This Week in the 1950 Census

It’s been a very good week for the 1950 Census! Our goal for the 1950 Census website was to provide a simple, intuitive site as well as bulk download capabilities for users and make it available as soon as we legally could. The National Archives’ Census team stayed up late on the evening of March 31st to launch the 1950 Census at the stroke of midnight.  Immediately, people from around the world began logging on to the 1950 Census website and downloading the records.

In this first week, we have had more than one million users and more than 37 million page views on the website.  It’s a good thing we optimized the site for mobile because almost half of our users, 48%, used their mobile devices to access our site.  I am also pleased to see that several other websites have used our bulk download option and are creating their own access to the 1950 Census.

More than 96% of our users are from the United States, the rest of the top ten geographic locations of our users are: Canada, UK, Ireland, Germany, Australia, Puerto Rico, France, Sweden, and Mexico.

This week, our launch of the 1950 Census has been written about in the Washington Post, The New York Times, the Boston Globe, and hundreds of news outlets across the country and around the world. Helpful blogs were posted soon after launch, such as Time Travel with NARA, by Judy G. Russell. 

Staff were most gratified to see comments across the web from people who talked about finding their families: 

People also found celebrities including Elvis, Muddy Waters, Andy Warhol, Bob Dylan, and Jimmy Stewart.

Chicago Sun Times journalist, Neil Steinberg wrote about the joys of searching the 1950 Census in  Tracking down the family and the famous.

I want to thank so many NARA staff, many of whom have worked on the 1950 Census project for years. And my thanks to the public volunteers who are transcribing the name index to make our 1950 Census website more searchable.  Want to help out? Jump on to the 1950 Census website and start transcribing! Help us bring the past to future generations. 

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