Census Bureau

Population of States and Counties of the United States: 1790 to 1990

Population of States and Counties of the United States: 1790 to 1990 [PDF 14MB]

This report, published in 1996, provides the populations of states and their counties according to the twenty-one decennial U.S. censuses conducted from 1790 to 1990.  The report remains a valuable resource on historical state and county populations during that period.  (Data for 2000 and 2010 are available at http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/index.xhtml .)  The population numbers shown are generally those reported in each census.  There are four parts to this publication, along with supplementary spreadsheets. 

Part I provides an introduction and explanation of the information contained in the report. 

Part II is a single table giving the populations of states for the censuses taken since they were established as territories or states.  The states generally are shown in their 1990 boundaries.  If the state or its predecessor territory had a different geographic extent at the time of a census, a note in Part III explains the difference.

Part III consists of tables for each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia, with populations for counties or equivalent areas at each census.  In these state tables, after the last column of populations a notes column provides information on the origin of each county, other names it has had, etc.  If this information is too extensive to fit in the column, a numbered footnote is provided, which appears at the bottom of the table for the state.

Part IV provides the following: (1) the date of the first census for each county, (2) the date of the census since the county has not had any significant alterations in boundaries, and (3) the Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) code for the county.

Errata [PDF 15KB]

Spreadsheet Versions of Report Tables:

Part II  Population of the United States and Each State: 1790-1990 [Excel, ACSII]
Part III  Population of Counties, Earliest Census to 1990  [Excel, ASCII]
Part IV Historical Dates and Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) Codes for Each State and County [Excel, ASCII]

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