May 16, 2022

Research Resources: National Archives (NARA) Releases 1950 U.S Census Online

From NARA:

Taken every 10 years since 1790, the United States census provides a snapshot of the nation’s population. Because of a 72-year restriction on access to the records, the most recent census year currently available is 1950.

On April 1, 2022, the 1950 Census was released, and users can access it for free through a dedicated website at This population census is the 17th decennial census of the United States. The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has digitized and is providing free online access to the 1950 Census population schedules for U.S. states and territories, enumeration district maps, and enumeration district descriptions.

You can search the 1950 Census website by name and location. You can also search by Indian Reservation for form P8 Indian Reservation Schedules.

To develop the initial name index, we are using Amazon Web Services’ artificial intelligence / optical character recognition (AI/OCR) Textract tool to extract the handwritten names from the digitized 1950 Census population schedules.

Because the initial name index is built on optical character recognition (OCR) technology, it is not 100-percent accurate. The National Archives is asking for your help in submitting name updates to the index using a transcription tool that is available on the 1950 Census website. You can help us improve the accuracy of the name index and make the records more accessible for everyone. More information will be forthcoming.


In addition, researchers can download the full 1950 Census dataset through the Amazon Web Services’ (AWS) Registry of Open Data.


Direct to 1950 U.S Census Online (Search)

Direct to Questions About the Census

Direct to Census FAQs

Direct to Additional Help/Resources

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.