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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.

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 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 home 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.

a black and white map of the united states c. 1890

Map of coverage of the 1890 census.

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

 

Statistics

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

More Information from the Census Bureau

Statistics: Census Compilations

Raw Data Files

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).