The clock is ticking down to the April 1, 2022 launch of the 1950 Census and NARA staff have been buzzing with activity in preparation for the date.
The data for each Census is restricted for 72 years, and the earliest it may be made available for this census is April 1, 2022. And by the way, this is the first U.S. Census where I make an appearance! NARA is planning to make the Census available that day. As we work with the records, our estimates for the files get more refined. We currently estimate that the 1950 Census includes 6.57 million population schedules, 33,360 Indian Reservation Schedules, and 9,634 maps. This is approximately twice the size of the 1940 Census.
Please note: the link to the 1950 Census database will be available on this page on April 1.
NARA is trying new approaches to offering this Census:
This is the first time NARA is able to make the Census digitally available through a name-searchable database. In the past, people were required to use enumeration district maps to search for records on our website. This is the first time NARA has used a machine-learning empowered OCR tool to create a draft name index that will be available on the first day of the Census opening. We know that the index will not be perfect, so we are asking for your help to refine it. This is the first time NARA is making available a transcription tool for the Census so that you can help us improve the name index. We thank you in advance for your support!
This is the first time NARA is making bulk download of the records available free for anyone who would like to use the data on their website (for example, genealogy sites) or mine the entire body of data for information (for example, social scientists). Both the website and the bulk download will be available on the first day of the Census opening.
NARA staff, including archives and IT specialists, project managers, and communications staff are all focused on ensuring that you have access to the 1950 Census on April 1. I appreciate the extraordinary efforts they have taken to fulfill our strategic goal to make access happen.