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Research Guides

U.S. Decennial Census: 1790

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

Census By Decade

1790  1800  1810  1820  1830  1840  1850  1860  1870  1880  1890  1900

1910  1920  1930  1940  1950  1960  1970  1980  1990  2000  2010  2020

About the 1790 census

Highlights

 

  • 1st decennial census
  • US population: 3,929,625

Questions asked

  • Name of head of family
  • Free white males of 16 years and up
  • Free white males under 16
  • Free white females
  • Slaves
  • Other persons

Coverage

a black and white map of the united states circa. 1790

Map of coverage of the 1790 census.

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

More Information from the Census Bureau

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. Below are links to print and on-line versions of the population schedules. The library also has selected population schedules available on microfilm.

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).

1790 Census

Image of a handwritten page from the 1790, US Census.

A census form from the 1790 census. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Guides and Documentation

Statistics: Original Printed Reports

"Return of the whole number of persons within the several districts of the United States" features population data by race, condition of servitude, State, county, and town for the 1790 census. Also includes data by sex for free white persons, and by age group for males. UW Government Publications holdings and online access options are listed below.

Statistics: Census Compilations

Raw Data Files