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Research Guides

U.S. Decennial Census: 1840

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

About the 1840 census

Highlights

  • 6th decennial census
  • US population: 17,069,453
  • First census to include questions about education

Questions asked

Name of head of family; age; sex; race; slaves; number of deaf and dumb; number of blind; number of insane and idiotic and whether in public or private charge; number of persons in each family employed in each of six classes of industry and one of occupation; literacy; pensioners for Revolutionary or military service.

For more information:

Coverage

 

For more information:

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

Statistics

Original printed reports (& online equivalents)

Print Versions in the Library

Online Versions

Sixth Census
[HA201 1840a, Microfiche M-5003, no. I705-1]

n/a

Statistics of the United States of America
[HA201 1840aa]

n/a

Census of Pensioners for revolutionary or military services
[HA201 1840ac]

n/a

Compendium
[HA201 1840ab]

n/a

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.

Contact

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).