Here you will learn whether an archive of past questionnaires - also known as schedules or forms – is available online. Many of our surveys now offer an online response in place of completing and mailing a printed form.
For the 1930 census, the population questionnaire was basically the same as it had been in 1910 and 1920.
The biggest change was in racial classification. Enumerators were instructed to no longer use the "Mulatto" classification. Instead, they were given special instructions for reporting the race of interracial persons.
A person with both White and Black lineage was to be recorded as Black, no matter fraction of that lineage. A person of mixed Black and American Indian lineage was also to be recorded as Black, unless he was considered to be "predominantly" American Indian and accepted as such within the community.
A person with both White and American Indian lineage was to be recorded as an Indian, unless his American Indian lineage was very small and he was accepted as white within the community. In fact, in all situations in which a person had White and some other racial lineage, he was to be reported as that other race. Persons who had minority interracial lineages were to be reported as the race of their father.
For the first and only time, "Mexican" was listed as a race. Enumerators were to record all persons who had been born in Mexico or whose parents had been born in Mexico and who did not fall into another racial category as "Mexican."
In the time between the passage of the act and census day, the stock market crashed and the nation plunged into the Great Depression. The public and academics wanted quick access to the unemployment information collected in the 1930 census. The Census Bureau had not planned to process the unemployment information it had collected - which some statisticians considered unreliable - until quite a bit later and was unequipped to meet these demands. When it did rush its data on unemployment out, the numbers it reported were attacked as being too low. Congress required a special unemployment census for January 1931; the data it produced confirmed the severity of the situation.
Enumerators collected the following information, listed by column number:
Enumerators were instructed to fill out an additional questionnaire for all gainful workers who were not at work the on the workday before enumeration. This special schedule collected the following information, organized by column number:
If this person has a job...
If this person has no job of any kind...
The additional questions asked of American Indians were much less numerous than in past censuses. The following information, listed by column number, was collected: