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Research Guides

U.S. Decennial Census: 1820

Decade by decade information about how to access and use U.S. Census reports.

About the 1820 census


  • 4th decennial census
  • US population: 9,638,453
  • First census to ask about occupation/employment

Questions asked

Name of head of family; age; sex; race; foreigners not naturalized; slaves; industry (agriculture, commerce, and manufactures).

For more information:



For more information:

  • Map Guide to the U.S. Federal Censuses, 1790 - 1920 (GovPub Reference HA195 .T46 1987)


Original printed reports (& online equivalents)

Print Versions in the Library

Online Versions

Census for 1820
[HA201 1820 .C46 1821a, HA201 1820a, Microfiche M-5003, no. I505-1]

From the Census Bureau

Digest of accounts of manufacturing establishments in the United States, and of their manufactures
[HA201 1820 .D54 1823a, HA201 1820aa]


Multi-year census compilations (compare across years)

These tend to include statistics for large geographic areas (eg states) but can be very useful when comparing statistics over time.

See: list of all census compilations

Guides and Documentation

Encyclopedia of the U.S. Census.                   (GovPub Reference HA 37 .U55 C66 2000)
See the entry under "decennial census". Includes bibliography for each census.

See: list of all Guides and Documentation

Raw Data Files

These are computer files intended to be loaded into statistical sofware for analysis and creating your own tables. In some cases these files can be used with spreadsheet software as well.

See: list of raw data sources

Population Schedules

Census population schedules (or "name schedules" or "manuscript census") are copies of the original questionnaires collected during each decennial census. They list the individual names and family information of the people enumerated. Unlike the statistics published soon after the census, the population schedules remain confidential for 72 years. 1930 is the most recent population schedule available.


Need help?  Call the Government Publications, Maps, Microforms & Newspapers help desk at (206) 543-4164 during desk hours.  You can also consult the Ask Us! reference service (24/7).