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Census Records

On April 1, 2022, the 1950 U.S. census was released. Users can access records on a free website provided by the National Archives. For more information, see the National Archives 1950 Census Records page.

Overview

image of 1940 Danville, Virginia US census
1940 U.S. Census, Danville, population schedule, enumeration district

Census records are an invaluable resource for genealogists, historians, and other researchers. The first U.S. population census was taken in 1790 and has been taken every tenth year since.

Federal population censuses are confidential for 72 years. The 1950 census is the most recent available for public use. 

Census Access at the Library of Virginia

  • The U.S. census, 1810–1940, is also available on microfilm for select states at the Library of Virginia.

Free Census Access

Recommended Resources

General

  • Anderson, Margo J. The American Census: A Social History. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2015.
  • Gauthier, Jason G. Measuring America: The Decennial Censuses from 1790 to 2000. Washington, D.C: U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Census Bureau, 2002.
    Online: Census Bureau

Enumeration District Maps & Descriptions

Maps and descriptions of enumeration districts that were used in the census. Enumeration district descriptions are also available on microfilm as Film 2062 and Misc. Reel 781.

Content Warning: Materials in the Library of Virginia’s collections contain historical terms, phrases, and images that are offensive to modern readers. These include demeaning and dehumanizing references to race, ethnicity, and nationality; enslaved or free status; physical and mental ability; and gender and sexual orientation.