NARA expects to digitally release the 1950 population census schedules for researcher use on April 1, 2022, which is 72 years after the official 1950 census day of April 1, 1950. This is the first in a series of blog posts on the 1950 census.

 

The Bureau of the Census sought to assure that the forms and procedures used during the taking of the 1950 census would accomplish certain tasks, including the following:

 

  • Provide summary statistical data of greatest value to the nation.

 

  • Insure that the traditionally high standards of accuracy and reliability of census were maintained.

 

  • Minimize the burden on the respondents in answering the questions or filling out the forms.

 

  • Minimize the cost of the census to the government and the taxpayer.

 

The Bureau started intensive planning work in 1948. It consulted groups in government, business, farming, labor, and other fields to find out what kind of information was most needed. Then the Bureau focused on the best way to obtain the information by testing many types of forms in different parts of the country, asking the same questions in different ways, and determining the cost and effectiveness of each procedure. The final forms used during the census were the result of this process.

 

--Adapted from Urban and Rural Enumerator’s Reference Manual, 1950 Census of the United States, page 1.