Although the U.S. Census Bureau carries out hundreds of surveys every year, its most well-known duty is still to conduct the decennial census. Census results have several high profile applications: they are used to reapportion seats in the House of Representatives, to realign congressional districts, and as a factor in the formulas that distribute hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funds each year. Because of the importance of this population count, procedural changes in the decennial census often reflect larger organizational shifts at the Census Bureau.
This section follows the evolution of the decennial census by detailing the events surrounding each of them. Political and technological changes, and the shifting public demand for information, have all shaped the modern census and the mission of the Census Bureau.
Census Day was April 1, 1940.
|132,164,569||U.S. Resident Population
||Population per square mile of land area
||Percent increase of population from 1930 to 1940
||Number of States
About the 1940 Decennial Census
Read an overview of the 1940 Census, including information on authorizing legislation, enumeration, sampling, & more.
1940 Decennial Census Historical Facts
Get a quick portrait of the U.S. by decade with pop culture milestones, population highlights, census details, and the 10 largest urban places.
1940 Decennial Census Official Publications
Official publications released by the U.S. Census Bureau have a report number and often list the lead author(s).
1940 Decennial Census Questionnaires & Instructions
Learn how the Decennial Census questionnaires have changed through the decades and download questionnaires from each Census decade.
1940 Decennial Census Data Tables
Stats displayed in columns and rows with title, ID, notes, sources and release date. Many tables are in downloadable XLS, CSV and PDF file formats.
1940 Decennial Census Photos
Many Census Bureau photos of official events and operations are available for free download and use according our Multimedia Usage Policy.