Thursday, April 8, 2021

Getting Ready for (& Questions on) the 1950 U.S. Census

Is anyone else looking forward to the release of the 1950 on April 1, 2022?  I know it's a year away minus a few days but I'm excited.  (Maybe someone will start a countdown clock!)   It is the first census on which everyone in my family will appear.

https://broadcast.census.gov/pio/photos/1950/1950a_hi.jpg

In preparation, I thought I'd see what information was requested.  I realize that what I'll read will be based on the accuracy of the census taker and the honesty of the informant.  (I can imagine my father having a hard time divulging his income if asked).

Questions 1-14 were to be completed for everyone.  Questions 15-20c were to be completed by those 14 years and older.  Questions 21--38 were for people enumerated on lines 4, 9, 14, 19, 24, and 29.

The census taker was given somewhat detailed questions to request for each entry.  You can see a pdf of the full form here.  Below is a simplified version of the questions.

a.  State
b.  County
c.  Incorporated Place or Township
d.  E.D. Number
e.  Hotel, Large Rooming House, Institution, Military Installation, etc.   Name, Type
f.  Date Sheet Started
g.  Enumerator's Signature
h.  Checked By

FOR HEAD OF HOUSEHOLD  (Questions #1-6)
1.  Name of street, avenue, or road
2.  House (and apartment) number
3.  Serial number of dwelling unit
4.  Is this house on a farm (or ranch)  (Yes or No)
5.  If No in item 4--  Is this house on a place of three or more acres?  (Yes or No)
6.  Agriculture Questionnaire Number

FOR ALL PERSONS (Questions #7-14)
7.  NAME.
Last names first, all persons living in the household, in this order:  head of household, wife, unmarried sons & daughters in order of age, married son & daughters and their families, other relatives, other persons
 
8.  RELATIONSHIP TO HEAD OF HOUSEHOLD.
Enter relationship of person to head of the household, as Head, Wife, Daughter, Grandson, Mother-in-law, Lodger, Lodger's wife, Maid, Hired hand, Patient, etc.

9.  RACE.  White (W), Negro (Neg), American Indian (ind), Japanese (Jap), Chinese (Chi), Filipino (Fil).  Other race-- spell out

10.  SEX.   Male (M), Female (F)

11.  AGE on last birthday.  If under one year of age, enter month of birth.

12.  MARITAL STATUS.  (Married, widowed, divorced, separated, or never married?)

13.  BIRTH LOCATION. 
What State (or foreign country) was he born in?  If born outside Continental United States, enter name of Territory, possession, or foreign country  Distinguish Canada-French from Canada-other

14.  IF FOREIGN BORN.
Is he naturalized?  (Yes, No, or AP for born abroad of American parents)

EMPLOYMENT QUESTIONS FOR PERSONS 14 YEARS OF AGE AND OVER
15.  What was this person doing most of last week---working (Wk), keeping house (H), something else(O), or unable to work (U)?

16.  If H or Ot in item 15---
Did this person do any work at all last week, not counting work around the house?  (Include work for pay, in own business, profession, on farm, or unpaid family work.)  (Yes or No)

17.  If No in item 16---
Was this person looking for work?  (Yes or No)

18.  If No in item 17---
Even though he didn't work last week, does he have a job or business?  (Yes or No)

19.  If Wk in item 15 or Yes in item 16---
How many hours did he work last week?  (Include unpaid work on family farm or business)

20a.  What kind of work was he doing?  
20b.  What kind of business or industry was he working in?
20c.  Class of worker  (private, government, own business, without pay on family farm or business)

The individuals enumerated on lines 4, 9, 14, 19, 24, and 29 were asked these additional questions (#21-38).
21.  Was he living in this same house a year ago?

If No in Item 21---
22.  Was he living on a farm a year ago?
23.  Was he living in this same county a year ago?

If No in Item 23---
24a.  County or nearest place.  If county unknown, enter name of place or nearest place
24b.  State or foreign country

PLACE OF BIRTH
25.  What country were his father and mother born in?  (Enter US or names of Territory, possession, or foreign country.)

EDUCATION
26.  What is the highest grade of school that he has attended?  (Enter one grade...)
27.  Did he finish this grade?
28.  Has he attended school at any time since February 1st?  (For those under 20 years of age check Yes or No.  For those 30 years old or over, check 30 or over)

EMPLOYMENT FOR PERSONS 14 YEARS OF AGE AND OVER
29.  If looking for work (Yes in item 17)---  How many weeks has he been looking for work?

30.  Last year, in how many weeks did this person do any work at all, not counting work around the house?  (Number of weeks in 1949)

INCOME
Income received by this person in 1949 (31a-31c)
31a.  Last year (1949), how much money did he earn working as an employee for ages or salary?  (Enter amount before deductions for taxes, etc.)
31b.  Last year, how much money did he earn working in his own business, professional practice, or farm?  (Enter net income)
31c.  Last year, how much money did he receive from interest, dividends, veteran's allowances, pensions, rents, or other income (aside from earnings)?

If this person is a family head---
Income received by his relatives in this household (32a-32c)
32a.  Last year (1949), how much money did his relatives in this household earn working for wages or salary?  (Amount before deductions for taxes, etc.)
32b.  Last year, how much money did his relatives in this household earn in own business, professional practice, or farm?  (Net income)
32c.  Last year, how much money did his relatives in this household receive from interest, dividends, veteran's allowances, pensions, rents, or other income (aside from earnings)?

MILITARY SERVICE.  If Male--- (Ask each question)  (#33a-33c)
Did he ever serve in the U.S. Armed Forces during---
33a.  World War II
33b.  World War I
33c.  Any other time, including present service

34.  To enumerator:  If worked last year (1 or more weeks in item 30):  Is there any entry in items 20a, 20b, and 20c?
35a.  What kind of work did this person do in his last job?
35b.  What kind of business or industry did he work in?
35c.  Class of worker (P, G, O, or NP, as in item 20c)
36.  If ever married (Mar, Wd, D, or Sep in item 12)--- Has this person been married more than once?  Yes, No
37.  If Mar---How many years since this person was (last) married (or widowed, divorced, or separated)?

38.  If female and ever married (Mar, Wd, D, or Sep in item 12)--- How many children has she ever borne, not counting stillbirths?
...............

What a treat it will be to learn this information about parents, grandparents, and other relatives.

If you want to learn more, click through to read these posts/articles.

-–Nancy.

Copyright © 2021 Nancy Messier.  All Rights Reserved. 
Do not copy or use any content from this blog without written permission from the owner. 

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6 comments:

  1. This will be a wonderful census! I won't be in it but it will be fun to see my husband in it and to learn where my parents were. Isn't it odd that Spanish/Mexican isn't listed in choices of race.

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    1. I think so, too, Wendy. I'm looking forward to finding the relatives who were living in 1950.
      I suppose there weren't as many Spanish/Mexican immigrants as there are now.

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  2. I'm looking forward to it! I thought it would come out this year so thanks for the information. Some of those questions were a little personal weren't they? I'm glad they asked about how many children born. That is so helpful on the 1900 and 1910 Census'. I won't be in this census. I hope I'm still around when they release the 1960 one. There will be so much to glean from a new census!

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    1. You're welcome, Robin.  I think the most personal questions are the ones asked to just a few people on the page.  Still, I'm not sure I'd want to answer them.  I'm glad to see the number of children question, too.  I hope we'll all be around for the 1960 census release, though by that time my health might be awful and I'll wonder why I was hoping that.

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  3. wonder what we will find out that will be news to us?

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    Replies
    1. I came from a family of people who didn't talk much--no stories, little detail, etc., QuiltGranma. I'm anticipating learning more than I now know about my own family and the families of several relatives..

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I appreciate your comments and look forward to reading what you have to say. Thanks for stopping by.

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