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.
“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.
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.