What Was Your Neighborhood Like in 1940?
The National Archives released 1940 census records, lifting the veil on details for Americans living through the Great Depression.
The National Archives released 1940 census records this morning, lifting the veil on details for Americans living through the Great Depression.
More than 132 million people completed the 1940 census, an estimated 21 million of whom are still alive. The U.S. Census Bureau keeps the individual records confidential for 72 years. Beginning today, researchers can track down incomes, employment and other information for those living in the 1930s.
The release marks the first time the National Archives has published digitized records online. Thousands of volunteers scanned millions of pages to build a database.
The database is not searchable by name, though. You’ll need to know the approximate address of where a person lived to look up their record.
The system is likely to be slow today, though, as the records were just released. Records for prior years are available at libraries throughout the country.
Want to know what life was like in your community back then?
The Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research collected and categorized 1940 census records. We’ve compiled select data into the tool below.
Select a county to view population totals, income and other demographic information:
Join the Discussion
After you comment, click Post. You can enter an anonymous Display Name or connect to a social profile.
New Maps Could Predict Where Flooding Will Hit Worst4 minutes ago
Lawmakers Unite Against Governor to Give Chicago Some Pension Relief1 hour ago
Ohio Takes Over Struggling Health Insurer2 hours ago
Iowa Supreme Court Bans Life Without Parole for Teen Murderers2 hours ago
Alabama Has Change of Heart About Same-Sex Adoptions3 hours ago
In Weighty Water Ruling, Texas' High Court Backs Landowner4 hours ago