UCB Libraries


Federal Censuses (Statistical Information)

Online Sources | Censuses by Decade | Special Collections

Article I, Section 2 of the United States Constitution states of the census:

"The actual Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct."

Therefore, every 10 years, since 1790, the U.S. government has conducted a census of the population of its states and territories. The directing administrator or agency has changed from the Secretary of State (1800 to 1840), to the Interior Department (1850 to 1900), to the Department of Commerce's Bureau of Census (1902 to present). If you are looking for pre-1980 data on a specific state, please see our State Censuses subject guide.


The following census materials contain no names. Instead, they feature statistical demographic data that is helpful in painting a picture of a particular geographic location. See Bureau of the Census Catalog of Publications: 1790-1972 (C 3.163/2-2:790-972) for a comprehensive guide to statistics published by the Census Bureau from 1790 to 1972.

Return to main census page

Some of these resources are only available to users on campus, in the library, or by logging in to the University of Colorado system via VPN, subscription resources are marked with a CU symbol.

Online Sources

For other online sources of current and historical demographic data, please consult our Demographics page.

Censuses by Decade


Following are links to more in-depth information about materials in the Government Information Library. The lists of publications are based on the Bureau of the Census Catalog of Publications: 1790-1972. These lists include references to microfiche in the CIS Executive Branch Documents (EBD) collection; for a complete list of materials in this collection please consult CIS Index to U.S. Executive Branch Documents, 1789-1909 and CIS Index to U.S. Executive Branch Documents, 1910-1932 (in the Government Information reference area).


Click a link below for access to an online version of that year's decennial census as well as a list of publications related to it:

Special Collections


Historical non-decennial reports are available on a variety of topics like agriculture; business; Census Bureau activities; dependent, defective, and delinquent classes; industry and manufactures; race; religious bodies; telegraphs and telephones; transportation; and vital statistics.

Return to main census page