Census Day - April 1, 1950

1950-flight-attendant Family researchers have loved going through the recently released 1940 US Federal Census and now look forward to the 1950 US Census. That census will be of special interest to many family researchers because they more than likely will be on that census record. If you or another family member or friends were born by Saturday, April 1, 1950, they will on the 1950 census.

Besides the date, all people living in the continental United States, the territories of Alaska and Hawaii (they were not states yet), American Samoa, the Canal Zone, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands of the United States, and some of the smaller island territories would be on the 1950 census. What makes the 1950 census also unique was that it was the first time provisions were made to count members of the armed forces, crews of vessels, and employees of the United States government living in foreign countries, along with any members of their families also abroad. Other persons living abroad were to be reported by their families or neighbors in the United States, but the quality of this data was considered to be very incomplete.

Another new item was the ‘Infant Card‘ which was to be completed on any baby born after January 1, 1950. That would include me, I was born in Feb. 1950. A census taker was paid an extra 7 cents for each completed infant card.

New training was done for the census takers (some 142,962 people), along with special times where the census takers visited hotels, tourist camps and other locations to get everyone counted. With the counting started on April 1st it actually took until the end of June to finish. After the census across the land was completed, it was the first time the bureau used a very early computer to do the tally.

Some of the information learned was the total population was 151,325,798. That was an increase of 14.5% in population compared to the 1940 census. However, note it is believed many people were missed in the 1940 census. My mother-in-law was one that was not counted.

The three largest cities in population in 1950 were: New York City, Chicago and Philadelphia.

It will be after April 2, 2022 before the US 1950 Census to opened and available for the public. By law the census records are sealed for 72 years before being released.

To get a little information now for an ancestor who lived in the 1950s, check out any city directories available for where the relative lived. On Ancestry.com they have city directories as a database, a 1950 census substitute.

Photo:  1950 airline flight attendants.

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