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.
Virginia Governor Restores 13,000 Felons' Voting Rights, This Time One by One12 hours ago
Big Transit Plans Go Before Voters in November13 hours ago
In Closely Watched Case Around U.S., California Teachers Unions Get a Major Victory16 hours ago
Video Release of Milwaukee Police Shooting Delayed17 hours ago
Michigan State Police Lab Mishandled 4,000+ Alcohol Tests17 hours ago
Despite California's Strict Law, Thousands Start School Unvaccinated17 hours ago