1950 Census Data Now Available with HeritageQuest

Genealogists, historians, and anyone researching their family history has been eagerly awaiting the release of the 1950 Census data! Because of the "72-Year Rule," The National Archives does not release personally identifiable information about an individual until 72 years after it was collected. The long wait is finally over and this valuable information is now available to search online through HeritageQuest!

Finally, you can learn about the world in 1950 and experience records capturing, for the first time, American ex-patriots living abroad, students at college, and even people owning a television! This particular census can help you discover how the Great Depression, World War II, and the start of the Baby Boom affected your family. Start your search today with HeritageQuest which is FREE to use with your library card. If you don't have your library card yet, it only takes a minute to #GetCarded on our website.

Why is the 1950 Census a Big Deal?

      • Over 151 million people were recorded in this census. About 30 million of those were age 9 and under, and appear in the census for the first time.
      • This census reflects significant migration, including the second wave of the Great Migration, where many Black Americans left the South seeking a better life.
      • Discover never-before-seen genealogical information, including enumeration district maps, population schedules, Indian reservation schedules, and more.
      • In 1951, the Census Bureau received the UNIVAC I computer, the first commercial non-military computer, and used it to tabulate the census.

Explore a New Chapter in Your Family History

Using this collection, you can find out a lot about someone in 1950. Thanks to proprietary handwriting recognition technology, opens a new window, all 1950 U.S. Census records are now searchable. Although, transcription accuracy is dependent upon the quality of the document being scanned. For best results, view the census image. While not everyone was asked the supplemental questions, details about your family may include the following:

      • Age
      • Gender
      • Race
      • Marital status
      • Occupation
      • Nationality
      • Citizenship
      • Veteran status
      • Family members
      • Residence
      • Enumeration district (area covered by a census taker)
      • Highest grade level they completed
      • How much they earned

The census is organized alphabetically by state, county, and enumeration district, which is the area covered by a census taker. City enumeration districts tend to be small and dense, while rural districts are usually bigger with sparser populations. Once you find someone in the census, you can explore their enumeration district, city directories, and telephone books to learn more about their community and how they lived.

Read more about the 1950 Census through this blog series by the National Archives:

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