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1850 United States Census: Wikis

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Filled-out census-taker's form from 1850 US Census, including household of Abraham Lincoln

The United States Census of 1850 was the seventh census of the United States. Conducted by the Bureau of the Census on June 1, 1850, it determined the resident population of the United States to be 23,191,876 — an increase of 35.9 percent over the 17,069,453 persons enumerated during the 1840 Census. The total population included 3,204,313 slaves.

This was the first census where there was an attempt to collect information about every member of every household, including women, children, and slaves. Prior to 1850, census records had only recorded the name of the head of the household and broad statistical accounting of other household members (three children under age five, one woman between the age of 35 and 40, etc.). It was also the first census to ask about place of birth.

Hinton Rowan Helper made extensive use of the 1850 census results in his politically notorious book The Impending Crisis of the South.

Contents

Census questions

The 1850 census collected the following information[1]:

  • name
  • address
  • age
  • sex
  • color (white, black or mulatto) for each person
  • whether deaf and dumb, blind, insane or idiotic
  • value of real estate owned (required of all free persons)
  • profession, occupation or trade of each male over 15 years of age
  • place (state, territory or country) of birth
  • whether married within the year
  • whether attended school within the year
  • whether unable to read and write (for persons over 20)
  • whether a pauper or convict

Full documentation for the 1850 population census, including census forms and enumerator instructions, is available from the Integrated Public Use Microdata Series.

Data availability

Microdata from the 1850 population census are freely available through the Integrated Public Use Microdata Series. Aggregate data for small areas, together with compatible cartographic boundary files, can be downloaded from the National Historical Geographic Information System.

Notes

  1. ^ "Library Bibliography Bulletin 88, New York State Census Records, 1790-1925". New York State Library. October 1981. pp. 44 (p. 50 of PDF). http://purl.org/net/nysl/nysdocs/9643270.  

See also

External links

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