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2021

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.  This is the 30th in a series of blog posts on the 1950 census.

 

Form P80, 1950 Census of Population – American Samoa, was the form used by enumerators in that U.S. possession.  The form’s basic population and demographic questions were similar to those asked in the continental United States, but with fewer questions.  There were no questions for “sample” persons and no questions concerning the characteristics of the inhabitants' housing.  Instead, both sides of the form contained space for 25 persons.

Front side - Form P80, 1950 Census of Population - American Samoa (This contains lines 1 to 25).Image:  Front side, Form P80, 1950 Census of Population – American Samoa (Lines 1-25)

 

“Heading Items” at the top of the form identify where the enumeration took place, adjusted to reflect the political subdivisions used in that possession:

  • Item a.  District
  • Item b.  County
  • Item c.  Village
  • Item d.  Enumeration District (E.D.) number
  • Item e.  Date Sheet Started
  • Item f.  Enumerator’s Signature
  • Item g.  Checked by (crew leader's name) on (date).
  • Sheet Number (number) plus “A” (front) or “B” (back)

 

“Household Identification” (Item 1) is the “serial number of dwelling unit” that was assigned by the enumerator in order of visitation.

 

“Questions for All Persons” Items in columns 2 to 11 are similar to those on the Form P1, discussed at 1950 Census:  Form P1, Population and Housing Schedule “Questions for All Persons”, except for different race options in item 4 and different birthplace options in item 11.  In addition, questions concerning educational attainment were asked of all persons in American Samoa; in the Continental U.S., the same or similar questions were asked only of persons on sample lines on the Form P1, as discussed in 1950 Census:  Form P1, Population and Housing Schedule Questions 21 to 28 for All Persons on “Sample” Lines.  In addition, all persons were asked if they could speak English.

  • Item 2.  Name
  • Item 3.  Relationship, such as head, wife, daughter, grandson, mother-in-law, lodger, lodger’s wife, maid, hired hand, patient, and so forth.
  • Item 4.  Race, with standard abbreviations such as “Pol” for Polynesian, “W” for white, “M” for mixed, and “Ot” for other. Designations of other races were to be written out in full.
  • Item 5.  Sex, with “M” for male and “F” for female.
  • Item 6.  Age
  • Item 7.  Marital status
  • Item 8.  "What is the highest grade of school that he [she] has attended?"

o   0 (zero) - none

o   E1 to E8 for 1st to 8th grades

o   H1 to H4 for 1st to 4th year of high school

o   C1 to C 4 for 1st to 4th years of college or professional school immediately after high school

o   C5 - One or more year of graduate or professional school after the 4th year of college

  • Item 9.  For persons age 5 to 24 years, "Has he [she] attended school or college at any time since February 1st?"
  • Item 10.  For those age 25 years and over, “Is he [she] able to speak English?
  • Item 11.  Birthplace:  “Where was he [she] born?” Standard answers were “AS” for American Samoa; “WS” for Western Samoa, “C” for continental United States; or, if born elsewhere, the name of the U.S. Territory, possession, or foreign country.

 

Questions for Persons 14 years of Age and Over are two basic employment questions.

  • Item 12.  "Last year (1949), did this person do any work at all, not counting work around the house?"
  • Item 13.  If “Yes” in item 12:  “What kind of work did he do?   Examples included mat weaver, teacher, matai (chieftain or leader), farmer, and farm laborer. [Similar to Form P1 Item 20a].

 

Agriculture Questionnaire Number (Item 14) was a sequential number assigned by the enumerator to the agricultural questionnaire for that household.  These questionnaires are not extant, but the compiled statistical data was published in United States Census of Agriculture  1950, Volume 1, Part 34, Territories and Possessions (Washington:  U.S. Government Printing Office, 1952).  A direct link to the American Samoa statistics is here.

 

Reverse sie:  Form P80, 1950 Census of Population - American Samoa (Lines 26-50)

Image:  Reverse side, Form P80, 1950 Census of Population – American Samoa  (Lines 26-50)

 

 

Future posts will continue our overseas journey with examination of the forms used in Canal Zone, Guam, and Puerto Rico.  For Alaska, see 1950 Census:  Form P82, 1950 Census of Population and Housing - Alaska, and Hawaii, see 1950 Census:  Form P87, 1950 Census of Population and Housing – Hawaii.

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.  This is the 29th in a series of blog posts on the 1950 census.  [Updated Nov. 7, 2021].

 

Form P87, 1950 Census of Population and Housing – Hawaii, was the form used by enumerators in that Territory.  The form and its population questions were very similar to those asked in the Continental United States, but there were a few differences indicated below.  Both forms had space for 30 persons and included several questions asked only of persons on sample lines.

Front side, Form  P82, 1950 Census of Population and Housing - Hawaii (Population Questions)

Image:  Front side, Form P87, 1950 Census of Population and Housing - Hawaii

Population Questions

 

“Heading Items” at the top of the form identify where the enumeration took place, adjusted to reflect the political subdivisions used in that Territory:

  • Item a.  Island
  • Item b.  County
  • Item c.  Census Tract
  • Item d.  Enumeration District (E.D.) number
  • Item e.  Hotel, Large Rooming House, Institution, Military Installation, etc., indicating name(s), type(s), and line number(s) for individuals at those facilities.  Thus, this item would only to apply to persons on specified lines on the sheet, not necessarily the entire page.
  • Item f.  Date Sheet Started
  • Item g.  Enumerator’s Signature
  • Item h.  Checked by (crew leader's name) on (date).
  • Sheet Number.

 

“Household Identification” items in columns 1 to 6 were the same as those on the Form P1, discussed previously at 1950 Census:  Form P1, Population and Housing Schedule “Household Identification”:

  • Item 1.  Name of street, avenue, or road
  • Item 2.  House (and apartment) number
  • Item 3.  Serial number of dwelling unit
  • Item 4.  Is this house on a farm (or ranch)? (Yes/No)
  • Item 5.  (If no in Item 4) Is this house on a place of three or more acres?  (Yes/No)
  • Item 6.  Agricultural Questionnaire Number [these questionnaires are not extant]

 

“Questions for All Persons” Items in columns 7 to 14 were nearly the same as those on the Form P1, discussed previously for the P1 at 1950 Census:  Form P1, Population and Housing Schedule “Questions for All Persons” except for additional race options in items 9 and 9b, different birthplace options in item 13, and different citizenship questions in item 14.

  • Item 7.  Name.  What is the name of the head of this household?  What are the names of all other persons who live here?  List in this order:  The head; His wife; Unmarried sons and daughters (in order of age); Married sons and daughters and their families; Other relatives; Other persons, such as lodgers, roomers, maids or hired hands who live in, and their relatives. 
  • Item 8.  Relationship, such as head, wife, daughter, grandson, mother-in-law, lodger, lodger’s wife, maid, hired hand, patient, and so forth.
  • Item 9.  Race, was a two-part question.
    • (9a)  Race - The person's race was to be indicated with standard abbreviations such as "Ha" for Hawaiian, "Cau" for Caucasian, “Ch” for Chinese, “Fil” for Filipino, and “PR” for Puerto Rican.  Designations of all other races were to be written out in full.
    • (9b)  "Is this person of mixed race?"  (Yes/No). 
  • Item 10.  Sex, with “M” for male and “F” for female.
  • Item 11.  Age:  “What was his [her] age on last birthday?  For children under one year of age, the enumerator was to write in the child’s birth month.
  • Item 12.  Marital status:  “Is he [she] now married, widowed, divorced, separated, or never married?” Standard abbreviations were to be used:  “M” for married, “Wd” for widowed, “D” for divorced, “Sep” for separated, and “Nev” for never married.  “Nev” was to be recorded if a person’s only marriage had been annulled.
  • Item 13.  Birthplace:  “Where was he [she] born?” Standard answers were “H” for Hawaii; “US” for continental United States; or, if born elsewhere, the name of the U.S. Territory, possession, or foreign country.
  • Item 14.  Citizenship status of persons born outside of the United States: 
    • (14a) "If born in a possession or foreign country - Is he [she] naturalized?” Standard answers were “Y” for yes, “N” for no, or “AP” for born abroad or at sea of American parents.
    • (14b) "Is he a Territorial Citizen? (Yes/No)

 

Questions for Persons 14 years of Age and Over are similar to those on the Form P1 used in the Continental U.S. For discussion of these questions on the P1 and the related instructions to enumerators, see 1950 Census:  Form P1, Population and Housing Schedule "Questions for Persons Age 14 Years and Over"  Part I and 1950 Census:  Form P1, Population and Housing Schedule Questions for Persons Age 14 Years and Over:  Part II

  • Item 15.  "What was this person doing most of last week – Working, keeping house, or something else?"  “Last week” referred to the last full week (Sunday through Saturday) before the enumerator’s visit to this household, not the 7 days prior to the official census day of April 1!  Standard responses were “Wk” for working, “H” for keeping house, “Ot” for other, or “U” for unable to work.  [Same as Form P1 Item 15].
  • Item 16"Did this person do any work at all last week, not counting work around the house?" This question was to be asked only of those coded as Keeping House (“H”) or Other (“Ot”) in Item 20.  [Same as Form P1 Item 16].
  • Item 17.  "Was this person looking for work?" (Yes/No) was to be asked only of those for whom “No” was recorded in Item 16.  [Same as Form P1 Item 17].
  • Item 18.  "Even though he didn’t work last week, does he have a job or business?" (Yes/No) was to be asked only of those for whom “No” was recorded in Item 17.   [Same as Form P1 Item 18].
  • Item 19.  "How many hours did he work last week?"was to be asked of those persons for whom "Wk" was recorded in Item 15 or "Yes" in Item 16.  [Same as Form P1 Item 19].
  • Item 20a.  "What kind of work was he [she] doing?"  [Same as Form P1 Item 20a].
  • Item 20b.  "What kind of business or industry was he working in?"  [Nearly identical to Form P1 Item 20b].
  • Item 20c.  Class of Worker, indicated broad employment categories, with “P” for private employers; “G” for government employers; “O” for those who owned their own businesses; and “NP” for those who worked without pay on a family farm or business. [Same as Form P1 Item 20c].


Questions for all persons on sample lines (items 21-28)
are similar to those on the Form P1 used in the Continental U.S., with the exception of the question relating to prior residence.  Hawaii residents were asked about their place of residence on V-J Day (August 14, 1945) while continental United States residents were asked about their place of residence "one year ago" in 1949. For discussion of these questions on the P1 and the related instructions to enumerators, see 1950 Census:  Form P1, Population and Housing Schedule Questions 21 to 28 for All Persons on “Sample” Lines.

  • Items 21-23 asked about residence on August 14, 1945, which was Victory in Japan Day (V-J Day), the end of World War II in the Pacific Ocean.
    • Item 21.  "Was he [she] living in this same house on V-J Day?"  (Yes/No).
    • Item 22.  If No in Item 21, "Was he [she] living on this same island?"  (Yes/No).
    • Item 23.  If No in Item 22, "Where was he [she] living on V-J Day?" The enumerator was to write in the the name of the Hawaiian island, State, Territory, U.S. possession, or foreign country.
  • Item 24.  "In what country were his [her] father and mother born?"  Standard answers were "H" for Hawaii or "US" for the continental United States, or the name of the U.S. Territory, U.S. possession, or foreign country.  [Similar to P1 Item 25].
  • Item 25.  "What is the highest grade of school that he [she] has attended?" [Same as P1 Item 26].  Grade codes are indicated at the bottom of each Form P87.  They are:
    • "0" (zero) - none
    • "K" - Kindergarten
    • S1 to S12 for 1st to 12th grades
    • C1 to C 4 for 1st to 4th years of college or professional school immediately after high school
    • C5 - One or more year of graduate or professional school after the 4th year of college
  • Item 26.  "Did he [she] finish this grade?" (Yes/No). [Same as P1 Item 27]
  • Item 27.  "Has he [she] attended school at any time since February 1st?"  (Yes, No, or age 30 or over).  [Same as P1 Item 28].

 

Questions for all persons on sample lines who were age 14 years or older (items 28-33) are the same as Items 29-33c and 38 on the Form P1 used in the Continental U.S.  For discussion of these questions on the P1, see 1950 Census:  Form P1, Population and Housing Schedule Questions 29 to 33 for All Persons on “Sample” Lines Who Were 14 Years of Age and Over and 1950 Census:  The 3 1/3 Percenters:  Form P1, Population and Housing Schedule Questions for the Person on the Last “Sample” Line Who Were 14 Years of Age and Over.

  • Item 28.  If "Yes" in Item 17, "How many weeks has he [she] been looking for work?"  [Same as P1 Item 29].
  • Item 29.  "Last year, in how many weeks did this person do any work at all, not counting work around the house?"  [Same as P1 Item 30].
  • Item 30a.  "Last year (1949), how much money did he [she] earn working as an employee for wages or salary?"  (Enter amount before deductions for taxes, etc., or “0”).  [Same as Form P1 Item 31a (sample questions)].
  • Item 30b.  "Last year, how much money did he [she] earn working in his own business, professional practice, or farm?"  (Enter net income or “0”).  [Same as Form P1 Item 31b (sample questions)].
  • Item 30c.  “Last year, how much money did he [she] receive from interest, dividends, veteran’s allowances, pensions, rents, or other income (aside from earnings)?”  (Enter amount or “0”).  [Same question as Form P1 Item 31c (sample questions)].
  • Item 31.  If this person was the family head (under the definition given at the bottom of the Form P87, then additional income questions were asked.  The "family head" was "either (a) head of household with related persons present in the household or (b) person unrelated to household head but with persons related to him listed below him on the schedule--for example:  Lodger with wife present in household."
    • Item 31a. "Last year (1949), how much money did his [her] relatives in this household earn working as an employee for wages or salary?"  (Enter amount before deductions for taxes, etc.).  [Same as Form P1 Item 32a].
    • Item 31b. "Last year, how much money did his [her] relatives in this household earn working in his own business, professional practice, or farm?"  (Enter net income).  [Same as Form P1 Item 32b].
    • Item 31c. "Last year, how much money did he [her] receive from interest, dividends, veteran’s allowances, pensions, rents, or other income (aside from earnings)?”  [Same as Form P1 Item 32c].
  • Item 32.  If male, did he ever serve in the U.S. Armed Forces during (32a) World War II, (32b) World War I, or (32c) any other time including present service?  (Yes/No).  [Same as Form P1 Items 33a, 33b, and 33c].
  • Item 33.  If female and ever married (Mar, Wd, D, or Sep in Item 12), "How many children has she ever borne, not counting stillbirths?" (Number or none).  [Same as Form P1 Item 38].

 

The reverse side of the P87 asked questions concerning the characteristics of the inhabitants' housing.  The housing (reverse) side was not microfilmed (in 1952) as the same time as the population (front) side of the form, so they are no longer extant.  Only the aggregate statistical data remains preserved in the published reports of the Bureau of the Census.

Reverse Side - Form P87, 1950 Census of Population and Housing - Hawaii  (Housing Questions)

Image:  Reverse side, Form P87, 1950 Census of Population and Housing - Hawaii

Housing Questions

 

 

Future posts will continue our overseas journey with examination of the forms used in American Samoa, Panama Canal Zone, Guam, Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands.  For Alaska, see 1950 Census:  Form P82, 1950 Census of Population and Housing - Alaska.

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.  This is the 28th in a series of blog posts on the 1950 census.

 

Thus far, our examination of census forms has been limited to the Form P1, 1950 Census of Population and Housing, that was used in most of the Continental United States, and the P8, Indian Reservation Schedule.  In this post, we take our first look at forms used outside the continental United States.

 

Form P82, 1950 Census of Population and Housing – Alaska, was the form used by enumerators in that Territory.  The population questions were very similar to those asked in the Continental United States, but there were several differences indicated below.  Both forms had space for 30 persons but the P82 (Alaska) lacked sample questions. Instead, several sample questions from the P1 were questions for all persons on the Alaska P82.

Form P82, 1950 Census of Population and Housing - Alaska (front side:  population)

Image:  Front side, Form P82, 1950 Census of Population and Housing - Alaska

Population Questions

 

“Heading Items” at the top of the form identify where the enumeration took place, adjusted to reflect the political subdivisions used in that Territory:

  • Item a.  Judicial Division
  • Item b.  Recording District
  • Item c.  Name of Place (city, town, village, etc.)
  • Item d.  Enumeration District (E.D.) number
  • Item e.  Hotel, Large Rooming House, Institution, Military Installation, etc., indicating name(s), type(s), and line number(s) for individuals at those facilities.  Thus, this item would only to apply to persons on specified lines on the sheet, not necessarily the entire page.
  • Item f.  Date Sheet Started
  • Item g.  Enumerator’s Signature
  • Item h.  Checked by (crew leader) on (date).
  • Sheet Number.

 

“Household Identification” items in columns 1 to 6 were the same as those on the Form P1, discussed previously at 1950 Census:  Form P1, Population and Housing Schedule “Household Identification”:

  • Item 1.  Name of street, avenue, or road
  • Item 2.  House (and apartment) number
  • Item 3.  Serial number of dwelling unit
  • Item 4.  Is this house on a farm (or ranch)? (Yes/No)
  • Item 5.  (If no in Item 4) Is this house on a place of three or more acres?  (Yes/No)
  • Item 6.  Agricultural Questionnaire Number [these questionnaires are not extant]

 

“Questions for All Persons” Items in columns 7 to 14 were nearly the same as those on the Form P1, discussed previously for the P1 at 1950 Census:  Form P1, Population and Housing Schedule “Questions for All Persons” except for additional race options in item 9 and different birthplace options in item 13. 

  • Item 7.  Name.  What is the name of the head of this household?  What are the names of all other persons who live here?  List in this order:  The head; His wife; Unmarried sons and daughters (in order of age); Married sons and daughters and their families; Other relatives; Other persons, such as lodgers, roomers, maids or hired hands who live in, and their relatives.
  • Item 8.  Relationship, such as head, wife, daughter, grandson, mother-in-law, lodger, lodger’s wife, maid, hired hand, patient, and so forth.
  • Item 9.  Race, with standard abbreviations such as “W” for white, “Al” for Aleut, “Esk” for Eskimo, “In” for Indian, “Ch” for Chinese, “Fil” for Filipino, and “Neg” for Negro (Black).  Designations of all other races were to be written out in full.
  • Item 10.  Sex, with “M” for male and “F” for female.
  • Item 11.  Age, with the question:  “How old was he [she] on his [her] last birthday?”  For children under one year of age, the enumerator was to write in the child’s birth month. 
  • Item 12.  Marital status, with the question:  “Is he [she] now married, widowed, divorced, separated, or never married?” Standard abbreviations were to be used:  “M” for married, “Wd” for widowed, “D” for divorced, “Sep” for separated, and “Nev” for never married.  “Nev” was to be recorded if a person’s only marriage had been annulled.
  • Item 13.  Birthplace, with the question:  “Where was he [she] born?” Standard answers were “A” for Alaska; “US” for continental United States; or, if born elsewhere, the name of the U.S. Territory, possession, or foreign country.
  • Item 14.  Naturalization status of persons born outside of the United States, with the question:  “Is he [she] naturalized?” Standard answers were “Y” for yes, “N” for no, or “AP” for born abroad or at sea of American parents.

 

Items 15 to 18 concerning educational attainment were asked of all persons in Alaska; in the Continental U.S., the same or similar questions were asked only of persons on sample lines on the Form P1, as discussed in 1950 Census:  Form P1, Population and Housing Schedule Questions 21 to 28 for All Persons on “Sample” Lines:

  • Item 15.  What is the highest grade of school that he [she] has attended? Codes were O for none, K for Kindergarten, E1 to E8 for first to eighth grade, H1 to H4 for first to fourth year of high school, C1 to C4 for first to fourth year of college, and C5 for fifth year or more of college or other higher education. [Same as Form P1 Item 26 (sample questions)].
  • Item 16.  Did he [she] finish this grade?  (Yes/No).  [Same as Form P1 Item 27 (sample questions)].
  • Item 17.  For persons age 5 to 29 years, has he [she] attended school at any time since February 1st?  (Yes/No). [Nearly identical as Form P1 Item 28 (sample questions)].
  • Item 18.  Where was he [she] living a year ago?  Codes were A for Alaska, H for Hawaii, US for Continental United States, P for other U.S. possession, C for Canada, and F for other foreign country.  [Similar to Form P1, Item 24 (sample questions)].

 

Questions for Persons 14 years of Age and Over are similar to those on the Form P1 used in the Continental U.S. For discussion of these questions on the P1 and the related instructions to enumerators, see 1950 Census:  Form P1, Population and Housing Schedule "Questions for Persons Age 14 Years and Over"  Part I and 1950 Census:  Form P1, Population and Housing Schedule Questions for Persons Age 14 Years and Over:  Part IIThe one major exception is that the Alaskan Form P82 asks all men, not just men on sample lines, whether they had served in the U.S. Armed Forces.

  • Item 19.  If male, did he ever serve in the U.S. Armed Forces during (19a) World War II, (19b) World War I, (19c) at any other time, including present service.  [Same as Form P1 Items 33a, 33b, 33c (sample questions)].
  • Item 20.  “What was this person doing most of last week – Working, keeping house, or something else?”  “Last week” referred to the last full week (Sunday through Saturday) before the enumerator’s visit to this household, not the 7 days prior to the official census day of April 1!  Standard responses were “Wk” for working, “H” for keeping house, “Ot” for other, or “U” for unable to work.  [Same as Form P1 Item 15].
  • Item 21.  “Did this person do any work at all last week, not counting work around the house?” This question was to be asked only of those coded as Keeping House (“H”) or Other (“Ot”) in Item 20.  [Same as Form P1 Item 16].
  • Item 22.  “Was this person looking for work?” (Yes/No) was to be asked only of those for whom “No” was recorded in Item 21.”  [Same as Form P1 Item 17].
  • Item 23.  “Even though he didn’t work last week, does he have a job or business?” was to be asked only of those for whom “No” was recorded in Item 22.   [Same as Form P1 Item 18].
  • Item 24.  “Last year, in how many weeks did this person do any work at all, not counting work around the house?  [Same as Form P1 Item 30].
  • Item 25a.  “What kind of work did he [she] do?”  [Nearly identical to Form P1 Item 20a].
  • Item 25b.  “In what kind of business or industry did he work?”  [Nearly identical to Form P1 Item 20b].
  • Item 25c.  Class of Worker, indicated broad employment categories, with “P” for private employers; “G” for government employers; “O” for those who owned their own businesses; and “NP” for those who worked without pay on a family farm or business. [Same as Form P1 Item 20c].
  • Item 26a.  “Last year, how much money did he earn working as an employee for wages or salary?”  (Enter amount before deductions for taxes, etc., or “0”).  [Same as Form P1 Item 31a (sample questions)].
  • Item 26b.  Last year, how much money did he earn working in his own business, professional practice, or farm?  (Enter net income or “0”).  [Same as Form P1 Item 31b (sample questions)].
  • Item 26c.  “Last year, how much money did he receive from interest, dividends, veteran’s allowances, pensions, rents, or other income aside from earnings?”  (Enter amount or “0”).  [Same question as Form P1 Item 31c (sample questions)].

 

The reverse side of the P82 asked questions concerning the characteristics of the inhabitants' housing.  The housing (reverse) side was not microfilmed (in 1952) as the same time as the population (front) side of the form, so they are no longer extant.  Only the aggregate statistical data remains preserved in the published reports of the Bureau of the Census.

Form P82, 1950 Census of Population and Housing - Alaska (reverse side:  housing)

Image:  Reverse side, Form P82, 1950 Census of Population and Housing - Alaska

Housing Questions

 

 

Future posts will continue our overseas journey with examination of the forms used in Hawaii, American Samoa, Canal Zone, Guam, and Puerto Rico.