&state=IN
    6. 1950 Census Indiana 5,679 Enumeration District search results: https://1950census.archives.gov/search/?page=1&state=IN
    7. The National Archiveshas a playlist with over 15 videos about the 1950 Census.
    8. Ancestry.com site is Welcome to the 1950 U.S. Census Explore a new chapter in your family story. Indexing starts April 1, 2022 and will be complete Summer 2022. Has additional information on 1950 living and more. Ancestry® to Apply Handwriting Recognition Artificial Intelligence to Create a Searchable Index of the 1950 U.S. Census by the Ancestry Team posted January 27, 2022. Ancestry Releases Entire 1950 Census Index! How to Use It for Your Genealogy! Streamed live on May 4, 2022 by Genealogy with Amy Johnson Crow. Ancestry just released their entire index for the 1950 Census! Get a first look at how the search compares to the National Archives' index, some limitations, and how you can work around the mis-indexed names. Ancestry releases 1950 index by Judy G. Russell posted May 5, 2022 on The Legal Genealogist blog.
    9. Ancestry® Proprietary Artificial Intelligence-Powered Handwriting Recognition Technology Processes Over 150 Million Records from the 1950 U.S. Census in Only 9 Days at Ancestry.com.
    10. FamilySearch.org site is 1950 U.S. Census Community Project with volunteer indexing, links to famous Americans in the census, 1950 living, and more.
    11. My Heritage indexed images site states: The images of the 1950 Census are already available on our site. Searching for people by name will be possible a few days after April 1, 2022, as we build a robust and complete search index for the 1950 Census. This new index will be completed by the end of June 2022. Additional information: MyHeritage Publishes the 1950 U.S. Census — Search for FREE!
    12. How do I cite this newly released 1950 census‽ See Evidence Explained suggestion April 1, 2022 on Facebook.
    13. Can you browse the census images without searching the index? See April 1, 2022 post by Genealogy Tip of the day on Facebook.
  3. *Special Edition* 1950 Census Records compares the 1950 Census with current census statistics.
  4. Explore 1950 Census Resources on New Archives.gov Page  by Victoria Macchi on National Archives News published January, 21, 2022 by The National Archives.
  5. See the 1950 Overview at the United States Census Bureau.
  6. 1950 Census Release Will Offer Enhanced Digital Access, Public Collaboration Opportunity published December 14, 2021 by US National Archives on Facebook .
  7. "PROJECT 1950" FOR US CENSUS LOCATIONAL SEARCHES - Steve Morse project is preparing searchable ED definitions and street indexes for the opening of the 1950 Census.
  8. Snapshot USA: 1950 Census Enumeration District Maps posted on June 8, 2016 by Ellen Mulligan on The National ArchivesUnwritten Records Blog.
  9. March 3, 2022 FamilySearch.orgon Facebook at RootsTech 2022 posted a one-hour video on how to review and improve the census index after Ancestry computer assisted indexing searches the original handwriting of the 1950 Census. See the FamilySearch.org1950 Census Page and How Indexing the 1950 Census Will Be Different by Jason Wright posted January 27, 2022.
  10. Getting Ready for the 1950 Census by Amy Johnson Crow has interesting tips for how to get ready for the 1950 census.
  11. Countdown to the Release of the 1950 U.S. Census by Jenny Ashcraft published March 18, 2022 on Newspapers.com has links to interesting newspaper articles about the census published over the years.
  12. ‘Gold mine’ of census records being released from 1950 by Mike Schneider published April 1, 2022 on APNews.com.
  13. Seven Decades Later, the 1950 Census Bares Its Secrets Federal law kept the answers on millions of census forms secret for 72 years. The forms went online on Friday, a bonanza for historians, genealogists and the merely curious. An unlocked article by Michael Wines published March 31, 2022 in an unlocked New York Times newspaper article.
  14. Ancestry Releases Entire 1950 Census Index! video by Amy Johnson Crow posted May 4, 2022 on Facebook. Ancestry just released their entire index for the 1950 Census!
  15. May 13 - National Census Bureau 1950s census data becomes available to public by Emeline Hawkins published May 13, 2022 for Greater Fort Wayne Business Weekly.
  16. Using Newspapers to Learn More from the 1950 U.S. Census by Karen Lee posted July 22, 2022 on Newspapers.com.

An April 9, 2022 post by Crista Cowan is at Ancestry.comon Facebook stated:

Ever wonder how big the original census pages really were?

Join me in giving a really big shoutout to the Ancestry Content team for providing this “to scale” printout. Oh, and - you know - all the AMAZING work on getting the 1950 census online for us.

ancestry #genealogy #census #1950census #familyhistory #scalemodel

Census Instructions

The decennial census has always required a large workforce to visit and collect data from households. Between 1790 to 1870, the duty of collecting census data fell upon the U.S. Marshals. A March 3, 1879 act replaced the U.S. Marshals with specially hired and trained census-takers to conduct the 1880 and subsequent censuses.

During the early censuses, U.S. Marshalls received little training or instruction on how to collect census data. In fact, it was not until 1830 that marshals even received printed shedules on which to record households' responses. The marshals often received limited instruction from the census acts passed prior to each census. 

Beginning with the 1880 census, specially hired and trained census-takers replaced the U.S. marshals. Door-to-door census by temporary census-takers was the primary method of conducting the census until the U.S. Census Bureau began mailing questionnaires to households in 1960.

As more and more households received and returned their questionnaires by mail, the role of census-taker changed. Today, the majority of households are counted by mailed questionnaires. Census-takers visit places frequented by transient households (shelters and soup kitchens, campsites, etc.) and households that do not return their mailed questionnaires (during the "Nonresponse Follow-Up" phase of the census). As a result, the "Instructions to Enumerators" provided here include the congressional acts U.S. marshalls reviewed during the early census, specially-published instructions for door-to-door census, and lastly, guides used for the limited number of personal interviews conducted during nonresponse follow-up operations.

Copied from the Census Intructions at the United States Census Bureau that has the 1950 Instructions.


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Page updated: January 24, 2023