In anticipation of the National Archives releasing the Seventeenth Census of the United States, 1950 on April 1, 2022, we are highlighting a new collection curated from reports available in HathiTrust, the U.S. Census of Population: 1950. We expect that the 2022 release of the head of household primary source records will generate tremendous public interest in the census, and this collection of published census volumes in HathiTrust offers a complementary and equally rich insight on the United States at the beginning of a pivotal decade.
HathiTrust contains many digitized reports from the 1950 census of population, and we’ve gathered key reports into this collection. If you are not familiar with these reports, here’s an overview of what you will find:
Volumes 1 & 2 contain a national overview as well as reports from every state.
Volume 3 contains reports about metropolitan areas, divided into census tracts (tracts contain around 4,000 people and 1,400 housing units).
Volume 4 contains reports on various topics, including occupation, place of birth, and education.
Volume 5 contains special reports, which are indexes to data reported elsewhere, plus a report on farms and farmers.
Also included are the procedural studies on how the census was conducted, and the census monograph series, which draws on government data reported elsewhere and highlights significant results of the 1950 census. These monographs provide detailed analyses of topics such as fertility, families, and agriculture; title examples include American Agriculture: Its Structure And Place In The Economy; Immigrants And Their Children, 1850-1950; Social Characteristics Of Urban And Rural Communities; American Families; Residential Finance, 1950; America’s Children; and Fertility Of American Women. Census monograph reports were not produced for 1930 and 1940 due to the Great Depression and war efforts respectively. From these titles, one can see that these reports provide open access, primary source, quantitative and qualitative data of interest to all disciplines.
The collection is easily accessible under the “Collection” header once you’ve accessed the HathiTrust or directly by using this shareable link.
This collection is an example of what one group can accomplish using their shared expertise. Working together, the HathiTrust Federal Documents Advisory Committee created this resource for researchers interested in the 1950 census and the discovery of lesser-known or less-used 1950 census special reports. To guide their work, the committee used the Bureau of the Census Catalog of Publications, 1790-1972 (SuDoc #: C 56.222/2-2:790-972) which provides a complete list of publications associated with the 1950 census.
Direct to U.S. Census of Population: 1950