Photo: National Archives
Every 10 years, the Census Bureau records how many people are living in the United States.Today, most households are able to send in their surveys by mail. But in 1940, more than 100,000 Census workers walked house-to-house collecting information about the U.S. population.
The results, which are now available online, provided a snapshot of socioeconomic changes in the midst of the Great Depression.
Enumerators used 175,000 maps to visit 147,000 enumeration districts — the area a single enumerator could cover in about two weeks in urban areas or a month in rural areas.
That included 5.1 million farmers and farm managers (today that number has been reduced to just 613,000 according to the 2010 American Community Survey)
Here's what the Census form looked like back in 1940. There were a total of 65 questions and a sample of the population was asked an additional set of detailed questions. One question even asked if residents had a Social Security number.
On the 2010 Census, every household was asked the same 10 basic questions. Most households were able send the form in by mail.
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