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U.S. Census Demographic Data: Historical Census

A guide to finding and using population data from the U.S. Census Bureau

Understanding the Historical Census

Historical Census Data

Small-Area Historical Census Statistics

Social Explorer is the most comprehensive source for Census data, but it is missing small-area statistics for earlier years. It does not contain areas smaller than county from before 1940, or areas smaller than census tract from before 1990. These tables can be found in print versions of the Decennial Census, listed below. Maps of ward can be found in the Genealogy of Philadelphia County Subdivisions.

1960

Census of housing, 1960. Volume III, City blocks: Philadelphia, Pa. Final report HC(3)-344. Washington, D.C.: U.S. GPO, 1962. PDF. At the library.

1950

Census of housing[, 1950], taken as part of the seventeenth decennial census of the United States. Block statistics. Volume 5, part 143, Philadelphia, Pa. Washington, D.C.: U.S. GPO, 1952. Online. At the library.

1940

16th census of the United States, 1940. Housing. Supplement to the first series, housing bulletin for Pennsylvania: Philadelphia block statistics. Washington, D.C.: U.S. GPO, 1942. Online.

1930

"Table 23. Population by Sex, Color, Age, etc., for Cities of 50,000 or More by Wards. " In U.S. Census, 1930: Population.  Vol. III Part 2. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1933. Online. At the library.

"Table 24. Classification of Families, Etc., for Ward of Cities or 100,000 or More (PDF)."  In U.S. Census, 1930: Population.  Vol. VI.  Washington: Government Printing Office, 1933. OnlineAt the library.

1920

"Table 13. Composition and Characteristics of the Population for Ward of Cities of 50,000 or More." In U.S. Census, 1920: Population. Vol. III. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1922. Online. At the library.

1910

"Table 5. Composition and Characteristics of the Population for Wards of Cities of 50,000 or More (PDF)." In U.S. Census, 1910: Abstract with Pennsylvania Supplement. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1913. PDF. At the library.

1900

"Table 5. Population of States and Territories by Minor Civil Divisions: 1890 and 1900." In U.S. Census 1900: Population. Vol I. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1901. Online. At the library.

"Table 23. Population by Sex, General Nativity, and Color, for Places Having 2,500 Inhabitants or More."  In U.S. Census 1900: Population. Vol I. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1901. Online. At the library.

"Table 27. Persons of School, Militia, and Voting Ages, by Sex, General Nativity, and Color, for Places Having 2,500 Inhabitants or More." In U.S. Census 1900: Population. Vol II. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1901. Online. At the library.

"Table 101. Number of Dwellings Having Specified Number of Families, with Average Number of Families to a Dwelling." In U.S. Census 1900: Population. Vol II. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1901. Online. At the library.

"Table 104. Population, Dwellings, and Families , for Places Having 2,500 Inhabitants or More." In U.S. Census 1900: Population. Vol II. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1901. Online. At the library.

"Table 107. Private Families Occupying Owned and Hired and Free and Encumbered Homes, for Places Having 2,500 Inhabitants or More." In U.S. Census 1900: Population. Vol II. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1901. Online. At the library.

1890

"Table 19. Population by Sex, General Nativity, and Color, of Place Having 2,500 Inhabitants or More: 1890." In U.S. Census, 1890. Report on Population of the United States at the Eleventh Census. Vol. I, Part I.Washington: Government Printing Office, 1895. Online. At the library.

"Table 89. Total Dwellings and Families, and Persons to a Dwelling and to a Family, for Places Having 2,500 Inhabitants or More: 1890." In U.S. Census, 1890. Report on Population of the United States at the Eleventh Census. Dwellings and Families. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1895. Online. At the library.

"Table 1. Population, Births, Deaths, and Death Rates at Certain Ages, and Deaths from Certain Causes, with Distinction of Sex, Color, General Nativity, and Parental Nativity." In U.S. Census, 1890. Report on Population of the United States at the Eleventh Census. Vital Statistics. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1895. Online.

1880

"Table XIX.Population of Minor Civil Divisions - Pennsylvania." p. 277. In U.S. Census, 1890. Compendium of the Tenth Census. Part I. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1883. Online. At the library.

1870

"Table III. Population of Civil Divisions Less Than Counties." In U.S. Census, 1870. Vol. 1. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1872. PDF. At the library.

"Table XI. School Attendance and Illiteracy. Fifty Principal Cities. In U.S. Census, 1870. Vol. 1. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1872.  At the library.

"Table XXI. Families and Dwellings of Fifty Cities." In U.S. Census, 1870. Vol. 1. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1872. PDF. At the library.

1860

"Table 3. Population of Cities, Town, etc." In U.S. Census, 1860. Population of the United States in 1860 : compiled from the original returns of the eighth census. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1864. Online.

1850

"Table II. Population of by Subdivisions of Counties." In U.S. Census, 1850. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1853. Online.

Print Publications by Census Year