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Research Guides

U.S. Decennial Census: 1990

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

About the 1990 census

Highlights

  • 21st decennial census
  • US population: 248,709,873
  • Washington population: 4,866,692

Questions asked

Information obtained from all persons: Age, Sex, Color or Race, If American Indian, name of Tribe, Relationship to head of family or household, Marital Status

Information obtained from a sample of the population: Ancestry/ Ethnic Origin, Ill or Disabled, School Attendance, Educational Attainment, Place of Birth, Citizenship, If Foreign Born, year of immigration, language, Spanish origin or descent, Number of children ever born to mother, Veteran status, Length of Service, In service date, Place of residence in a previous year, Year moved to present residence, Industry, Occupation, Class of Worker, Employment Status, Duration of Unemployment, Year last worked, Weeks worked in preceding year, Hours worked in preceding week, Value of Real Estate, Income, Place of work, Means of transportation to work

For more information:

Statistics

Available from: American FactFinder

Note: Almost all of the information from the original reports is available via American FactFinder

Original printed reports (& online equivalents)

Print Versions in the Library

Online Versions

Census of Population:

General Population Characteristics (National Level)
[C 3.223/6:990 CP-1-1]

From the Census Bureau

General Population Characteristics (State Level)
[C 3.223/6:990 CP-1-]

From the Census Bureau

Social and Economic Characteristics
[C 3.223/7:990 CP-2-]

From the Census Bureau

The Foreign-Born Population in the United States
[C 3.223/10:990 CP-3-1, HA201 1990 .A568 v.sp-1]

From the Census Bureau

Ancestry of the Population in the United States
[C 3.223/10:990 CP-3-2, HA201 1990 .A568 v.sp-2]

From the Census Bureau

Persons of Hispanic Origin in the United States
[C 3.223/10:990 CP-3-3, HA201 1990 .A568 v.sp-3]

From the Census Bureau

Education in the United States
[C 3.223/10:990 CP-3-4, HA201 1990 .A568 v.sp-4]

From the Census Bureau

Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States
[C 3.223/10:990 CP-3-5, HA201 1990 .A568 v.sp-5]

From the Census Bureau

Characteristics of the Black Population
[C 3.223/10:990 CP-3-6, HA201 1990 .A568 v.sp-6]

From the Census Bureau

Characteristics of American Indians by Tribe and Language (2 pts)
[C 3.223/10:990 CP-3-7/sec1.-sec.2, HA201 1990 .A568 v.sp-7 pt.1-pt.2, HA201 1990 .C46 1994 v.1-v.2]

From the Census Bureau

Detailed Occupation and Other Characteristics From the EEO File for the United States

From the Census Bureau

Detailed Ancestry Groups for States
[C 3.223/12:990 CP-S-1-2, HA201 1990 .A568 v.su-2]

From the Census Bureau

Census of Population and Housing:

Summary Population and Housing Characteristics
[C 3.223/18:990 CPH-1-]

From the Census Bureau

Population and Housing Unit Counts
[C 3.223/5:990 CPH-2-]

From the Census Bureau

Population and Housing Characteristics for Census Tracts and Block Numbering Areas
[C 3.223/11:990 CPH-3-]

From the Census Bureau

Population and Housing Characteristics for Congressional Districts of the 103rd Congress
[C 3.223/20:990 CPH-4-]

From the Census Bureau

Summary Social, Economic, and Housing Characteristics
[C 3.223/23:990 CPH-5-]

From the Census Bureau

Census of Housing:

General Housing Characteristics
[C 3.224/3:990 CH-1-]

From the Census Bureau

Detailed Housing Characteristics
[C 3.224/3:990 CH-2-]

From the Census Bureau

Metropolitan Housing Characteristics
[C 3.224/4-2:990, HD7293 1990 .A512 v.1D]

From the Census Bureau

Residential Finance
[HD7293 1990 .A512 v.1E]

From the Census Bureau

Original electronic files released (& online versions)

Online Versions

Summary Tape Files

Public Law 94-171 data.
[C 3.281:]

From the Census Bureau

STF1A
[C 3.282:990/]

**Download from the Census Bureau

STF1B
[C 3.282/3:CD 90-1-B-]

**Download from the Census Bureau

STF1C
[C 3.282:990-1 C]

**Download from the Census Bureau

STF 1D
[C 3.282/4:104-2]

**Download from the Census Bureau

STF 3A
[C 3. 282/ 2 :Cd 90- 3a-]

**Download from the Census Bureau

STF 3B
[C 3.282/2:CD 90-3 B-]

**Download from the Census Bureau

STF 3C
[C 3. 282/ 2 :Cd 90- 3c-]

**Download from the Census Bureau

Subject Summary Tape Files (SSTFs)

SSTF 1: Foreign Born Population of the United States [C 3.286:CD 90 SSTF 01/994-2]


SSTF 2: Ancestry of the population in the United States
[C 3.286:CD 90 SSTF 02]


SSTF 3: Persons of Hispanic Origins in the United States [C 3.286:CD 90 SSTF 03]


SSTF 4: Characteristics of adults with work disabilities, mobility limitations, or self-care limitations
[C 3.286:CD 90 SSTF 04]


SSTF 5: Characteristics of the Asian and Pacific Islander population in the United States
[C 3.286:CD 90-SSTF 05]


SSTF 6: Education
[C 3.286:CD 90 SSTF 06]


SSTF 7: Metropolitan housing characteristics
[C 3.286:CD 90 SSTF 07]


SSTF 8: Housing of the elderly
[C 3.286:CD 90 SSTF 08]


SSTF 9: Housing characteristics of new units
[C 3.286:CD 90 SSTF 09]


SSTF 10: Housing characteristics of mobile homes
[C 3.286:CD 90 SSTF 10]


SSTF 12:  Employment Status, Work Experience, and Veteran Status 

[C 3.286:CD 90 SSTF 12


SSTF 13: Characteristics of American Indians by tribe and language
[C 3.286:CD 90 SSTF 13]


SSTF 14: Occupation and industry : industry by occupation alphabetical index
[C 3.286:CD 90 SSTF 14]


SSTF 15: Geographic mobility in the United States
[C 3.286:CD 90 SSTF 15]


SSTF 16: Fertility
[C 3.286:CD 90 SSTF 16]


SSTF 17: Poverty areas in the United States
[C 3.286:CD 90 SSTF 17]


SSTF 18: Housing characteristics of condominium housing
[C 3.286:CD 90 SSTF 18]


SSTF 19: The older population of the United States
[C 3.286:CD 90 SSTF 19]


SSTF 20: Journey to work in the United States
[C 3.286:CD 90 SSTF 20]


SSTF 21: Characteristics of the Black population of the United States
[C 3.286:CD 90 SSTF 21]


SSTF 22:  Earnings by Occupation and Education 

[C 3.286:CD 90 SSTF 22]


Special Tabulations

The Comprehensive housing affordability strategy (CHAS) database
[C 3.275:H 81/CD/CORR-2]

Equal employment opportunity file
[C 3.283:CD 90-EEO-]

From the Census Bureau


Special tabulation on aging
[C 3.281/2:CD-90-AOA]

County-to-county migration flow files
[C 3.284:CD 90-MIG-01, 01-CORR, 02]

** Indicates that these files are available for download only. They cannot be used online.

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: 1990 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).