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1880 Census of Population and Housing

The 1880 census was carried out under a law enacted March 3, 1879. Additional amendments to the law were made on April 20, 1880, and appropriations made on June 16, 188016 days after the actual enumeration had begun. The new census law specifically handed over the supervision of the enumeration to a body of officers, known as supervisors of the census, specifically chosen for the work of the census, and appointed in each state or territory, of which they should be residents before March 1, 1880. Each supervisor was responsible for recommending the organization of his district for enumeration, choosing enumerators for the district and supervising their work, reviewing and transmitting the returns from the enumerators to the central census office, and overseeing the compensation for enumerators in each district. Each enumerator was required by law to visit personally each dwelling house in his sub-division, and each family therein, and each individual living out of a family in any place of abode, and by inquiry made of the head of such family, or of the member there of deemed most credible and worthy of trust, or of such individual living out of a family, to obtain each and every item of information and all the particulars. In case no one was available at a family's usual place of abode, the enumerator was directed by the law to obtain the required information, as nearly as may be practicable, from the family or families, or person or persons, living nearest to such place of abode. The 1879 census act also provided for the collection of detailed data on the condition and operation of railroad corporations, incorporated express companies, and telegraph companies, and of life, fire, and marine insurance companies (using Schedule No.4 - Social Statistics). In addition, the Superintendent of Census was required to collect and publish statistics of the population, industries, and resources of Alaska, with as much detail as was practical. An enumeration was made of all untaxed Indians within the jurisdiction of the United States to collect as much information about their condition as possible. The following five schedules were authorized by the 1880 census act:

  • Schedule No.1 - Population. The 1880 schedule was similar to that used previously, with a few exceptions.
  • Schedule No.2 - Mortality. The schedule used the same inquiries as in 1870, and added inquiries to record marital status, birth place of parents, length of residence in the United States or territory, and name of place where the disease was contracted, if other than place of death. The Superintendent of Census was authorized to withdraw the mortality schedule in those areas where an official registration of death was maintained, and the required statistics were then collected from these administrative records.
  • Schedule No.3 - Agriculture. In addition to greatly expanded inquiries concerning various crops (including acreage for principal crop), questions were added to collect data on farm tenure, weeks of hired labor, annual cost for fence building and repair, fertilizer purchases, and the number of livestock as of June 1, 1880.
  • Schedule No.4 Social Statistics. Section 18 of the March 3, 1879, census act made the collection of social statistics the responsibility of experts and special agents, not the enumerators. Although some data were collected by enumerators using the general population schedule (Schedule No.1), the majority of the data were collected through correspondence with officials of institutions providing care and treatment of certain members of the population. Experts and special agents also were employed to collect data on valuation, taxation, and indebtedness; religion; libraries; colleges, academies, and schools; newspapers and periodicals, and wages.
  • Schedule No.5 - Relating to Manufactures. In addition to the inquiries made in 1870, this schedule contained new inquiries as to the greatest number of hands employed at any time during the year, the number of hours in the ordinary work day from May to November and November to May, the average daily wages paid to skilled mechanics and laborers, months of full-and part-time operation, and machinery used. Special agents were charged with collecting data on specific industries through out the country, and included the manufactures of iron and steel; cotton, woolen, and worsted goods; silk and silk goods; chemical products and salt; coke and glass; shipbuilding; and all aspects of fisheries and mining, including the production of coal and petroleum. (quoted from Census Bureau description)
For online access to the 1880 data, please go to the Historical Census browser.

Return to federal census page

Publications for 1880 Census

Volume 1: Statistics of the Population of the United States

In print: I 11.5: v.1 (GOVPUB US)
Serial Set 2129, H.misdoc.42/1 (NORBASE)
Microfiche: EBD I1105-1 (Ask at the desk)
Online at Census Bureau PDF or ZIP

Volume 2: Report on the Manufactures of the United States embracing general statistics and monographs

In print: I 11.5: v.2 (GOVPUB US)
Serial Set 2130, H.misdoc.42/2 (NORBASE OVER)
Microfiche: EBD I1105-2 (Ask at the desk)
Online at Census Bureau PDF or ZIP

Volume 3: Report on the Productions of Agriculture embracing general statistics and monographs

In print: I 11.5: v.3 (GOVPUB US)
Serial Set 2131, H.misdoc.42/3 (NORBASE)
Microfiche: EBD I1105-3 (Ask at the desk)
Online at Census Bureau PDF or ZIP

Volume 4: Report on the Agencies of Transportation in the United States including the statistics of railroads, steam navigation, canals, telegraphs, and telephones

In print: I 11.5: v.4 (GOVPUB US)
Serial Set 2132, H.misdoc.42/4 (NORBASE)
Microfiche: EBD I1105-4 (Ask at the desk)
Online at Census Bureau PDF or ZIP

Volume 5: Report on Cotton Production in the United States; also embracing agriculture and physico-geographical descriptions of several cotton States and of California: Part I: Mississippi Valley and Southwestern States

In print: I 11.5: v.5 (GOVPUB US)
Serial Set 2133, H.misdoc.42/5 (NORBASE)
Microfiche: EBD I1105-5 (Ask at the desk)
Online at Census Bureau PDF or ZIP

Volume 6: Report on Cotton Production in the United States; also embracing agricultural and physico-geographical descriptions of several cotton states and of California: Part II: Eastern Gulf, Atlantic, and Pacific States

In print: I 11.5: v.6 (GOVPUB US)
Serial Set 2134, H.misdoc.42/6 (NORBASE)
Microfiche: EBD I1105-6 (Ask at the desk)
Online at Census Bureau PDF or ZIP

Volume 7: Report on Valuation, Taxation, and Public Indebtedness of the United States

In print: I 11.5: v.7 (GOVPUB US)
Serial Set 2135, H.misdoc.42/7 (NORBASE)
Microfiche: EBD I1105-7 (Ask at the desk)
Online at Census Bureau PDF or ZIP

Volume 8: Newspaper and Periodical Press; Alaska: its population, industries, and resources; The seal islands of Alaska; Shipbuilding industry in the United States

In print: I 11.5: v.8 (GOVPUB US)
Serial Set Vol. 2136, H.misdoc.42/8 (NORBASE OVER)
Microfiche: EBD I1105-8 (Ask at the desk)
Online at Census Bureau PDF or ZIP

Volume 9: Report on the Forests of North America (Exclusive of Mexico)

In print: I 11.5: v.9 (GOVPUB US)
Serial Set 2137, H.misdoc.42/10 (NORBASE)
Microfiche: EBD I1105-9 (Ask at the desk)
Online at Census Bureau PDF or ZIP

Volume 10: Production technology, and uses of petroleum and its products; The manufacture of coke; Building stones of the United States, and statistics of the quarry industry for 1880

In print: I 11.5: v.10 (GOVPUB US)
Serial Set 2138, H.misdoc.42/11 (NORBASE)
Microfiche: EBD I1105-10 (Ask at the desk)
Online at Census Bureau PDF or ZIP

Volume 11: Report on Mortality and Vital Statistics. Part I, Statistics of deaths by States, principal cities, etc...

In print: I 11.5: v.11 (GOVPUB US)
Serial Set 2140, H.misdoc.42/12 (NORBASE)
Microfiche: EBD I1105-11 (Ask at the desk)
Online at Census Bureau PDF or ZIP

Volume 12: Report on Mortality and Vital Statistics. Part II, Statistics of deaths by locality, cause, etc. and portfolio of 36 plants and 38 diagrams

In print: I 11.5: v.12 (GOVPUB US)
Serial Set 2141, H.misdoc.42/13 (NORBASE)
Serial Set 2142, H.misdoc.42/14 (NORBASE)
Microfiche: EBD I1105-12 (Ask at the desk)
Online at Census Bureau PDF or ZIP

Volume 13: Statistics and Technology of the Precious Metals

In print: I 11.5: v.13 (GOVPUB US)
Microfiche: EBD I1105-13 (Ask at the desk)
Serial Set 2143, H.misdoc.42/15 (NORBASE)
Online at Census Bureau PDF or ZIP

Volume 14: The United States Mining Laws and Regulations thereunder, and State and territorial mining laws, to which are appended local mining rules and regulations

In print: I 11.5: v.4 (GOVPUB US)
Serial Set 2144, H.misdoc.42/16 (NORBASE)
Microfiche: EBD I1105-4 (Ask at the desk)
Online at Census Bureau PDF or ZIP

Volume 15: Report on the Mining Industries of the United States (exclusive of precious metals), with special investigation into the iron resources of the Republic and into cretaceous coals of the Northwest

In print: I 11.5: v.15 (GOVPUB US)
Serial Set 2145, H.misdoc.42/17 (NORBASE)
Microfiche: EBD I1105-15 (Ask at the desk)
Online at Census Bureau PDF or ZIP

Volume 16: Reports on the Water Power of the United States. Part I, Water-power of the region tributary to Long Island Sound

In print: I 11.5: v.16 (GOVPUB US)
Serial Set 2146, H.misdoc.42/18 (NORBASE)
Microfiche: EBD I1105-16 (Ask at the desk)
Online at Census Bureau PDF or ZIP

Volume 17: Reports on the Water Power of the United States. Part II, Water-power of the Northwest, Water-power of the Mississippi River and some of its tributaries, Water power of the region tributary to the Mississippi River on the west, below Dubuque, Iowa, Water-power of the Ohio River basin and Ohio State canals, Water-supply of certain cities of the United States

In print: I 11.5: v.17 (GOVPUB US)
Serial Set 2137, H.misdoc.42/19 (NORBASE)
Microfiche: EBD I1105-17 (Ask at the desk)
Online at the Census Bureau, PDF or ZIP

Volume 18: Report on the Social Statistics of Cities. Part I: The New England and Middle Atlantic States

In print: I 11.5: v.18 (GOVPUB US)
Serial Set 2148, H.misdoc.42/20 (NORBASE)
Microfiche: EBD I1105-18 (Ask at the desk)
Online at the Census Bureau, PDF or ZIP

Volume 19: Report on the Social Statistics of Cities. Part II: The Southern and Western States

In print: I 11.5: v.19 (GOVPUB US)
Serial Set 2149, H.misdoc.42/21 (NORBASE OVER)
Microfiche: EBD I1105-19 (Ask at the desk)
Online at the Census Bureau, PDF or ZIP

Volume 20: Report on the statistics of wages in manufacturing industries; with supplementary reports on the average retail prices of necessaries of life, and on trades societies, and strikes and lockouts

In print: I 11.5: v.20 (GOVPUB US)
Serial Set 2150, H.misdoc.42/22 (NORBASE OVER)
Microfiche: EBD I1105-20 (Ask at the desk)
Online at the Census Bureau, PDF or ZIP

Volume 21: Report on the defective, dependent, and delinquent classes of the population of the United States

In print: I 11.5: v.21 (GOVPUB US)
Serial Set 2151, H.misdoc.42/23 (NORBASE)
Microfiche: EBD I1105-21 (Ask at the desk)
Online at the Census Bureau, PDF or ZIP

Volume 22: Report on power and machinery employed in manufactures embracing statistics of steam- and water-power used in the manufacture in iron and steel during census year ending May 31,1880

In print: I 11.5: v.22 (GOVPUB US)
Serial Set 2152, H.misdoc.42/24 (NORBASE)
Microfiche: EBD I1105-22 (Ask at the desk)
Online at the Census Bureau, PDF or ZIP

Compendium of the Tenth Census: Part 1

In print: I 11.2:C73 pt.1 (GOVPUB US)
Serial Set 2059, H.misdoc.64/1 (NORBASE)
Microfiche: EBD I1102-3 (Ask at the desk)
Online at the Census Bureau, PDF or ZIP

Compendium of the Tenth Census: Part 2

In print: I 11.2:C73 pt.2 (GOVPUB US)
Serial Set 2060, H.misdoc.64/2 (NORBASE)
Microfiche: EBD I1102-3 (Ask at the desk)
Online at the Census Bureau, PDF or ZIP

Apportionment under tenth census of the United States: Letter from the secretary of the interior, transmitting: tabular statements exhibiting the total population of each state and territory; the apportionment of members of Congress from 293 to 325; moiety question, &; together with remarks of Hon. S.S. Cox, chairman, &c (Dub 155)

Microfiche: EBD I1102-2 (Ask at the desk)

The History and Present Conditions of the Fishery Industries - The Oyster Industry

In print: I 11.2:Oy 8 (GOVPUB US)
Microfiche: EBD I1102-7 (Ask at the desk)
Online at the Census Bureau, PDF or ZIP

Tabulated Statements of the traffic and fiscal operations of the railroads in the United States. Group no. 1 Embracing Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut [by] Robert P. Porter. 46p. (Dub 159)

Microfiche: EBD I1106-6 (Ask at the desk)

Census Bulletin No. 1-303

Microfiche: EBD I1103-1 to Microfiche: EBD I1103-103 (each bulletin has it's own number, for a list of titles see CIS Index to U.S. Executive Branch Documents, 1789-1909, Part 3, Reference Bibliography.

Forestry Bulletin No. 1-25

Microfiche: EBD I1107-1 to EBD I1107a-25 (each bulletin has it's own number, for a list of titles see CIS Index to U.S. Executive Branch Documents, 1789-1909, Part 3, Reference Bibliography.)

The area of the United States, the several States and Territories and their Counties. 1991. 20p.

Microfiche: EBD I1106-1 (Ask at the desk)
Online at the Census Bureau, PDF or ZIP

Report on the manufacture of fire-arms and ammunition by Charles H. Fitch. 1882. vi. 37p.

Microfiche: EBD I1106-4 (Ask at the desk)

Statistics of life insurance [1882] 73p.

Microfiche: : EBD I1106-5 (Ask at the desk)

Tables showing the cereal production of the United States ... by counties, as returned at the census of 1880. 1881. 36p.

Microfiche: EBD I1106-2 (Ask at the desk)

Tables showing the cotton production of the United States, by counties ,as returned at the census of 1880. 1881. 5p.

Microfiche: EBD I1106-3 (Ask at the desk)

Sixteen maps accompaning report on forest Trees of North America

In print: I 11.5:9 (GOVPUB US OVER)
Serial Set 2138, H.misdoc.42/10 (NORBASE)

History and present condition of fishery industries: Seal-Islands of Alaska

Microfiche: EBD I1102-1 (Ask at the desk)

Nomenclature of crime, or analytical list of offenses against statutes of United States and state of Federal Union, designed to be aid to tabulation of statistics of crime in U.S.

Microfiche: EBD I1102-4 (Ask at the desk)

Plan of inquiry into hisotry and present condition of fisheries of United States

Microfiche: EBD I1102-5 (Ask at the desk)

Catalogue of forest trees in North America

Microfiche: EBD I1102-6 (Ask at the desk)

Return to federal census page