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Census Year

1930 Census Overview

The 1930 Census remained relatively consistent in the 1910 and 1920 census reports, however there were a few notable changes. The biggest difference was in racial classification. Mulatto was no longer used and for the first and only time, “Mexican” was used as a race on the census form.

Additional census data questions also reflected the changing American culture including the impact of technology, specifically the radio, and shift towards accepting divorce and multiple marriages.

  • Year of naturalization was no longer included, only if someone was naturalized.
  • Included the value of home/monthly rent- earlier census questions only asked if someone owned or rented a house.
  • Inquired if the home had a radio
  • Specific wars men fought in, such as the Civil War
  • Age at time of first marriage

As the 1930 Census was conducted a year after the 1929 Stock Market Crash, the census included a new Census of Unemployment to understand the impact of the crash.

1930 Census Facts

  • Population: 123,202,624 - 16.2% increase compared to the 1920 Census.
  • Census Date: April 1930
  • Census Date Released: 2002
  • Number of States Participating: 48
  • US Territories Participating: Alaska, Hawaii, American Samoa, the Canal Zone, Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
  • Data Lost: None
  • Separate American Indian Schedule: Yes

1930 Census Questions Asked

  • Name
  • Location
  • Household Data - Number of people, if the house was rented, owned or a farm, value of the home
  • Live on a farm at time & a year ago.
  • Relation - of the responder to the head of the household
  • Personal Description - Sex, race, age at last birthday, marital status
  • Education
  • Place of Birth - noted both US & foreign locations - Father’s & Mother’s place of birth
  • Employment - type of work, actually at work, unemployed
  • Veteran & Name of war or expedition

Although a supplemental Schedule for Indian Population was recorded, there were fewer questions compared to previous censuses.

Notable Events of A Changing Society 1920-1930:

Political Events
  • Women won the right to vote in 1920 & in 1925 Nellie Tayloe Ross became the first female governor.
  • In 1921, the Emergency Quota Act significantly reduced the amount of eastern and southern European immigrants settling in the United States.
Sports & Pop-Culture
  • In 1920, the American Professional Football League was formed, to become known as the NFL in 1922.
  • The first movie with sound, The Jazz Singer, is shown in 1927.
  • In 1924 the first Winter Olympic Games were held and the U.S. won four medals.

Genealogy Records from GenealogyBank

Channel your inner genealogist and discover what life was like for your ancestors living from 1920 to 1930. Were your family members involved in the Harlem Renaissance or the Women’s Suffrage Movement? Use the 1930 Federal Census records and our database of exclusive newspaper archives to find out how this historical decade shaped your ancestors’ lives.