“The” Census Question, When Wasn’t “It” Asked? ~ Read All The Questions, For All The Years

How dare politicians come in and try to steal away our beloved genealogy. Of course everyone in our wondrous country should be able to wear – I am from button – on an ancestry day and be safe and feel proud of each and every place that makes up this amazing country.

When wasn’t it asked? This story in the news about the citizenship question is inflammatory – OK the politicians are wanting to scare people but the question of citizenship or foreign born or parents foreign born has floated around since… forever. 

We must not allow scare mongering. To tell people, imply, the citizenship question a new question or out of the ordinary is just another manipulative fib, exaggerating the story. And to imply fear over being a citizen, or not, should never have been used in our society in this county of all countries. 

From 1970 there came the short form and the added surveys. It wasn’t just about “what” questions were not asked to make the census shorter – it was about making the census short so anyone would fill it in. The propaganda used now is just that – propaganda. Note below that there are many questionable questions through the years…

(1940 to present see below………)

Citizenship questions, foreign birth questions, etc. are added in bold type.

1940

Enumerators recorded answers for the following questions on the 1940 census:

  • address
  • home value and whether owned or rented
  • name of each person whose usual place of residence on 1 April 1940 would be in the household
  • relationship to head of household
  • sex
  • color or race
  • age at last birthday
  • marital status
  • education
  • place of birth
  • citizenship

  • residence on 1 April 1935
  • employment status for those 14 and older (several questions)
  • occupation and number of weeks worked full-time in 1939
  • income in 1939

Enumerators also asked supplementary questions to provide a random sample of about 5 percent of the population. These questions included

  • birthplace of mother and father,
  • native language,
  • veteran status (including widow or minor child of a veteran),
  • Social Security details,
  • occupation, industry, and class of worker,
  • marriage information for women (married more than once, age at first marriage, number of children).

1930

Enumerators (census takers) collected the following information for each household:

  • Address (name of the street, avenue, or road; house number)
  • Occupant (name of each person and their relationship to head of family)
  • Residence (whether home is owned or rented; value of home; whether home is farm residence; whether home has a radio)
  • Personal (sex, race, age, marital status, college attendance, ability to read and write, birthplace, and birthplace of parents)
  • Citizenship (language spoken before coming to the United States; year of immigration; whether naturalized or alien; ability to speak English)

  • Occupation (trade or profession; industry or business working in; class of worker; whether worked the previous day; line number of unemployment schedule)
  • Military (whether veteran or not; war or expedition participated in)

Note: Individuals in Alaska, and Indians were asked slightly different questions. For example, Indians were not asked about their mother’s country of origin, but which tribe she belonged to.

1920

The following questions were asked by enumerators:

  • Name of street, avenue road, etc.
  • House number or farm
  • Number of dwelling in order of visitation
  • Number of family in order of visitation
  • Name of each person whose place of abode was with the family
  • Relationship of person enumerated to the head of the family
  • Whether home owned or rented; if owned, whether free or mortgaged
  • Sex
  • Color or race
  • Age at last birthday
  • Whether single, married, widowed, or divorced
  • Year of immigration to United States
  • Whether naturalized or alien

  • If naturalized, year of naturalization

  • Whether attended school any time since 1 September 1919
  • Whether able to read
  • Whether able to write
  • Person’s place of birth

  • Mother tongue

  • Father’s place of birth

  • Father’s mother tongue

  • Mother’s place of birth

  • Mother’s mother tongue

  • Whether able to speak English

  • Trade, profession, or particular kind of work done
  • Industry, business, or establishment in which at work
  • Whether employer, salary or wage worker, or working on own account
  • Number of farm schedule

Due to boundary modifications in Europe resulting from World War I, some individuals were uncertain about how to identify their national origin. Enumerators were instructed to spell out the name of the city, state, province, or region of respondents who declared that they or their parents had been born in Germany, Austria-Hungary, Russia, or Turkey. Interpretation of the birthplace varied from one enumerator to another. Some failed to identify specific birthplaces within those named countries, and others provided an exact birthplace in countries not designated in the instructions.

There are no separate Indian population schedules in the 1920 census. Inhabitants of reservations were enumerated in the general population schedules. Enumerators were instructed not to report servicemen in the family enumerations but to treat them as residents of their duty posts. The 1920 census includes schedules for overseas military and naval forces.

Taken from Chapter 5: Research in Census Records, The Source: A Guidebook of American Genealogy by Loretto Dennis Szucs; edited by Loretto Dennis Szucs and Sandra Hargreaves Luebking (Salt Lake City, UT: Ancestry Incorporated, 1997).

ED Description data came from The National Archives and One-Step by Stephen P. Morse.

1910

Location:

  • Name of street, avenue road, etc.
  • House number or farm
  • Number of dwelling in order of visitation
  • Number of family in order of visitation

Name and Relation:

  • Name of each person whose place of abode was with the family
  • Relationship of person enumerated to the head of the family

Personal Description:

  • Sex
  • Color or race
  • Age at last birthday
  • Marital status – whether single, married, widowed, or divorced
  • If married, number of years of present marriage
  • For mothers, number of total children born and number of children living

Nativity:

  • Place of birth
  • Father’s place of birth
  • Mother’s place of birth

Citizenship:

  • Year of immigration to United States

  • Whether naturalized or alien

  • Whether able to speak English; or if not, language spoken

Occupation:

  • Trade, profession, or particular kind of work done
  • Industry, business, or establishment in which at work
  • Whether employer, employee, or working on own account
  • If an employee, whether out of work on 15 April 1910 and number of weeks out of work during 1909

Education:

  • Whether able to read
  • Whether able to write
  • Whether attended school any time since 1 September 1909

Ownership of Home:

  • Owned or Rented
  • Owned free or mortgaged
  • Farm or house
  • Number of farm schedule (applies only to farm homes)

Military:

  • Whether a survivor of the Union or Confederate Army or Navy

Disabilities:

  • Whether blind (both eyes)
  • Whether deaf and dumb

There were separate Indian population schedules for 1910 in which the tribe and/or band was also recorded.

Taken from Chapter 5: Research in Census Records, The Source: A Guidebook of American Genealogy by Loretto Dennis Szucs; edited by Loretto Dennis Szucs and Sandra Hargreaves Luebking (Salt Lake City, UT: Ancestry Incorporated, 1997).

ED Description data came from The National Archives and One-Step by Stephen P. Morse.

1900

Enumerators of the 1900 census were instructed to record the names of every person in the household. Enumerators were asked to include the following categories in the census: name; address; relationship to the head of household; color or race; sex; month and year of birth; age at last birthday; marital status; number of years married; the total number of children born of the mother; the number of those children living;

places of birth of each individual and the parents of each individual; if the individual was foreign born, the year of immigration and the number of years in the United States;

the citizenship status of foreign-born individuals over age twenty-one;

occupation; whether the person could read, write, and speak English; whether the home was owned or rented; whether the home was on a farm; and whether the home was mortgaged. The categories allowed Congress to determine persons residing in the United States for collection of taxes and the appropriation of seats in the House of Representatives.

for all above https://www.ancestry.com/search/categories/usfedcen/

 

1890 (not available – Census mostly destroyed

The following questions, listed by row number, were asked of each individual resident:

  1. Christian name in full, and initial of middle name
  2. Surname
  3. Was this person a soldier, sailor, or marine during the Civil War (U.S.A. or C.S.A.), or the widow of such a person?
  4. Relationship to the head of the family
  5. RaceEnumerators were instructed to write “White,” “Black,” “Mulatto,” “Quadroon,” “Octoroon,” “Chinese,” “Japanese,” or “Indian.”
  6. Sex
  7. Age
  8. Was the person single, married, widowed, or divorced?
  9. Was the person married within the last year?
  10. How many children was the person a mother of? How many of those children were living?
  11. Person’s place of birth
  12. Place of birth of person’s father
  13. Place of birth of person’s mother
  14. How many years has the person been in the United States?

  15. Is the person naturalized?

  16. Has the person taken naturalization papers out?

  17. Profession, trade, or occupation
  18. Number of months unemployed in the past year
  19. How many months did the person attend school in the past year?
  20. Can the person read?
  21. Can the person write?
  22. Can the person speak English? If not, what language does he speak?
  23. Is the person suffering from an acute chronic disease? If so, what is the name of that disease and the length of time affected?
  24. Is the person defective of mind, sight, hearing, or speech? Is the person crippled, maimed, or deformed? If yes, what was the name of his defect?
  25. Is the person a prisoner, convict, homeless child, or pauper?
  26. Depending on the person’s status in the questions in rows 22, 23,or 24, the enumerator would indicate on this line whether additional information was recorded about him on a special schedule

https://www.census.gov/history/www/through_the_decades/index_of_questions/1890_1.html

1880

Enumerators (census takers) collected the following information for each household:

  • Address (name of the street; house number)
  • Occupant (name of each person and their relationship to head of family)
  • Personal (sex, race, age, marital status, ability to read and write, birthplace, and birthplace of parents)

  • Occupation (trade or profession; number of months unemployed)
  • Health (whether blind, deaf and dumb, crippled, maimed, idiotic, insane, bedridden, or otherwise disabled)

In 1880 there was an added… I cannot imagine reaction today… 

In the 1880 U.S. Federal Census, a supplemental schedule called “Dependent, Defective, and Delinquent Classes” was included. This schedule included different forms to enumerate the following classes of individuals:

  • Insane
  • Idiots
  • Deaf-mutes
  • Blind
  • Paupers and Indigent persons
  • Homeless children
  • Prisoners

This data collection currently contains these schedules for the following states:

  • Alabama
  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Georgia
  • Illinois
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Nebraska
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Virginia
  • Washington

In addition to the individual’s name, their race, gender, age and residence were also included. For individuals with mental or physical illness, questions regarding their medical history were asked. For the homeless children, questions about their parents were asked. For the prisoners, details regarding their imprisonment were asked.

https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/1880uscensusddd/

1870

Enumerators of the 1870 census were instructed to record the names of every person in the household. Added to this, enumerators were presented with printed instructions, which account for the greater degree of accuracy compared with earlier censuses. Enumerators were asked to include the following categories in the census: name; age at last birthday (if a child was under one year of age, months of age were to be stated as fractions, such as 1/12); sex; color; profession; occupation or trade of every male and female; value of real estate;

place of birth; whether mother and father were of foreign birth;

whether born or married within the year and the month; those who could not read; those who could not write; whether deaf, dumb, blind, or insane or “idiotic”.

No relationships were shown between members of a household. The categories allowed Congress to determine persons residing in the United States for collection of taxes and the appropriation of seats in the House of Representatives.

1860

Enumerators of the 1860 census were instructed to record the names of every person in the household. Added to this, enumerators were presented with printed instructions, which account for the greater degree of accuracy compared with earlier censuses. Enumerators were asked to include the following categories in the census: name; age as of the census day; sex; color;

birthplace;

occupation of persons over age fifteen; value of real estate; whether married within the previous year; whether deaf, dumb, blind, insane, a pauper, or a convict; whether able to read or speak English;

and whether the person attended school within the previous year. No relationships were shown between members of a household. The categories allowed Congress to determine persons residing in the United States for collection of taxes and the appropriation of seats in the House of Representatives.

1850

For the first time in the history of the United States census, enumerators of the 1850 census were instructed to record the names of every person in the household. Added to this, enumerators were presented with printed instructions, which account for the greater degree of accuracy compared with earlier censuses. Enumerators were asked to include the following categories in the census: name; age as of the census day; sex; color;

birthplace;

occupation of males over age fifteen; value of real estate; whether married within the previous year; whether deaf-mute, blind, insane, or “idiotic”; whether able to read or write for individuals over age twenty;

and whether the person attended school within the previous year. No relationships were shown between members of a household. The categories allowed Congress to determine persons residing in the United States for collection of taxes and the appropriation of seats in the House of Representatives.

1840

Enumerators of the 1840 census were asked to include the following categories in the census: name of head of household; number of free white males and females in age categories: 0 to 5, 5 to 10, 10 to 15, 15 to 20, 20 to 30, 30 to 40, 40 to 50, 50 to 60, 60 to 70, 70 to 80, 80 to 90, 90 to 100, over 100; the name of a slave owner and the number of slaves owned by that person; the number of male and female slaves and free “colored” persons by age categories;

the number of foreigners (not naturalized) in a household; the number of deaf, dumb, and blind persons within a household; and town or district, and county of residence.

Additionally, the 1840 census, asked for the first time, the ages of revolutionary war pensioners and the number of individuals engaged in mining, agriculture, commerce, manufacturing and trade, navigation of the ocean, navigation of canals, lakes and rivers, learned professions and engineers; number in school, number in family over age twenty-one who could not read and write, and the number of insane. The categories allowed Congress to determine persons residing in the United States for collection of taxes and the appropriation of seats in the House of Representatives.

1830

Enumerators of the 1830 census were asked to include the following categories in the census: name of head of household; number of free white males and females in age categories: 0 to 5, 5 to 10, 10 to 15, 15 to 20, 20 to 30, 30 to 40, 40 to 50, 50 to 60, 60 to 70, 70 to 80, 80 to 90, 90 to 100, over 100; the name of a slave owner and the number of slaves owned by that person; the number of male and female slaves and free “colored” persons by age categories;

the number of foreigners (not naturalized) in a household; the number of deaf, dumb, and blind persons within a household; and town or district, and county of residence.

The categories allowed Congress to determine persons residing in the United States for collection of taxes and the appropriation of seats in the House of Representatives.

1820

Enumerators of the 1820 census were asked to include the following categories in the census: name of head of household, number of free white males and females in age categories: 0 to 10, 10 to 16, 16 to 26, 26 to 45, 45 and older; number of other free persons except Indians not taxed; number of slaves; and town or district and county of residence. Additionally, the 1820 census for the first time asked the number of free white males 16 to 18;

number of persons to be naturalized;

number engaged in agriculture, commercial, or manufacture; number of “colored” persons (sometimes in age categories); and number of other persons except Indians. The categories allowed Congress to determine persons residing in the United States for collection of taxes and the appropriation of seats in the House of Representatives. Most entries are arranged in the order of visitation, but some have been rearranged to appear in alphabetical order by initial letter of the surname. Manufacturing schedules are scattered among the 1820 population schedules.

1810

Enumerators of the 1810 census were asked to include the following categories in the census: name of head of household; number of free white males and females in age categories: 0 to 10, 10 to 16, 16 to 26, 26 to 45, 45 and older; number of other free persons except Indians not taxed; number of slaves; and town or district and county of residence. The categories allowed Congress to determine persons residing in the United States for collection of taxes and the appropriation of seats in the House of Representatives. Most entries are arranged in the order of visitation, but some have been rearranged to appear in alphabetical order by initial letter of the surname. Manufacturing schedules are scattered among the 1810 population schedules.

1800

Enumerators of the 1800 census were asked to include the following categories in the census: name of head of household, number of free white males and females in age categories: 0 to 10, 10 to 16, 16 to 26, 26 to 45, 45 and older; number of other free persons except Indians not taxed; number of slaves; and town or district and county of residence. The categories allowed Congress to determine persons residing in the United States for collection of taxes and the appropriation of seats in the House of Representatives. Most entries are arranged in the order of visitation, but some have been rearranged to appear in alphabetical order by initial letter of the surname.

1790

Enumerators of the 1790 census were asked to include the following categories in the census: name of head of household, number of free white males of sixteen years and older, number of free white males under sixteen years, number of free white females, number of all other free persons, number of slaves, and sometimes town or district of residence. The categories allowed Congress to determine persons residing in the United States for collection of taxes and the appropriation of seats in the House of Representatives. This first United States census schedules differs in format from later census material, as each enumerator was expected to make his own copies on whatever paper he could find. Unlike later census schedules an enumerator could arrange the records as he pleased. This database is certain to prove useful for those seeking early American ancestors.

for all above to 1890 https://www.ancestry.com/search/categories/usfedcen/

more…

1950

Population

  1. Name of street, avenue or road where the household is located
  2. Home or apartment number
  3. Serial number of dwelling unit
  4. Is this house on a farm (or ranch)?
  5. If no, is this house on a place of three or more acres?
  6. Corresponding agriculture questionnaire number
  7. Name
  8. Relationship to head
  9. Race
  10. Sex
  11. How old was this person on his last birthday?
  12. Is this person now married, widowed, divorced, separated, or never married?
    • Enumerators were to enter “Mar” for married, “Wd” for widowed, “D” for divorced, “Sep” for separated, or “Nev” for never married
  13. What State or country was the person born in?
  14. If foreign born, is the person naturalized?

For persons 14 years of age and over

  1. What was this person doing most of last week – working, keeping house, or something else?
    • Enumerators were to record “Wk” for working, “H” for keeping house, “U” for unable to work, or “Ot” for other
  2. If the person was “keeping house” or “something else” in question 15, did the person do any work at all last week, not counting work around the house? (Including work-for-pay, in his own business, working on a farm or unpaid family work)
  3. If the person answered “no” to question 16, was he looking for work?
  4. If the person answered “no” to question 17, even if he didn’t work last week, does he have a job or business?
  5. If the person was working, how many hours did he or she work in the last week?
    1. What kind of work does the person do?
    2. What kind of business or industry is the person in?
    3. Class of worker the person is.
      • Enumerators were to mark “P” for private employment, “G” for government employment, “O” for own business, or “NP” for working without pay

Supplemental Questions (for a 5 percent sample of the population)

For all ages

  1. Was the person living in the same house a year ago?
  2. If no to question 21, was the person living on a farm a year ago?
  3. If no to question 21, was the person living in the same county a year ago?

  4. If no to question 23…

    1. What county (or nearest place) was he living in a year ago?

    2. What state or foreign country was he living in a year ago?

  5. What country were the person’s mother and father born in?

  6. What is the highest grade of school that the person has attended?
    • Enumerators were to mark “0” for no school; “K” for kindergarten; “S1” through “S12” depending on the last year of elementary or secondary school attended; “C1” through “C4” depending on the last year of undergraduate college education attended; or “C5” for any graduate or professional school.
  7. Did the person finish this grade?
  8. Has the person attended school since February 1st?
    • Enumerators could check a box for “yes” or “no” for those under thirty; for those over thirty, they were to check a box for “30 or over.”

For persons 14 years and older

  1. If the person is looking for work, how many weeks has he been looking for work?
  2. Last year, how many weeks did this person not work at all, not counting work around the house?
  3. Last year, how much money did the person earn working as an employee for wages or salary?
  4. Last year, how much money did the person earn working at his own business, professional occupation, or farm?
  5. Last year, how much money did the person receive from interest, dividends, veteran’s allowances, pensions, rents, or other income (aside from earnings)?
  6. If this person is the head of the household: last year, how much money did his relatives in this household earn working for wages or salary?
  7. If this person is the head of the household: last year, how much money did the person earn working at his own business, professional occupation, or farm?
  8. If this person is the head of the household: last year, how much money did the person receive from interest, dividends, veteran’s allowances, pensions, rents, or other income (aside from earnings)?
  9. If male: did he ever serve in the U.S. Armed Forces during…
    1. World War II
    2. World War I
    3. Any other time, including present service
  10. To enumerator: if the person worked in the last year, is there any entry in columns 20a, 20b, or 20c?
    • If yes, skip to question 36; if no, make entries for questions 35a, 35b, and 35c.
    1. What kind of work does this person doe in his job?
    2. What kind or business or industry does this person work in?
    3. Class of worker
  11. If ever married, has this person been married before?
  12. If married, widowed, divorced, or separated, how many years since this event occurred?
  13. If female and ever married, how many children has she ever borne, not counting stillbirths?

https://www.census.gov/history/www/through_the_decades/index_of_questions/1950_population.html

1960

For the first time in 1960, the Census Bureau mailed out a combined population and housing questionnaire to all urban residents in the United States. Residents were to complete the questionnaire themselves and hold it until an enumerator came visit and collect the form. Enumerators then gave an additional sample questionnaire to 25 percent of households, with instructions to mail it back to their census office. Rural residents were enumerated by traditional visitation. The census “short form” collected only five questions: relationship to head of household, age, sex, race, and marital status. The census questionnaire and enumerators collected the following information, listed by question number:

Population

  1. Name
  2. Relationship to head of household
  3. Sex
  4. Race or color
  5. Date of birth
  6. Marital status
  7. Place of birth

  8. If foreign born, what is the person’s mother tongue?

  9. Birth country of person’s father

  10. Birth country of person’s mother

  11. When did this person move into this house or apartment? The following categories were listed on the form:
    • In 1959 or 1960
    • In 1958
    • In 1957
    • April 1955 to December 1956
    • January 1954 to March 1955
    • 1950 to 1953
    • 1940 to 1949
    • 1939 or earlier
    • Always lived at this place
  12. Did the person live in this house on April 1, 1955?
    1. Born April 1955 or later
    2. Yes, this house
    3. No, different house
      Where did he live on April 1, 1955?

      1. City or town
      2. Did he live inside of the city limits?
      3. County

        State, foreign country, U.S. possession, or etc.

  13. What is the highest grade this person has attended in school?
  14. Did the person finish that highest grade?
  15. Has the person attended regular school or college at any time since February 1, 1960?
  16. Was it a public or private school?
  17. If this person has ever been married, has this person been married more than once?
  18. What month and year did the person get married? If he has been married more than once, what was the month and year of his first marriage?
  19. If this is a woman who has ever been married, how many babies has she ever had, not counting stillbirths?
  20. Was this person born before or after April 1946?

If the person was born before April 1946…

  1. Did this person work at any time last week?
  2. If yes, how many hours did he work last week at all jobs?
  3. Was this person looking for work, or on a layoff from a job?
  4. Does this person have a job or business from which he was temporarily absent last week because of illness, vacation, or other reasons?
  5. When did the person last work, even for a few days?
    • Working now
    • In 1960
    • In 1959
    • 1955 to 1958
    • 1950 to 1954
    • 1949 or earlier
    • Never worked
  6. Occupation
    1. This person last worked in 1949 or has never worked
    2. This person is on active duty in the armed forces now
    3. This person worked in 1950 or later
      1. For whom did he work?
      2. What kind of business or industry was it?
      3. Was the industry primarily…
        • Manufacturing
        • Wholesale trade
        • Retail trade
        • Other (services, agriculture, government, construction, etc.)
      4. What kind of work was this person doing?
      5. Was this person…
        • Privately employed
        • A government employee
        • Self-employed
        • Working without pay
  7. What city and county did this person work in last week?
  8. How did this person get to work last week?
    • Railroad
    • Subway or elevated train
    • Bus or streetcar
    • Taxicab
    • Private auto or carpool
    • Walk only
    • Worked at home
    • Other
  9. Last year, did this person work at all?
  10. How many weeks did this person work, either full time or part time?
  11. How much did this person earn in 1959 in wages, salary, commissions, or tips for all jobs?
  12. How much did he earn in 1959 in profits or fees from working in his own business, professional practice, partnership, or farm?
  13. Last year, how much income did this person receive from Social Security, pensions, veteran’s payments, rent (minus expenses), interest or dividends, unemployment insurance, welfare payments, etc?
  14. Has this person ever served in the Army, Navy, or other Armed forces?,br /> If so, was it during the Korean War, World War II, World War I, or at another time?

https://www.census.gov/history/www/through_the_decades/index_of_questions/1960_population.html

1970

The 1970 census was the first to operate on a true mail-out mail-back system. Because enumerators were only sent out to collect information from non-responding residents, the census questionnaire was designed to be filled out by the members of each household. The first eight questions were asked of every resident. All following questions, including the entire census of housing, were asked of a sample of either five, fifteen, or twenty percent of residents. The questionnaires collected the following information, listed by question number:

The following questions comprised the “short form,” and were of all residents.

  1. Name
  2. Relationship to head of the household
  3. Sex
  4. Color or race
  5. Month and year of birth, age at last birthday
  6. Month of birth
  7. Year of birth
  8. Marital status
  9. The questionnaire provided eight spots for members of a household. If all eight were used, are there more members of this household?
  10. Was anyone left out of the list of household members because there was some question about whether or not he or she should be listed?
  11. Was anyone listed who is away from home right now?
  12. Did anyone stay here on March 31 who is not already listed?

The following questions were asked of only a sample of respondents

    1. Where was this person born?

    2. Is this person’s origin or descent…

      • Mexican

      • Puerto Rican

      • Cuban

      • Central or South American

      • Other Spanish

      • None of these

  1. What country was the person’s father born in?

  2. What country was the person’s mother born in?

    1. For persons born in a foreign country- Is the person naturalized?

    2. WHen did the person come to the United States to stay?

  3. What language, other than English, was spoken in the person’s home as a child?

    • Spanish

    • French

    • German

    • Other

    • None, only English

  4. When did this person move into his house or apartment?
    1. Did this person live in this house on April 1, 1965
    2. If no, where did he live on April 1, 1965?
  5. Since February 1, 1970, has this person attended regular school or college at any time?
    • No
    • Yes, public
    • Yes, parochial
    • Yes, other private
  6. What is the highest grade (or year) of school that this person has ever attended?
  7. Did this person finish the highest grade he attended?
  8. When was this person born?
    • Before April 1956 (please go on with questions 24 through 41)
    • April 1956 or later (population questions end here)
    1. Has this person been married more than once?
    2. When did he get married, or married for the first time?
    3. If the person had been married more than once, did the first marriage end because of the death of his spouse?
  9. If the person is a girl or a woman- how many babies has she ever had, not counting stillbirths?
    1. If the person is a man- has he ever served in the Army, Navy, or other Armed Forces of the United States?
    2. Was it during the…
      • Vietnam Conflict
      • Korean War
      • World War II
      • World War I
      • Any other time
    1. Has this person ever completed a vocational training program?
    2. If yes, what was the person’s main field of vocational training?
      • Business or other office work
      • Nursing or other health fields
      • Trades and crafts (mechanic, electrician, beautician, etc.)
      • Engineering or science technician; draftsman
      • Agriculture or home economics
      • Other
    1. Does this person have a health or physical condition which limits the kind or amount of work he can do at a job? If the person is 65 years or older, skip to question 29.
    2. Does the person’s health or physical condition keep him from holding any job at all?
    3. If “Yes” to a or b- how long has the person been limited in his ability to work?
    1. Did this person work at any time last week? (If no, the person was to skip to question 30)
    2. If yes, how many hours did the person work last week?
    3. Where did the person work last week?
      1. Address
      2. Name of city, town, village, etc.
      3. Inside of the limits of this city, town, or village?
      4. County
      5. State
      6. Zip code
    4. How did the person get to work last week?
      • Driver, private auto
      • Passenger, private auto
      • Bus or streetcar
      • Subway or elevated
      • Railroad
      • Taxicab
      • Walked only
      • Worked at home
      • Other means

After completing this question, the person was to skip to question 33

  1. Does this person have a job or business from which he was temporarily absent or on layoff last week?
    1. Has the person been looking for work during the past four weeks?
    2. If yes, was there any reason the person could not take a job last week?
      • Yes, already had a job
      • Yes, because of this person’s temporary illness
      • Yes, for other reasons (in school, etc.)
      • No, could have taken a job
  2. When did the person last work at all, even for a few days?
    1. For whom did the person work?
    2. What kind of business or industry was this?
    3. Was this work mainly…
      • Manufacturing
      • Wholesale trade
      • Retail trade
      • Other
    1. What kind of work was the person doing?
    2. What were the person’s most important activities and duties?
    3. What was the person’s job title?
  3. Was this person an…
    • Employee of a private company
    • Federal government employee
    • State government employee
    • Local government employee
    • Self-employed in an incorporated business
    • Self-employed in an unincorporated business
    • Working without pay in a family business or farm
  4. In April 1965, what state did this person live in?
  5. In April 1965, was this person…
    • Working at a job or business
    • In the Armed Forces
    • Attending college
  6. If working at a job or business in April 1965, describe this person’s chief activity or business at that time
    1. What kind of business or industry was this?
    2. What kind of work was the person doing?
    3. Was the person an employee of a private company or government agency or self-employed or an unpaid family worker?
    1. Last year, did the person work at all, even for a few days?
    2. If yes, how many weeks did the person work in 1969?
  7. Earnings in 1969
    1. How much did this person earn in 1969 in wages, salary, commissions, bonuses, or tips from all jobs?
    2. How much did this person earn in 1969 from his own non-farm business, professional practice, or partnership?
    3. How much did he earn in 1969 from his own farm?
  8. Income other than earnings in 1969
    1. How much did this person receive in 1969 from Social Security or Railroad Retirement?
    2. How much did this person receive in 1969 from public assistance or welfare payments?
    3. How much did this person receive in 1969 from all other sources?

https://www.census.gov/history/www/through_the_decades/index_of_questions/1970_population.html

1980

The following information, listed by questions number, was collected from each respondent:

The following questions were asked of all respondents:

  1. Name
  2. Relationship to first person listed on the questionnaire
  3. Sex
  4. Race
    1. Age at last birthday
    2. Month of birth
    3. Year of birth
  5. Marital status
  6. Is this person of Spanish/Hispanic origin or descent
  7. Since February 1, 1980, has this person attended regular school or college?
  8. What is the highest grade (or year) of regular school this person has ever attended?
  9. Did this person finish the highest grade (or year) attended?

The following questions were asked of a sample of respondents:

  1. In what state or foreign country was the person born?

  2. If this person was born in a foreign country…

    1. Is this person a naturalized citizen of the United States?

    2. When did this person come the United States to stay?

    1. Does this person speak a language other than English at home?

    2. If yes, what is this language?

    3. If yes, how well does this person speak English?

  3. What is this person’s ancestry?
    1. Did this person live in this house five years ago?
    2. If no, where did this person live five years ago?
  4. When was this person born?
    • Before April 1965 (continue with questions 17 – 33)
    • April 1965 or later (answer no more questions)
  5. In April 1975 was this person-
    1. On active duty in the Armed Forces?
    2. Attending college?
    3. Working at a job or business? If yes, full time or part time?
    1. Is this person a veteran of active-duty military service in the Armed Forces of the United States?
    2. Was active duty military service during-
      • May 1975 or later
      • Vietnam era (August 1964 – April 1975)
      • February 1955 – July 1964
      • Korean conflict (June 1950 – January 1955)
      • World War II (September 1940 – July 1947)
      • World War I (April 1917 – November 1918)
      • Any other time
  6. Does this person have a physical, mental, or other health condition which has lasted for 6 or more months and which…
    1. Limits the kind or amount of work this person can do at a job?
    2. Prevents this person from working at a job?
    3. Limits or prevents this person from using public transportation?
  7. If this person is a female, how many babies has she ever had, not counting stillbirths?
  8. If this person has ever been married-
    1. Has this person been married more than once?
    2. Month and year of marriage or first marriage
    3. If married more than once, did the first marriage end because of the death of the husband (or wife)?
    1. Did this person work at any time last week?
    2. How many hours did this person work last week (at all jobs)?
  9. At what location did this person work last week?
    1. Address
    2. Name of city, town, village, or borough
    3. Is the place inside the incorporated (legal) limits of that city, town, village, or borough?
    4. County
    5. State
    6. ZIP Code
    1. Last week, how long did it usually take this person to get from home to work (one way)?
    2. How did this person usually get to work last week?
      • Car
      • Truck
      • Van
      • Bus or streetcar
      • Railroad
      • Subway or elevated
      • Taxicab
      • Motorcycle
      • Bicycle
      • Walked only
      • Worked at home
      • Other
    3. If the person uses a car, truck, or van- when going to work last week, did this person usually…
      • Drive alone
      • Share driving
      • Dive others only
      • Ride as a passenger only
    4. If the person does not drive alone- how many people, including this person, usually rode to work in the car, truck, or van last week?
  10. If this person was not at work last week, was this person temporarily absent or on layoff from a job or business last week?
    1. Has this person been looking for work during the last four weeks?
    2. If yes, could this person have taken a job last week?
  11. When did this person last work, even for a few days?
  12. Industry
    1. From whom did this person work?
    2. What kind of business or industry was this?
    3. Is this job mainly…
      • Manufacturing
      • Wholesale trade
      • Retail trade
      • Other
  13. Occupation
    1. What kind of work was this person doing?
    2. What were this person’s most important activities or duties?
  14. Was this person-
    • Employee of a private company, business, or individual, for wages, salary, or commissions
    • Federal government employee
    • State government employee
    • Local government employee
    • Self-employed in own business
      • Own business not incorporated
      • Own business incorporated
    • Working without pay in family business or farm
    1. Last year (1979), did this person work, even for a few days, at a paid job or in a business or farm?
    2. If yes, how many weeks did this person work in 1979?
    3. During the weeks worked in 1979, how many hours did this person usually work each week?
    4. Of the weeks not worked in 1979 (if any), how many weeks was this person looking for work or on layoff from a job?
  15. Income in 1979 from…
    1. Wages, salary, commissions, bonuses, or tips from all jobs
    2. Own non-farm business, partnership, or professional practice
    3. Own farm
    4. Interest, dividends, royalties, or net rental income
    5. Social Security or Railroad Retirement
    6. Supplemental Security (SSI), Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), or other public assistance or public welfare payments
    7. Unemployment compensation, veterans’ payments, pensions, alimony, child support, or any other sources of income received regularly
  16. What was this person’s total income from 1979?

https://www.census.gov/history/www/through_the_decades/index_of_questions/1980_population.html

 

1990

The 1990 census asked only seven population and seven housing questions. A sample of respondents received the “long form,” which included 23 more population inquiries. The 1990 census collected the following information, listed by question number:

The following questions were asked of all respondents:

  1. Name
  2. Relationship to person in column 1
  3. Sex
  4. Race
  5. Age and year of birth
  6. Marital Status
  7. Is this person on Hispanic or Spanish origin?

The following questions were asked of a sample of respondents:

  1. In what U.S. State or foreign country was this person born?

  2. Is this person a citizen of the United States?

  3. If this person was not born in the United States, when did this person come to the United States to stay?

  4. At any time since February 1, 1990, has this person attended regular
    school or college?
  5. How much school has this person completed?
  6. What is this person’s ancestory or ethnic origin?
    1. Did this person live in this house or apartment 5 years ago?
    2. If no, where did this person live 5 years ago?
    1. Does this person speak a language other than English at home?
    2. If yes, what is this language?
    3. If yes, how well does this person speak English?
    1. Has this person ever been in active-duty military service in the Armed Forces of the United States or ever been in the United States military Reserves or the National Guard?
    2. If on active-duty, was it during:
      • September 1980 or later
      • May 1975 to August 1980
      • Vietnam era (August 1964 – April 1975)
      • February 1955 – July 1964
      • Korean conflict (June 1950 – January 1955)
      • World War II (September 1940 – July 1947)
      • World War I (April 1917 – November 1918)
      • Any other time
    3. In total, how many years of active-duty military service has this person had?
  7. Does this person have a physical, mental, or other health condition that has lasted for six or more months and which-
    1. Limits the kind or amount of work this person can do at a job?
    2. Prevents this person from working at a job?
  8. Because of a health condition that has lasted for 6 or more months, does this person have any difficulty-
    1. Going outside the home alone, for example, to shop or visit a doctor’s office?
    2. Taking care of his or her own personal needs, such as bathing, dressing, or getting around inside the home?
  9. If this person is female, how many babies has she ever had, not including stillbirths?
    1. Did this person work last week?
    2. If yes, how many hours did this person work last week?
  10. At what location did this person work last week?
    1. How did this person usually get to work last week?
      • Car, truck, or van
      • Bus or trolley bus
      • Streetcar or trolley car
      • Subway or elevated
      • Railroad
      • Ferryboat
      • Taxicab
      • Motorcycle
      • Bicycle
      • Walked only
      • Worked at home
      • Other
    2. If the person used a car, truck, or van, how many people, including this person, usually rode to work in the same vehicle last week?
    1. What time did this person usually leave home to go to work last week?
    2. How many minutes did it usually take this person to get from home to work last week?
  11. If this person did not work last week, was he temporarily absent or on layoff from a job or business last week?
    1. Has this person been looking for work during the last four weeks?
    2. If yes, could this person have taken a job last week if one had been offered?
  12. When did this person last work, even for a few days?
  13. Industry or Employer
    1. From whom did this person work?
    2. What kind of business or industry was this?
    3. Is this job mainly…
      • Manufacturing
      • Wholesale trade
      • Retail trade
      • Other
  14. Occupation
    1. What kind of work was this person doing?
    2. What were this person’s most important activities or duties?
  15. Was this person-
    • Employee of a private for profit company, business, or individual, for wages, salary, or commissions
    • Employee of a private not-for-profit, tax-exempt, or charitable organization
    • Local government employee
    • State government employee
    • Federal government employee
    • Self-employed in own not incorporated business
    • Self-employed in own incorporated business
    • Working without pay in family business or farm
    1. Last year (1989), did this person work, even for a few days, at a paid job or in a business or farm?
    2. If yes, how many weeks did this person work in 1989?
    3. During the weeks worked in 1989, how many hours did this person usually work each week?
  16. Income in 1989-
    1. Wages, salary, commissions, bonuses, or tips from all jobs
    2. Self-employment income from own non-farm business, including proprietorship and partnership
    3. Farm self-employment income
    4. Interest, dividends, net rental income or royalty income, or income from estates and trusts
    5. Social Security or Railroad Retirement
    6. Supplemental Security (SSI), Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), or other public assistance or public welfare payments
    7. Retirement, survivor, or disability pensions
    8. Any other sources of income received regularly such as Veterans’ (VA) payments, unemployment compensation, child support, or alimony
  17. What was this person’s total income in 1989?

https://www.census.gov/history/www/through_the_decades/index_of_questions/1990_population.html

2000

The 2000 census short form asked eight questions to all respondents. The long form, which combined housing and population questions into a single questionnaire, asked an additional 45 questions, All respondents were asked Questions 1 – 6 and Question 33. The 2000 census collected the following information, listed by question number:

  1. Name
  2. What is this person’s telephone number?
  3. Sex
  4. Age and date of birth
  5. Is this person of Spanish/Hispanic/Latino?
  6. Race
  7. Marital Status
    1. At any time since February 1, 2000, has this person attended regular school or college?
    2. If yes, what grade or level was this person attending?
  8. What is the highest degree or level of school this person has completed?
  9. What is this person’s ancestry or ethnic origin?

    1. Does this person speak a language other than English at home?

    2. What is this language?

    3. How well does this person speak English?

  10. What state or country was this person from?

  11. Is this person a citizen of the United States?

  12. If the person was not born in the United States, when did he come to live in the United States?

    1. Did this person live in this house or apartment 5 years ago?
    2. Where did this person live 5 years ago?
  13. Does this person have any of the following long-lasting conditions:
    1. Blindness, deafness, or a severe vision or hearing impairment?
    2. A condition that substantially limits one or more basic physical activities such as walking, climbing stairs, reaching, lifting, or carrying?
  14. Because of a physical, mental, or emotional condition lasting six months or more, does this person have any difficulty in doing any of the following activities:
    1. Learning, remembering, or concentrating?
    2. Dressing, bathing, getting around inside the home?
    3. If the person is 16 years or older, going outside the home alone to shop or visit a doctor’s office
    4. If the person is 16 years or older, working at a job or business
  15. Was this person under 15 years of age on April 1, 2000?
    • If yes, skip to Question 33
    1. Does this person have any of his/her own grandchildren under the age of 18 living in this house or apartment?
    2. If yes, is this grandparent currently responsible for most of the basic needs of any grandchildren under the age of 18 who live in this house or apartment?
    3. How long has this grandparent been responsible for these grandchildren?
    1. Has this person ever served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces, military Reserves, or National Guard?
    2. When did this person serve on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces?
      • April 1995 or later
      • August 1990 to March 1995 (including Persian Gulf War)
      • September 1980 to July 1990
      • May 1975 to August 1980
      • Vietnam era (August 1964 – April 1975)
      • February 1955 – July 1964
      • Korean conflict (June 1950 – January 1955)
      • World War II (September 1940 – July 1947)
      • Any other time
    3. In total, how many years of active-duty military service has this person had?
  16. Last week, did this person do any work for either pay or profit?
  17. At what location did this person work last week?
    1. How did this person usually get to work last week?
      • Car, truck, or van
      • Bus or trolley bus
      • Streetcar or trolley car
      • Subway or elevated
      • Railroad
      • Ferryboat
      • Taxicab
      • Motorcycle
      • Bicycle
      • Walked only
      • Worked at home
      • Other
    2. If the person used a car, truck, or van, how many people, including this person, usually rode to work in the same vehicle last week?
    1. What time did this person usually leave home to go to work last week?
    2. How many minutes did it usually take this person to get from home to work last week?
    1. Last week, was this person on layoff from a job?
    2. Last week, was this person temporarily absent from a job or business?
    3. If on layoff, has this person been informed that he or she will be recalled to work within the next 6 months or been given a date to return to work?
    4. If no, has this person been looking for work during the last 4 weeks?
    5. Last week, could this person have started a job if offered one, or returned to work if recalled?
  18. When did this person last work, even for a few days?
  19. Industry or Employer
    1. For whom did this person work?
    2. What kind of business or industry was this?
    3. Is this job mainly…
      • Manufacturing
      • Wholesale trade
      • Retail trade
      • Other
  20. Occupation
    1. What kind of work was this person doing?
    2. What were this person’s most important activities or duties?
  21. Was this person-
    • Employee of a private for profit company, business, or individual, for wages, salary, or commissions
    • Employee of a private not-for-profit, tax-exempt, or charitable organization
    • Local government employee
    • State government employee
    • Federal government employee
    • Self-employed in own not incorporated business
    • Self-employed in own incorporated business
    • Working without pay in family business or farm
    1. Last year, 1999, did this person work at a job or business at any time?
    2. How many weeks did this person work in 1999?
    3. During the weeks worked in 1999, how many hours did this person usually work each week?
  22. Income in 1999-
    1. Wages, salary, commissions, bonuses, or tips from all jobs
    2. Self-employment income from own non-farm businesses or farm businesses, including proprietorship and partnership
    3. Interest, dividends, net rental income or royalty income, or income from estates and trusts
    4. Social Security or Railroad Retirement
    5. Supplemental Security (SSI)
    6. Any public assistance or welfare payments from the state or local welfare offices
    7. Retirement, survivor, or disability pensions
    8. Any other sources of income received regularly such as Veterans’ (VA) payments, unemployment compensation, child support, or alimony
  23. What was this person’s total income in 1989?
  24. Is this house, apartment, or mobile home-
    • Owned by you or someone in this household with a mortgage or loan?
    • Owned by you or someone in this household free and clear (without a mortgage or loan)?
    • Rented for cash rent?
    • Occupied without payment of cash rent?
  25. Which best describes this building?
    • A mobile home or trailer
    • A one-family house detached from any other house
    • A one-family house attached to one or more houses
    • A building for 2 families
    • A building for 3 or 4 families
    • A building for 5 to 9 families
    • A building for 10 to 19 families
    • A building for 20 to 49 families
    • A building for 50 or more families
    • Boat, RV, van, etc.
  26. About when was this building first built?
  27. When did this person move into this house, apartment, or mobile home?
  28. How many rooms do you have in this house, apartment, or mobile home?
  29. How many bedrooms do you have in this house, apartment or mobile home??
  30. Do you have complete plumbing facilities in this house, apartment or mobile home?
  31. Do you have complete kitchen facilities in this house, apartment or mobile home?
  32. Is there telephone service available in this house, apartment, or mobile home from which you can both make and receive calls?
  33. Which fuel is used most for heating this house or apartment?
    • Gas from underground pipes serving the neighborhood
    • Gas: bottled, tank, or LP
    • Electricity
    • Fuel oil, kerosene, etc.
    • Coal or coke
    • Wood
    • Solar energy
    • Other fuel
    • No fuel used
  34. How many automobiles, vans, and trucks of one-tone capacity or less are kept at home for use by members of your household?
  35. If this is a one family house or mobile home-
    1. Is there a business (such as a store or barber shop) on the property?
    2. How many acres is this house or mobile home on?
    3. in 1999, what were the actual sales of all agricultural products from this property?
  36. What are the yearly costs of utilities and fuels for this house apartment, or mobile home?
    1. Electricity
    2. Gas
    3. Water
    4. Oil, coal, kerosene, wood, etc.
  37. If you pay rent-
    1. What is the monthly rent?
    2. Does the monthly rent include any meals?

Answer Questions 47 – 53 only if you or someone in this household owns or is buying this house, apartment, or mobile home

    1. Do you have a mortgage, deed or trust, contract to purchase, or similar debt on this property?
    2. If yes, how much is your regular monthly mortgage payment on this house?
    3. Does your regular monthly mortgage payment include payments from real estate taxes on this property?
    1. Do you have a second mortgage or a home equity loan on this property?
    2. How much is your regular monthly payment on all second or junior mortgages and all home equity loans on this property?
  1. What were the real estate taxes on this property last year?
  2. What was the annual payment for fire, hazard, and flood insurance on this property?
  3. What is the value of this property? That is, how much do you think this house and lot, apartment, or mobile home and lot would sell for if it were on sale?
  4. If this property is a condominium, what is the monthly condominium fee?
  5. If this property is a mobile home-
    • Do you have an installment loan or contract on this mobile home?
    • What was the total cost for installment loan payments, personal property taxes, site rent, registration fees, and license fees on this mobile home and its site last year?

https://www.census.gov/history/www/through_the_decades/index_of_questions/2000_1.html

2010

For the 2010 census, the long- and short-form questionnaires used from 1940 to 2000 were replaced by a single questionnaire asking 10 questions. The questions asked by the long-form questionnaire are now asked by the annual American Community Survey.

The 2010 census asked the following ten questions:

  1. How many people were living or staying in this house, apartment, or mobile home on April 1, 2010?
  2. Were there any additional people staying here April 1, 2010 that you did not include in Question 1?
  3. Is this house, apartment, or mobile home: owned with mortgage, owned without mortgage, rented, occupied without rent?
  4. What is your telephone number?
  5. Please provide information for each person living here. Start with a person here who owns or rents this house, apartment, or mobile home. If the owner or renter lives somewhere else, start with any adult living here. This will be Person 1. What is Person 1’s name?
  6. What is Person 1’s sex?
  7. What is Person 1’s age and Date of Birth?
  8. Is Person 1 of Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin?

  9. What is Person 1’s race?

  10. Does Person 1 sometimes live or stay somewhere else?

https://www.census.gov/history/www/through_the_decades/index_of_questions/2010.html

2020

more… my earlier blog:

Does A Genealogist Want A Citizenship Question On Any Questionnaire? What Do You Think?

https://cherielynnsherstory.com/2019/07/05/does-a-genealogist-want-a-citizenship-question-on-any-questionnaire-what-do-you-think/

 

One thought on ““The” Census Question, When Wasn’t “It” Asked? ~ Read All The Questions, For All The Years

  1. Pingback: Does A Genealogist Want A Citizenship Question On Any Questionnaire? What Do You Think? | Cherie Lynn's Herstory

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