May 16, 2023

National Archives Info About the 1950 Census

On April 1, 2022, the National Archives released the 1950 Census (kept confidential for 72 years) online at See the press release. Anyone, anywhere can search freely—experienced researchers, genealogy buffs, and novices! 

Speak with a trusted expert: Are you a member of the media who is covering the release of the 1950 census records? Upon request, we can share a list of historians, genealogists, and archivists who can provide you with more information for your coverage. Email:

Here is a condensed version of the 1950 Census tabulation picture. In the foreground is a punch card machine. Holes are punched in the card according to a prearranged code, transferring the facts from the questionnaire into statistics. The man operating the machine labeled “140” is running a sorter. This machine sorts cards into any desired classification. The other two machines are tabulators which add up the final results.

1950 Census Release: What’s Old?

Outlined in the Constitution and taken every 10 years since 1790, the census is used to define “We the People” by providing a snapshot of the nation’s population.

1950 Census Release: What’s New?

First time using optical character recognition/artificial intelligence (OCR/AI) for handwriting recognition

First time using a transcription tool to improve the name index

First chance to download the entire census in bulk

First time releasing the census during a pandemic

First 1950 Census National Archives Genealogy Series on our YouTube channel

Getting Started

1950 Census Fact Sheet

The 1950 Census Records Release

NARA’s 1950 Census web page 

Search Census Records Online

Social Media Kit

Visual Resources

Selected Photographs

1950 Census GIFs

Blank 1950 Census forms

1950 Census PSAs, including “Helping the Census helps Uncle Sam!”

1950 Census: Training Filmstrips

NARA Blog Posts

The 1950 Census is Here! (AOTUS Blog)

National Archives Publishes 1950 Census Records (National Archives News)

Preparing for the 1950 Census (AOTUS Blog)

Please Help NARA Refine the Draft Name Index! (History Hub)

Volunteers Can Contribute to Nation’s History by Collaborating on 1950 Census Records (National Archives News)

Census Records: The 72-Year Rule (Pieces of History)

Public Access to Census Records at the National Archives (Pieces of History)

Census Records Come to the National Archives (Pieces of History)

Standout Census Stories: Using the U.S. Census to Solve Adoption Mysteries (National Archives News)

Standout Census Stories: Familial Connections and Federal Records—The Ties that Bind (National Archives News)

Standout Census Stories: Who Are You? Using the Census to Add Context to Family Photos (National Archives News)

Genealogy Series 2022 Kicks Off With “What’s on the 1950 Census” (National Archives News)

Standout Census Stories: An Archivist Untangles Immigration Records Using Leads from the Census (National Archives News)

Standout Census Stories: Schoel to Samuel to Saul Through Four Decades of Records (National Archives News)

1950 Census on Track for 2022 Release, Despite Pandemic (National Archives News)

Standout Census Stories: An Archives Executive Discovers His “Huckster” Grandfather (National Archives News)

Release of 1950 Census Will Increase Access to Records in St. Louis (National Archives News)

Counting Down Until the Release of the 1950 Census! (The Text Message)

The Story of the 1950 Census P8 Indian Reservation Schedule (The Text Message)

Archivist Explores History of 1950 Census Indian Reservation Schedule (National Archives News)

Door-to-door census-taking, April 1950.

View in National Archives Catalog

​Posts from NARA’s Experts

View all the 1950 Census posts on History Hub

Census fun facts

1950 Census

1950 Census: 20 Tips for Research Success

Census Enumeration of U.S. Civilians and Military Personnel Overseas, 1790–1950

1950 Census: “Your Map is Your Guide—Use It!”

1950 Census: Field Enumeration Procedures

1950 Census: How the Data Were Used

1950 Census: The Official Census Day—April 1, 1950

Useful Links

U.S. Presidents in Census Records

Intro to Census Records

Search Census Records Online

NARA Fact Sheet

U.S Census Bureau Resources

Census Bureau Press Kit

1950 Overview

About the Decennial Census of Population and Housing

Census in the Constitution

History of the Census

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