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1920 U.S. Federal Census

The Fourteenth Census Act of July 2, 1909, provided for the 1920 and subsequent censuses; however, numerous minor changes were sought prior to the census, so a new law was enacted on March 3, 1919. Persons having no fixed place of abode were required by the census law to be enumerated where they slept on the night of January 1, 1920.2

The 1920 Census was begun on 1 January 1920. All questions asked were supposed to refer to that date. In 1920 the census included, for the first time, Guam, American Samoa, and the Panama Canal Zone.3

Population Census Items

Address; name; relationship to family head; sex; race; age; marital status; if foreign born, year of immigration to the U.S., whether naturalized, and year of naturalization; school attendance; literacy; birthplace of person and parents; mother tongue of foreign born; ability to speak English; occupation, industry, and class of worker; home owned or rented; if owned, whether free or mortgaged.1

Historical Forms and Questions

In 1920, the scope of the census was already broadening. It was the first time data specialists experimented with crop sampling. Forms were printed for Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico, although there was no Indian schedule for 1920. Population schedules for the "Military and Naval Population, etc., Abroad" were printed with a simplified occupation inquiry. View sample forms
Subscription Databases ($) from Ancestry.com
  • Lanesboro, Massachusetts Census, 1790-1920
  • 1920 United States Federal Census
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  • ** Click here for a FREE 1920 Census form from Ancestry.com (Adobe Acrobat required)

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