1940 CensusFor many genealogists, the countdown to access the 1940 Census has already begun.
The official date for the 1940 Census was April 1st, but since that day will fall on a Sunday in 2012, it is unclear whether researchers will have weekend access to film at the National Archives or will instead need to wait until Monday to satisfy their genealogical curiosity.
Countdown to 2012
On this page, we provide details about why the 1940 Census is private until 2012 and how you will need to prepare for your research when the big day finally arrives. Also included are summary data for the 1940 Census and some interesting facts about how this Sixteenth Enumeration of the United States population differed from the one taken a decade prior.
Questions Asked on the 1940 Census
The Bureau of the Census (Department of Commerce) provided standardized forms in 1940 for all Enumerators as in previous years. The standard Population Schedule had 34 questions and more than a dozen Supplemental Questions asked only for those persons who were enumerated on specified lines. This was the means used to ensure a random nature in obtaining supplemental information. Learn more about Questions Asked on the 1940 Census.
1940 Map of the United States
By 1940, the outline of the United States and the individual borders for the 48 contiguous states had become familiar to many, both in America and elsewhere throughout the world. The American Flag would display 48 stars, one for each state, for more than four decades. Those researching their family history are encouraged to understand the geographic area where their ancestors lived. This is especially true if your ancestors lived in the northeast or in border towns. It's possible that a move just a few miles away could result in a new state of residence. View 1940 Map of the U.S..
What were things like in 1940?
On April 7, 1940, just days after the official date for the 1940 Census enumeration, Booker T. Washington became the first African American to appear on a United States Postage Stamp. At the time, the domestic letter rate was just 3-cents per ounce. The World was also at war in 1940, but it would be more than eighteen months before the United States would enter World War II following the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese. By the time this decade drew to a close the war was over, but the entire world learned of unspeakable war crimes that would forever change the world.
Learn more about the history of 1940.