Work with interactive mapping tools from across the Census Bureau.
Read briefs and reports from Census Bureau experts.
Watch Census Bureau vignettes, testimonials, and video files.
Read research analyses from Census Bureau experts.
Developer portal to access services and documentation for the Census Bureau's APIs.
Explore Census Bureau data on your mobile device with interactive tools.
Find a multitude of DVDs, CDs and publications in print by topic.
These external sites provide more data.
Download extraction tools to help you get the in-depth data you need.
Explore Census data with interactive visualizations covering a broad range of topics.
Information about the U.S. Census Bureau.
Information about what we do at the U.S. Census Bureau.
Learn about other opportunities to collaborate with us.
Explore the rich historical background of an organization with roots almost as old as the nation.
Explore prospective positions available at the U.S. Census Bureau.
Information about the current field vacancies available at the U.S. Census Bureau Regional Offices.
Discover the latest in Census Bureau data releases, reports, and events.
The Census Bureau's Director writes on how we measure America's people, places and economy.
Find interesting and quirky statistics regarding national celebrations and major events.
Find media toolkits, advisories, and all the latest Census news.
See what's coming up in releases and reports.
In August 1939, Congress authorized the director of the census to conduct a national census of housing "in each state, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and Alaska, in the year 1940 in conjunction with, and at the same time, and as part of the population inquiry of the sixteenth decennial census." The census was "to provide information concerning the number, characteristics (including utilities and equipment), and geographic distribution of dwelling structures and dwelling units in the United States."
Because the originating legislation came so late in the census planning process and because the nature of the questions was so different from those in the census of population, the housing inquiries in the 1940 census were collected via a separate census. In practice, enumerators collected information for the housing census at the same time they collected information for the population census.
One of the major innovations of the 1940 census was the use of advanced statistical techniques, including probability sampling, which had been used only on an experimental basis before. Sampling had been tested in a trial census of unemployment carried out by the Civil Works Administration in 1933-1934 and surveys of retail stores in the same decade, and an official sample survey of unemployment in 1937 that covered about 20,000 households.
Sampling in the 1940 census allowed the addition of a number of demographic questions of enumerated persons without unduly increasing the overall burden on respondents and on data processing. It also made it possible to publish preliminary returns 8 months ahead of the complete tabulations. Sampling also allowed the Census Bureau to increase the number of detailed tables published and review the quality of the data processing with more efficiency.
Several new questions reflected the concerns of the depression years. Along with the new census focusing on the condition of the nation's housing stock and the need for public housing programs, the 1940 census included questions about employment, unemployment, internal migration and income.