1940 United States Census

The Sixteenth United States Census, conducted by the Census Bureau, determined the resident population of the United States to be 132,164,569, an increase of 7.3 percent over the 1930 population of 123,202,624 people. The census date of record was April 1, 1940. A number of new questions were asked including where people were 5 years before, highest educational grade achieved, and information about wages. This census introduced sampling techniques; one in 20 people were asked additional questions on the census form. Other innovations included a field test of the census in 1939. This was the first census in which every state (48) had a population greater than 100,000.

Sixteenth Census
of the United States
U.S. Census Bureau Seal
Population Schedule
General information
CountryUnited States
Date takenApril 1, 1940 (1940-04-01)
Total population132,164,569
Percent change 7.3%
Most populous stateNew York
13,479,142
Least populous stateNevada
110,247

Census questions

The 1940 census collected the following information:[1]

  • address
  • home owned or rented
    • if owned, value
    • if rented, monthly rent
  • whether on a farm
  • name
  • relationship to head of household
  • sex
  • race
  • age
  • marital status
  • school attendance
  • educational attainment
  • birthplace
  • if foreign born, citizenship
  • location of residence five years ago and whether on a farm
  • employment status
  • if at work, whether in private or non-emergency government work, or in public emergency work (WPA, CCC, NYA, etc.)
    • if in private or non-emergency government work, hours worked in week
    • if seeking work or on public emergency work, duration of unemployment
  • occupation, industry and class of worker
  • weeks worked last year
  • wage and salary income last year

In addition, a sample of individuals were asked additional questions covering age at first marriage, fertility, and other topics. Full documentation on the 1940 census, including census forms and a procedural history, is available from the Integrated Public Use Microdata Series.

Data availability

Following completion of the census, the original enumeration sheets were microfilmed; after which the original sheets were destroyed.[2]

As required by Title 13 of the U.S. Code, access to personally identifiable information from census records was restricted for 72 years.[3] Non-personally identifiable information Microdata from the 1940 census is freely available through the Integrated Public Use Microdata Series. Also, aggregate data for small areas, together with electronic boundary files, can be downloaded from the National Historical Geographic Information System.

On April 2, 2012[4]—72 years after the census was taken—microfilmed images of the 1940 census enumeration sheets were released to the public by the National Archives and Records Administration.[5][6] The records are indexed only by enumeration district upon initial release; several organizations are compiling indices, in some cases through crowdsourcing.[7]

State rankings

1940 U.S. State Population Rankings
RankStatePopulationRegion
1New York13,479,142North East
2Pennsylvania9,900,180North East
3Illinois7,897,241Midwest
4Ohio6,907,612Midwest
5California6,907,387West
6Texas6,414,824South
7Michigan5,256,106Midwest
8Massachusetts4,316,721North East
9New Jersey4,160,165North East
10Missouri3,784,664Midwest
11North Carolina3,571,623South
12Indiana3,427,796Midwest
13Wisconsin3,137,587Midwest
14Georgia3,123,723South
15Tennessee2,915,841South
16Kentucky2,845,627South
17Alabama2,832,961South
18Minnesota2,792,300Midwest
19Virginia2,677,773South
20Iowa2,538,268Midwest
21Louisiana2,363,880South
22Oklahoma2,336,434South
23Mississippi2,183,796South
24West Virginia1,961,974South
25Arkansas1,949,387South
26South Carolina1,899,804South
27Florida1,897,414South
28Maryland1,821,244South
29Kansas1,801,028Midwest
30Washington1,736,191West
31Connecticut1,709,242North East
32Nebraska1,315,834Midwest
33Colorado1,123,296West
34Oregon1,089,684West
35Maine847,226North East
36Rhode Island713,346North East
xDistrict of Columbia663,091South
37South Dakota642,961Midwest
38North Dakota641,935Midwest
39Montana559,456West
40Utah550,310West
41New Mexico531,818West
42Idaho524,873West
43Arizona499,261West
44New Hampshire491,524North East
xHawaii423,330West
45Vermont359,231North East
46Delaware266,505South
47Wyoming250,742West
48Nevada110,247West
xAlaska72,524West
--Total131,012,722

City rankings

RankCityStatePopulation[8]Region (2016)[9]
01New YorkNew York7,454,995Northeast
02ChicagoIllinois3,396,808Midwest
03PhiladelphiaPennsylvania1,931,334Northeast
04DetroitMichigan1,623,452Midwest
05Los AngelesCalifornia1,504,277West
06ClevelandOhio878,336Midwest
07BaltimoreMaryland859,100South
08St. LouisMissouri816,048Midwest
09BostonMassachusetts770,816Northeast
10PittsburghPennsylvania671,659Northeast
11WashingtonDistrict of Columbia663,091South
12San FranciscoCalifornia634,536West
13MilwaukeeWisconsin587,472Midwest
14BuffaloNew York575,901Northeast
15New OrleansLouisiana494,537South
16MinneapolisMinnesota492,370Midwest
17CincinnatiOhio455,610Midwest
18NewarkNew Jersey429,760Northeast
19Kansas CityMissouri399,178Midwest
20IndianapolisIndiana386,972Midwest
21HoustonTexas384,514South
22SeattleWashington368,302West
23RochesterNew York324,975Northeast
24DenverColorado322,412West
25LouisvilleKentucky319,077South
26ColumbusOhio306,087Midwest
27PortlandOregon305,394West
28AtlantaGeorgia302,288South
29OaklandCalifornia302,163West
30Jersey CityNew Jersey301,173Northeast
31DallasTexas294,734South
32MemphisTennessee292,942South
33Saint PaulMinnesota287,736Midwest
34ToledoOhio282,349Midwest
35BirminghamAlabama267,583South
36San AntonioTexas253,854South
37ProvidenceRhode Island253,504Northeast
38AkronOhio244,791Midwest
39OmahaNebraska223,844Midwest
40DaytonOhio210,718Midwest
41SyracuseNew York205,967Northeast
42Oklahoma CityOklahoma204,424South
43San DiegoCalifornia203,341West
44WorcesterMassachusetts193,694Northeast
45RichmondVirginia193,042South
46Fort WorthTexas177,662South
47JacksonvilleFlorida173,065South
48MiamiFlorida172,172South
49YoungstownOhio167,720Midwest
50NashvilleTennessee167,402South
51HartfordConnecticut166,267Northeast
52Grand RapidsMichigan164,292Midwest
53Long BeachCalifornia164,271West
54New HavenConnecticut160,605Northeast
55Des MoinesIowa159,819Midwest
56FlintMichigan151,543Midwest
57Salt Lake CityUtah149,934West
58SpringfieldMassachusetts149,554Northeast
59BridgeportConnecticut147,121Northeast
60NorfolkVirginia144,332South
61YonkersNew York142,598Northeast
62TulsaOklahoma142,157South
63ScrantonPennsylvania140,404Northeast
64PatersonNew Jersey139,656Northeast
65AlbanyNew York130,577Northeast
66ChattanoogaTennessee128,163South
67TrentonNew Jersey124,697Northeast
68SpokaneWashington122,001West
69Kansas CityKansas121,458Midwest
70Fort WayneIndiana118,410Midwest
71CamdenNew Jersey117,536Northeast
72EriePennsylvania116,955Northeast
73Fall RiverMassachusetts115,428Northeast
74WichitaKansas114,966Midwest
75WilmingtonDelaware112,504South
76GaryIndiana111,719Midwest
77KnoxvilleTennessee111,580South
78CambridgeMassachusetts110,879Northeast
79ReadingPennsylvania110,568Northeast
80New BedfordMassachusetts110,341Northeast
81ElizabethNew Jersey109,912Northeast
82TacomaWashington109,408West
83CantonOhio108,401Midwest
84TampaFlorida108,391South
85SacramentoCalifornia105,958West
86PeoriaIllinois105,087Midwest
87SomervilleMassachusetts102,177Northeast
88LowellMassachusetts101,389Northeast
89South BendIndiana101,268Midwest
90DuluthMinnesota101,065Midwest
91CharlotteNorth Carolina100,899South
92UticaNew York100,518Northeast
93WaterburyConnecticut99,314Northeast
94ShreveportLouisiana98,167South
95LynnMassachusetts98,123Northeast
96EvansvilleIndiana97,062Midwest
97AllentownPennsylvania96,904Northeast
98El PasoTexas96,810South
99SavannahGeorgia95,996South
100Little RockArkansas88,039South

Use for Japanese American internment

During World War II, the Census Bureau responded to numerous information requests from US government agencies, including the US Army and the US Secret Service, to facilitate the internment of Japanese Americans. In his report of the operation, U.S. Army Lt. Gen. John L. DeWitt write that "The most important single source of information prior to the evacuation was the 1940 Census of Population."[10][11][12]

References

  1. "Library Bibliography Bulletin 88, New York State Census Records, 1790-1925". New York State Library. October 1981. p. 45 (p. 51 of PDF). Retrieved December 15, 2008.
  2. The Ancestry Insider (May 16, 2012). "1940 Census Update for 16 May 2012: Bad News". www.ancestryinsider.blogspot.com. Retrieved May 17, 2012.
  3. "Historical Background". US Census Bureau. Archived from the original on June 12, 2009. Retrieved July 2, 2009.
  4. "1940 Census". Archived from the original on January 3, 2007. Retrieved November 26, 2006.
  5. Weinstein, Allen (April 2008). "Access to genealogy data at NARA grows" (PDF). NARA Staff Bulletin. Washington DC: National Archives and Records Administration. Retrieved July 2, 2009.
  6. Weinstein, Allen (Summer 2008). "Finding Out Who You Are: First Stop, National Archives". Prologue magazine, vol. 40, no. 2. Washington DC: National Archives and Records Administration. Retrieved July 2, 2009.
  7. Daley, Bill (March 27, 2012). "Unlocking a new door to the 1940s – 1940 census details to be released to public". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved March 20, 2012.
  8. Population of the 100 Largest Cities and Other Urban Places in the United States: 1790 to 1990, U.S. Census Bureau, 1998
  9. "Regions and Divisions". U.S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original on December 3, 2016. Retrieved September 9, 2016.
  10. Japanese evacuation from the West coast, 1942 : final report, by De Witt, J. L. (John Lesesne), b. 1880; United States. Army. Western Defense Command
  11. Confirmed: The U.S. Census Bureau Gave Up Names of Japanese-Americans in WW II
  12. Some Japanese-Americans Wrongfully Imprisoned During WWII Oppose Census Question
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