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Research Guides

U.S. Decennial Census: 1950

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

About the 1950 census

Highlights

  • 17th decennial census
  • US population: 150,697,361
  • Washington population: 2,378,963

Questions asked

Information obtained from all persons: Address; whether house is on farm; name; relationship to head of household; race; sex; age; martial status; place of birth; if foreign born, whether naturalized; employment status; hours worked during week preceding enumeration; occupation, industry, and class of worker.

Information obtained from 20-percent sample: Whether living in same house a year ago; whether living on a farm a year ago; if not in same house, county and State of residence year ago; country of birth of parents; educational attainment; school attendance; if looking for work, number of weeks; weeks worked last year; for each person and each family, earnings last year from wages and salary, from self-employment; other income last year; veteran status.

Information obtained from 3-1/3 percent sample: For persons who worked last year but not in current labor force: occupation, industry, and class of worker on last job; if ever married, whether married more than once; duration of present marital status; for women ever married , number of children ever born.

Supplemental schedules for persons on Indian reservations; infants born in the first 3 months of 1950; Americans overseas.

For more information:

Statistics

Original printed reports (& online equivalents)

Print Versions in the Library

Online Versions

Census Of Population Vol. I: Number of Inhabitants
[HA201 1950 .U55 1952 v.1

From the Census Bureau

Census Of Population Vol. II: Characteristics of the Population
[HA201 1950 .U55 1952 v.2]

From the Census Bureau

Census Of Population Vol III: Census Tract Statistics
[HA201 1950 .U55 1952 v.3]

From the Census Bureau

Census Of Population Vol IV Special Reports. Employment and Personal Characteristics
[HA201 1950 .U55 1952 v.4 pt.1 no.1A]

From the Census Bureau

Census Of Population Vol IV Special Reports.Occupational Characteristics
[HA201 1950 .U55 1952 v.4 pt.1 no.1B]

From the Census Bureau

Census Of Population Vol IV Special Reports.Occupation by Industry
[HA201 1950 .U55 1952 v.4 pt.1 no.1C]

From the Census Bureau

Census Of Population Vol IV Special Reports. Industrial Characteristics
[HA201 1950 .U55 1952 v.4 pt.1 no.1D]

From the Census Bureau

Census Of Population Vol IV Special Reports. General Characteristics of Families
[HA201 1950 .U55 1952 v.4 pt.2 no.2A]

From the Census Bureau

Census Of Population Vol IV Special Reports. Institutional Population
[HA201 1950 .U55 1952 v.4 pt.2 no.2B]

From the Census Bureau

Census Of Population Vol IV Special Reports. Marital Status
[HA201 1950 .U55 1952 v.4 pt.2 no.2C]

From the Census Bureau

Census Of Population Vol IV Special Reports. Duration of Current Marital Status
[HA201 1950 .U55 1952 v.4 pt.2 no.2D]

From the Census Bureau

Census Of Population Vol IV Special Reports. Nativity and Parentage
[HA201 1950 .U55 1952 v.4 pt.3 no.3A]

From the Census Bureau

Census Of Population Vol IV Special Reports. Nonwhite Population by Race
[HA201 1950 .U55 1952 v.4 pt.3 no.3B]

From the Census Bureau

Census Of Population Vol IV Special Reports. Persons of Spanish Surname
[HA201 1950 .U55 1952 v.4 pt.3 no.3C]

From the Census Bureau

Census Of Population Vol IV Special Reports. Puerto Ricans in Continental United States
[HA201 1950 .U55 1952 v.4 pt.3 no.3D]

From the Census Bureau

Census Of Population Vol IV Special Reports. State of Birth
[HA201 1950 .U55 1952 v.4 pt.4 no.4A]

From the Census Bureau

Census Of Population Vol IV Special Reports. Population Mobility - States and State Economic Areas
[HA201 1950 .U55 1952 v.4 pt.4 no.4B]

From the Census Bureau

Census Of Population Vol IV Special Reports. Population Mobility - Farm - Nonfarm Movers
[HA201 1950 .U55 1952 v.4 pt.4 no.4C]

From the Census Bureau

Census Of Population Vol IV Special Reports. Population Mobility - Characteristics of Migrants
[HA201 1950 .U55 1952 v.4 pt.4 no.4D]

From the Census Bureau

Census Of Population Vol IV Special Reports. Characteristics by Size of Place
[HA201 1950 .U55 1952 v.4 pt.5 no.5A]

From the Census Bureau

Census Of Population Vol IV Special Reports. Education
[HA201 1950 .U55 1952 v.4 pt.5 no.5B]

From the Census Bureau

Census Of Population Vol IV Special Reports. Fertility
[HA201 1950 .U55 1952 v.4 pt.5 no.5C]

From the Census Bureau

Census of Housing Vol. I: General Characteristics
[HA201 1950 .A1 1952 v.1 pt.1-7

From the Census Bureau

Census of Housing Vol. II: Nonfarm Housing Characteristics
[HA201 1950 .A1 1952 v.2 pt.1-5]

From the Census Bureau

Census of Housing Vol. III: Farm Housing Characteristics
[HA201 1950 .A1 1952 v.3]

From the Census Bureau

Census of Housing Vol. IV: Residential Financing, Mortgaged Nonfarm Properties
[HA201 1950 .A1 1952 v.4 pt.1-2]

From the Census Bureau

Census of Housing Vol. V: Block Statistics (213 pts)
[HA201 1950 .A1 1952 v.5 pt1-8, 178]

From the Census Bureau

Portfolio of United States Census Maps
[G1201.E2 U45 1953, C 3.950-2:M 32]

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

Note: 1950 population schedules have not been released.

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).