NARA released the 1950 population census schedules for researcher use on April 1, 2022, at https://1950census.archives.gov. This is the 68th in a series of blog posts on the 1950 census.
Up to 5.5 million people were missed by enumerators during the 1950 census. How do we know? In 1992, Census Bureau demographer Edwin D. Goldfield wrote "Innovations in the Decennial Census of Population and Housing: 1940-1990," in which he stated that "Demographic analytical studies indicated that the true net undercoverage was substantially greater [than the Bureau's first estimates], amounting to perhaps 5 to 5.5 million people." (Goldfield, p. 7).
That's a lot of people.
However, don't give up your search if your first effort is unsuccessful. Make sure that you've systematically searched the census records for the correct location(s). Here are suggestions that may help you if you are unable to locate someone in the 1950 census by doing a name search.
- Use the Enumeration District descriptions and maps that are included in NARA's Official 1950 Census Website at https://1950census.archives.gov to determine the Enumeration District (ED) in which the person's dwelling was located, then read each line on each census page for that ED. Pay close attention to the street names in the Column 1 and house addresses in Column 2 on the left side of the form. Remember that some streets are in more than one ED. Also read the "Notes" section (located either at the top of bottom of the form) for comments by the enumerator about a particular street or even a specific address.
- Read Twenty Reasons You May Have Trouble Finding an Ancestor in the Census and consider how some of those reasons could apply to your target individual(s).
- Read 20 Tips for Census Research Success for more ideas.
- For a better understanding of some of the ways that people could be missed or misidentified by 1950 census enumerators, read these blog posts:
Unfortunately, despite skillful searching, some people won't be found in the 1950 census. The 1950 census enumerators missed people despite the Census Bureau's efforts to train them to locate all of the dwellings and people in the Enumeration District.