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1820 Census Overview

The United States census records of 1820 recorded more detailed information on American citizens and households than previous censuses. The 1820 Census was the first census year to ask respondents if they worked in agriculture, commerce, or manufacturing. In addition, there was a new age group added for males, 16-18. Previously all males 14-26 were tallied together.

1820 Census Facts

  • Population: 9,638,453 - a 33.1% increase from the 1810 Census year
  • Census Date: August 7, 1820
  • Census Date Released: 1892
  • Number of States Participating: 23
  • - New States: (6) Louisiana, Indiana, Mississippi, Illinois, Alabama, & Maine
  • US Territories Participated: Arkansas, Missouri, Michigan, and Oregon
  • Data Lost: New Jersey, Arkansas Territory, & Missouri Territory - Partial census records were lost for Alabama and Tennessee


  • The number of free White males and females within specific age ranges
  • The number of male and female slaves within specific age ranges
  • The number of male and female free colored persons within specific age ranges
  • Number of foreigners living in the US not naturalized
  • The numbers of persons (including slaves) engaged in agriculture, commerce, and manufacturing

Notable Events Between 1810-1820:

  • 1810 - The Pacific Fur Company established by John Jacob Astor
  • 1811- First steamboat between New York and New Jersey
  • 1812 - The War of 1812 between the U.S. and Britain began
  • 1814 - Treaty of Ghent ended the War of 1812
  • 1816 - Indiana became the 19th state
  • 1817 - Mississippi was admitted as the 20th state.
  • 1817 - Construction of the Erie Canal began (completed in 1825)
  • 1817 - The second wave of Amish immigration began, continuing until 1860
  • 1818 - Congress officially adopted the U.S. flag which included 20 stars at the time
  • 1818 - Illinois admitted as the 21st state
  • 1819 - The Panic of 1819 led to foreclosures and unemployment

Use the Federal 1820 Census records to learn more about your family history. Explore our comprehensive historical records to find out if your family immigrated to America during the early decades of the 1800s or played important roles in the War of 1812. Use your ancestors’ name, the town, city or state where they lived in the 1820 Census, to continue your genealogy research with our newspaper archives. Discover the people behind the names on your family tree and their role in key events of the decade.