The 1940 census was the first to include a statistical sample. Five percent of people were asked an additional 16 questions. In order to gauge the effect of the Great Depression on the nation's housing stock, a census of occupied dwellings was coupled with the usual demographic questions. Enumerators collected the following information, organized by column number:
- Street the person lives on
- House number
- Number of household in order of visitation
- Is the home owned or rented?
- Value of the home, if owned, or monthly rental, if rented
- Does the person's household live on a farm?
- Relationship with the head of household
- Color or race
- Age at last birthday
- Marital status
- Did the person attend school or college at any time in the past year?
- What was the highest grade of school that the person completed?
- Person's place of birth
- If foreign born, is the person a citizen?
In what place did the person live on April 1, 1935?
For persons who, on April 1, 1935 was living in the same house as at present, enumerators were to enter "same house" into column 17; they were to leave the rest of the columns in this section blank. For persons who lived in a different house, enumerators were to fill out the columns with information about their 1935 residence.
- City, town, or village
- For villages with fewer than 2,600 residents, and all unorganized places, enumerators were to enter "R."
- State or Territory
- Was this house on a farm?
For persons 14 years and older - employment status
- Was the person at work for pay or profit in private or nonemergency government work during the week of March 24 - 30?
- If not, was he at work on, or assigned to, public emergency work (WPA, NYA, CCC, etc.) during the week of March 24 - 30?
- If the person was neither at work or assigned public emergency work: was this person seeking work?
- If not seeking work, did he have a job or business?
- For persons answering "No" to questions 21, 22, 23, and 24; indicate whether engaged in home
housework (H), in school (S), unable to work (U), or Other (Ot)
- If the person was at work in private or non emergency government employment: how many hours did he work in the week of March 24 - 30?
- If the person was seeking work or assigned to public emergency work: what was the duration, in weeks, of his unemployment?
- What is the person's occupation, trade, or profession?
- What is the person's industry or business?
- What is the person's class of worker?
- Number of weeks worked in 1939 (or equivalent of full time weeks)
- Amount of money, wages, or salary received (including commissions)
- Did this person receive income of more than $50 from sources other than money wages or salary?
- Corresponding number on the Farm Schedule of the person's farm
- Person's father's birthplace
- Person's mother's birthplace
- Person's mother or native tongue
Is this person a veteran of the United States military forces; or the wife, widow, or under-18-year old child of a veteran?
- If so enter "Yes"
- If the person is a child of a veteran, is the veteran father dead?
- War or military service
Enumerators were to mark "W" for World War I; "S" for the Spanish-American War, the Phillipine insurrection, or Boxer Rebellion; "SW" for both the Spanish-American War and World War I; "R" for peacetime service only; or "Ot" for any other war or expedition
For persons 14 years old and over
- Does this person have a federal Social Security number?
- Were deductions for federal Old-Age Insurance or railroad retirement made from this person's wages in 1939?
- If so, were deductions made from all, one-half or more, or less than one-half of the person's wages or salary?
- What is this person's usual occupation?
- What is this person's usual industry?
- What class of worker is this person?
For all women who are or have been married
- Has this person been married more than once?
- Age at first marriage
- Number of children ever born