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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.

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 1840 census



  • 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

map of the united states in 1840

Map of coverage of the 1840 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.


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).

1840 Census

a grainy copy of page 262 of a book. there are columns but none of the text is legible.

An excerpt from a Georgia population schedule from the 1840 census. The 1840 census was the first census to collect data on education attainment in the United States.

Guides and Documentation

Statistics: Original Printed Reports

Census statistical reports feature population data by race, condition of servitude, State, county, and town for the 1840 census. They also include data by sex and by age group. UW Government Publications holdings and online access options are listed below.

Statistics: Census Compilations

Raw Data Files