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Census Year

1880 Census Overview

The 1880 Census was the first to record the birthplace of the responder’s parents as well as the relationship an individual had to the head of the household. This valuable information helps you trace your ancestors include immigration as well as births and marriages.

The 1880 Census included five schedules: "Population," "Mortality," "Agriculture," "Social Statistics," and "Manufacturing."

1880 Census Facts

  • Population: 50,189,209 — a 30.2% increase from the 1870 Census
  • Census Date: June 1880
  • Census Date Released: 1962
  • Number of States Participating: 38
  • US Territories Participating: US Territories Participating: Arizona, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Wyoming, South Dakota, North Dakota, and Utah
  • Data Lost: (some data from localities may be missing or part of the larger county).

1880 Census Questions Asked

  • Name
  • Number of family members & number of dwellers in home
  • Color
  • Age & Sex
  • Relation to the head of the family
  • Marital status including if widowed or divorced - If married within the census year
  • Occupation & number of months employed within the census year
  • Place of birth
  • Parents’ (both mother & father) place of birth

Notable Events Between 1870-1880:

Political Events
  • African Americans won the right to vote in 1870
  • In 1872, Susan B. Anthony casts an illegal ballet a sparking the women’s right to vote debate
  • The Civil Rights Act was passed in 1875 but was later overturned in 1883.
  • Colorado became the 38th state in 1876
National Catastrophes
  • On October 8, 1871, the Great Chicago Fire swept through the city, killing 250 people and leaving 90,000 homeless.
  • Another fire in Wisconsin in 1871 killed between 1,200 to 2,500 individuals, making it the most devastating fire in American history.
Sports & Pop Culture
  • Construction on the Brooklyn Bridge began in January 1870
  • Yellowstone became America’s first National Park in 1872
  • In 1876, the Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition, a World’s Fair, opened, hosting 34 nations and 20 colonies.
  • The Yale News became the first daily college newspaper in the U.S.

Find your ancestors in the 1880 U.S. Census - where they lived, worked, and their relatives. Then use our newspaper archives to uncover the stories behind the names. Combined these valuable genealogy records can give you a greater understanding of your ancestors, the lives they lived, and how they shaped your family history.