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Census Information in the Library: Older Censuses (1920-1990)

describes the Library's collection of Census material in print, microfiche and CD/DVD

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Older Censuses: General Series

Here are the major series of Census materials held by the Library that report data from the 100% questionnaires (covering the total population). Printed items are in the documents stacks on the Library's 2nd floor unless otherwise noted. CDs must be requested from the Circulation Counter. 

Block Statistics: C 3,224.5:

  • 1960: Texas only text
  • 1970: Texas only text
  • 1980: all states MF
  • 1990 all states CDs

 text Census Tracts. C 3.223/11: . We have tracts for most of the cities in Texas for 1960-1990.

text General Housing Characteristics. C 3.224/3: .

  • 1970 (Texas only)
  • 1980 (Texas only)
  • 1990 (Texas only)

 textGeneral Population Characteristics. C 3.223/6: .

  • 1960 (Texas only)
  • 1980 (Texas only)
  • 1990 (Texas only)

text Number of Inhabitants. C 3.223/5: .

  • 1960 (all states in one volume)
  • 1970 (all states in 2-volume set)
  • 1990 (Texas only)

Older Censuses: Detailed Series

text These reports provide information obtained through the sample questionnaires and their information is therefore more detailed. 

 Census Tract Reports. C 3.223/11: . 1960-70 San Antonio only; 1980-90 Texas cities only. Most volumes of tables have accompanying maps. These reports are important because they are the smallest geographic area to report sample data.

 Detailed Social/Economic. C 3.223/8: . 1960-1980 (Texas only; not published for later years). Has cross-tabulations of data not shown in General series.

 General Social/Economic. C 3.223/7: . 1960,1980 (Texas only); 1990 (all states).

 General Social/Economic for Metro Areas. C 3.223/7-2: . 1990 (all states in 2 volumes)

 General and Detailed Housing Characteristics. C 3.224/3: . 1970 (Texas only); 1980-90 all states. 1980 General series volumes are in storage except for Texas. Detailed 1980 volumes and both General and Detailed volumes for 1990 are in the stacks.

 Metropolitan Housing Characteristics. C 3.224/4: . 1970-1980 (Texas cities only); not published for later years. 

Subject & Special Reports

Subject Reports

text Population: C 3.223/10: . (1960-90). Housing: C 3.224/10: . (1970-80). These reports primarily cover the entire country, but may have some regional and state tabulations. The titles of Subject Reports have shifted considerably over time, but cover, in greater or less detail from Census to Census, these subject areas: Families, Education, Labor, Mobility/Migration, Race/Ethnicity. The Subject Reports sub-tab provides a detailed listing of the subject reports available in the Library.

Special Reports

text These are Housing reports:

  • Components of Inventory Change. C3.224/6: . 1970-1980.
  • Employment Profiles of Low-Income Areas. C3.223/17: . 1970 only.
  • Residential Finance. C3.224/7: . 1970-1980.

Pre-1960 Census data


 The Blume Library also has scattered print holdings from some earlier Censuses.

Volumes for 1920 and 1930 are classified C 3.28/5: and C 3.37/5: , respectively. For these years, information on population, economic conditions and agriculture were combined.

The 1920 Census also produced some monographs which cover such subjects as the position of women, the condition of minorities, the farm population and immigrants. These volumes are classified C 3.30: . Here is a listing of the subjects covered in the monographs.

The Library has volumes for 1916, 1926 and 1936 covering Religious Bodies. They are classified C 3.35: .

Finally, the Library has two volumes from the 1890 Census: Report on Indians Taxed and Not Taxed (C 3.11:7) and Report of Statistics on Churches in the U.S. ( C 3.11:3).

Additional information on Census publications back to the beginnings of the nation can be found on the Census Bureau's Catalog page.

Online sources for historical Census data

More about historical Census data

NOTE: not all past Census reports have been digitized at this time. does offer historical data online, some in PDFs of original publications, and some using other data delivery methods. Remember that many Census tables from recent Censuses include comparison data from earlier years. And there are some papers and other publications on specific topics which may have a historical focus. To find these you can try the web site's Search function, using the words historical AND (be sure to type "and" in all capitals) your topic (e.g., "Foreign-Born," "Housing Units," etc.).

The Blume Library is reducing its collection of printed Census reports, since they are becoming more easily and reliably available online. Records in the Library Catalog contain links to online versions of many printed reports that have been discarded.

ceckA quick way to get population counts (in a plain text file) for counties from 1900 to 1990 is by plugging your state's two-digit postcode abbreviation into this URL, which gives the table for Colorado:

Census Forms

Actual census enumeration forms, which can be useful in genealogical research, are not available at, but rather from the National Archives. They become available 70 years after the Census date; thus, at present, records from the 1790-1930 Censuses are available.

A section of GODORT's GITCO Census 2000 Toolkit deals with Historical Census information. It provides links to data, guides and reference materials.