U.S. Census Bureau

Historical Photographs

According to the U.S. Constitution, everyone in the country - citizen or not - must be counted every 10 years. Although methods have advanced with technology, the U.S. Census Bureau has been counting the population since the first Census in 1790. These photographs show Census activities over the years from 1880 to 1920.


A census enumerator interviews the owner of a Chinese laundry for the 1960 census. An enumerator asks questions of a woman who did not return her census form in 1930. Her 10 children look on. Census map-makers at work on coverage maps in 1930. An enumerator visits a trailer camp in 1930. A 1940 Census employee uses a punch machine to tally results by hand.
Low Res | High Res Low Res | High Res Low Res | High Res Low Res | High Res Low Res | High Res

 

An enumerator feels someone looking over his shoulder as he interviews for 1950 census. Two young boys learn about census-taking in 1950. Census Bureau has always made an effort to interview people wherever they may live. Each decade enumerators have used different modes of travel to take them from interview to interview. Census Bureau worker operates a Hollerith Pantograph machine.
Low Res | High Res Low Res | High Res Low Res | High Res Low Res | High Res Low Res | High Res