1940 Census

Taking You Back to the 1940s styled text link image to find the 1940 Census records

infographic describing the key comparisons between the years 1940 and 2010

The 1940 Census came at a momentous time in our Nation's history — as we recovered from the Great Depression and not long before our entry into World War II. It was also the first Census that looked deeper into the details of much of American life. Now, 72 years later, upon release of the 1940 Census forms by the National Archives, we look back and see just how much America changed.

Top Songs of 1940

  1. Artie Shaw, "Frenesi"
  2. Glenn Miller, "In the Mood"
  3. Tommy Dorsey, "I'll Never Smile Again"
  4. Bing Crosby, "Only Forever"
  5. Glenn Miller, "Tuxedo Junction"

If you missed today's live event on the National Archive's coverage, click below.

link image to watch the archived 1940 Census records ceremony

72 Years Later

On April 2, the National Archives and Records Administration will make individual records from the 1940 Census available to the public for the first time. We invite you to explore our site to see how America has changed since the 1940s. We use compelling links, infographics, and photos to compare the 1940 Census with corresponding information about the 2010 Census. Additionally, be sure to check out our Facts for Features to learn about some of the major innovations in development for the 2020 Census that will control costs and improve efficiency.

1940 Census Facts for Features

Explore the Connections to America's Past

Life in the 1940s

1940 Census Videos

Census Bureau Video
National Archives' Videos

1940 Data Visualization

A look at population growth between 1930 and 1940.

image of data visualization maps
[PDF] or PDF denotes a file in Adobe’s Portable Document Format. To view the file, you will need the Adobe® Reader® Off Site available free from Adobe.
This symbol Off Site indicates a link to a non-government web site. Our linking to these sites does not constitute an endorsement of any products, services or the information found on them. Once you link to another site you are subject to the policies of the new site.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Public Information Office | (301) 763-4636 | Last Revised: August 21, 2015