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Research Guides

U.S. Decennial Census: 1890

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

About the 1890 census

Highlights

  • 11th decennial census
  • US population: 62,947,714
  • Washington population: 349,390
  • Electrical tabulating machines first used.
  • First census to use a separate questionnaire for each household.

Questions asked

Address; name; relationship to head of family; race; sex; age; marital status; number of families in house; number of persons in house; number of persons in family; whether a soldier, sailor or marine during Civil War (Union or Confederate) or widow of such person; whether married during census year; for women, number of children born, and number now living; place of birth of person and parents; if foreign born, number of years in the U.S., whether naturalized or whether naturalization papers had been taken out; profession, trade, or occupation; months unemployed during census year; months attended school during census year; literacy; whether able to speak English, and if not, language or dialect spoken; whether suffering from acute or chronic disease, with name of disease and length of time afflicted; whether defective in mind, sight, hearing or speech, or whether crippled, maimed, or deformed, with name of defect; whether a prisoner, convict, homeless child, or pauper; home rented or owned by head or member of family; if owned by head or member, whether mortgaged; if head of family a farmer, whether farm rented or owned by him or member of his family; if owned, whether mortgaged; if mortgaged, post office address of owner. Supplemental schedules for the Indian population; for persons who died during the year; insane; feeble-minded and idiots; deaf; blind; diseased and physically defective; inmates of benevolent institutions; prisoners; paupers and indigent persons; surviving soldiers, sailors, and marines, and widows of such; inmates of soldier's homes.

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

Vol I: Report on population of the United States (2 pts)
[HA201 1980 .R47 1993 v.1

From the Census Bureau

Vol II: Report on the Insane, feeble-minded, deaf and dumb, and blind in the United States
[HA201 1980 .R47 1993 v.2]

From the Census Bureau

Vol III: Report on crime, pauperism, and benevolence (2 pts)
[HA201 1980 .R47 1993 v.3]

From the Census Bureau

Vol IV: Report on vital and social statistics (4 pts)
[HA201 1980 .R47 1993 v.4]

From the Census Bureau

Vol V: Reports on the statistics of agriculture
[HA201 1980 .R47 1993 v.5]

From the Census Bureau

Vol VI: Report on manufacturing industries (3 pts)
[HA201 1980 .R47 1993 v.6]

From the Census Bureau

Vol VII: Report on mineral industries
[HA201 1980 .R47 1993 v.7]

From the Census Bureau

Vol VIII: Report on population and resources of Alaska
[HA201 1980 .R47 1993 v.8]

From the Census Bureau

Vol IX: Report on statistics of churches
[HA201 1980 .R47 1993 v.9]
(Note: pages 713 and 795-812 missing from edition on Census website)

From the Census Bureau

Vol X: Report on Indians taxed and Indians not taxed
[HA201 1980 .R47 1993 v.10]

From the Census Bureau

Vol XI: Report on insurance business (2 pts)
[HA201 1980 .R47 1993 v.11]

From the Census Bureau

Vol XII: Report on real estate mortgages
[HA201 1980 .R47 1993 v.12]

From the Census Bureau

Vol XIII: Report on farms and homes: Proprietorship and indebtedness
[HA201 1980 .R47 1993 v.13]

From the Census Bureau

Vol XIV: Report on transportation business (2 pts)
[HA201 1980 .R47 1993 v.14]

From the Census Bureau

Vol XV: Report on wealth, debt, and taxation (2 pts)
[HA201 1980 .R47 1993 v.15]

From the Census Bureau

Compendium of the Eleventh Census (3 pts)
[HA201 1890 .C66 1894]

From the Census Bureau

Abstract
[HA201 1890 .A27 1896, HA201 1890 .A27 1894]

n/a

Statistical atlas of the United States
[HA201 1890 .S73 1898]

From American Memory

Special census report on the occupations of the population of the United States
[HA201 1890 .S64 1896]

From the Census Bureau

Vital Statistics of New York and Brooklyn covering a period of six years ending May 31, 1890
[HA201 1890 .N5 1894]

From the Census Bureau

Vital statistics of the District of Columbia and Baltimore covering a period of six years ending…
[HA201 1890 .W3 1893]

From the Census Bureau

The five civilized tribes in Indian territory: The Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, and Seminole Nations.
[Microfiche M-5003, no. I1207-1]

From the Census Bureau

Indians. Eastern bank of Cherokees of North Carolina
[Microfiche M-5003, no. I1207-3]

From the Census Bureau

Indians. The Six Nations of New York. Cayugas, Mohawks (Saint Regis), Oneidas, Onondagas, Senecas, Tuscaroras.
[Microfiche M-5003, no. I1207-2]

From the Census Bureau

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. Virtually all of the 1890 schedules were destroyed by a fire in 1921. 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).