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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.

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 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

Statistics

Available from: United States Census Bureau

Note: Almost all of the information from the original reports is available via the Census of Population and Housing.

Census of Population

Census of Population and Housing

Census of Housing

Summary Tape Files

Subject Summary Tape Files

Special Tabulations

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).