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Research Guides

U.S. Decennial Census: 1970

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 1970 census

Highlights

 

  • 19th decennial census
  • US population: 203,302,031
  • Washington population: 3,409,169
  • The Summary Tape Files which were released were the first time tabulations were disseminated in electronic format.

Questions asked

  • Information obtained from all persons:
    • Address;
    • name;
    • relationship to head of household;
    • sex;
    • race;
    • age;
    • month and year of birth;
    • marital status;
    • if American Indian, name of tribe.
  • Information obtained from 20-percent sample:
    • Whether residence is on a farm;
    • place of birth;
    • educational attainment;
    • for women, number of children ever born;
    • employment status;
    • hours worked in week preceding enumeration;
    • year last worked;
    • industry, occupation, and class of worker;
    • state or country of residence 5 years ago;
    • activity 5 years ago;
    • weeks worked last year;
    • earnings last year from wages and salary, from self-employment;
    • other income last year.
  • Information obtained from 15-percent sample:
    • Country of birth of parents;
    • county, and city or town of residence 5 years ago ( and whether in city limits or outside);
    • length of residence at present address;
    • language spoken in childhood home;
    • school or college attendance, and whether public, parochial, or other private school;
    • veteran status;
    • place of work--street address, which city or town (and whether in city limits or outside), county, State, ZIP code;
    • means of transportation to work.
  • Information obtained from 5-percent sample:
    • Whether of Spanish descent;
    • citizenship;
    • year of immigration;
    • whether married more than once and date of first marriage;
    • whether first marriage ended because of death of spouse;
    • vocational training;
    • (for persons of working age) presence and duration of disability;
    • industry, occupation, and class of worker 5 years ago.
  • Supplemental schedule for Americans overseas.

Statistics

Census of Population

Census of Population and Housing

Census of Housing

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).