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Using the Census Website: 1890

This guide will help you understand how to extract demographic and statistical information from the United States Census website

About the Bureau

1890 Census Information


  • 11th Decennial Census.
  • U.S. Population: 62,979,766.
  • Cost: $11,547,127.


For 1890, the Census Office changed the design of the population questionnaire. Residents were still listed individually, but a new questionnaire sheet was used for each family. Additionally, this was the first year that the census distinguished between different East Asian races.

Across the top of the sheet were several organizational questions:

  1. Number of dwelling house in the order of visitation by enumerator
  2. Number of families in the dwelling house
  3. Number of persons in the dwelling house
  4. Number of this family in order of visitation by enumerator
  5. Number of persons in this family

The following questions, listed by row number, were asked of each individual resident:

  1. Christian name in full, and initial of middle name
  2. Surname
  3. Was this person a soldier, sailor, or marine during the Civil War (U.S.A. or C.S.A.), or the widow of such a person?
  4. Relationship to the head of the family
  5. Race

    Enumerators were instructed to write "White," "Black," "Mulatto," "Quadroon," "Octoroon," "Chinese," "Japanese," or "Indian."
  6. Sex
  7. Age
  8. Was the person single, married, widowed, or divorced?
  9. Was the person married within the last year?
  10. How many children was the person a mother of? How many of those children were living?
  11. Person's place of birth
  12. Place of birth of person's father
  13. Place of birth of person's mother
  14. How many years has the person been in the United States?
  15. Is the person naturalized?
  16. Has the person taken naturalization papers out?
  17. Profession, trade, or occupation
  18. Number of months unemployed in the past year
  19. How many months did the person attend school in the past year?
  20. Can the person read?
  21. Can the person write?
  22. Can the person speak English? If not, what language does he speak?
  23. Is the person suffering from an acute chronic disease? If so, what is the name of that disease and the length of time affected?
  24. Is the person defective of mind, sight, hearing, or speech? Is the person crippled, maimed, or deformed? If yes, what was the name of his defect?
  25. Is the person a prisoner, convict, homeless child, or pauper?
  26. Depending on the person's status in the questions in rows 22, 23,or 24, the enumerator would indicate on this line whether additional information was recorded about him on a special schedule

The following questions, located at the end of each family's questionnaire sheet were asked of each family and farm visited:

  1. Was the home the family lived in hired, or was it owned by the head or by a member of the family?
  2. If owned by a member of the family, was the home free from "mortgage incumbrance?"
  3. If the head of the family was a farmer, was the farm which he cultivated hired or was it owned by him or a member of his family?
  4. If owned by the head or member of the family, was the farm free from "mortgage incumbrance?"
  5. If the home or farm was owned by the head or member of the family, and mortgaged, what was the post office address of the owner?

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