Head Counts: Census Reports

The most obvious sources for the study of immigration are the massive tabulations of data on residents and households compiled by national governments, the population censuses. Censuses document in detail the settlement patterns and socio-economic status of immigrant groups. CRL has assiduously collected many of the major compilations, which are itemized in an online topic guide.

Some notable examples:

  • African census reports. Published in microform by the Library of Congress, this set includes about 26 census reports of various dates from 1911–1955, for Botswana, French West Africa, Gambia, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Nigeria, Rhodesia (Northern and Southern), Sierra Leone, Swaziland, Uganda, Zanzibar, and Ziguinchor, Senegal.
  • Canada, Dominion Bureau of Statistics. Census of Canada, 1851–1852 and Census of Canada, 1860–1861. Hardcopy of the report of the census of Canada containing both population and non-population statistics. The census covers Ontario and Quebec.
  • Canada, Dominion Bureau of Statistics. Census of Canada, 1870–1871. This report of the census of Canada covers New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, and Quebec. It also includes information on earlier censuses, from 1665–1871, and vital statistics for 1608–1876.
  • Russian and Soviet censuses, 1897–1970. These microform collections include the first census of the Russian Empire in 1897, the 1926 Russian census, and the 1952 and 1970 USSR population censuses.
  • The United States federal population decennial census schedules, 1790–1930. CRL has the U.S. National Archives microfilm editions of these original censuses, a “census substitute” for 1890, and the soundex for the 1880 population schedules. The soundex filing system is a phonetic code used to file together similar sounding surnames with variant spellings. This system was used to create a card index for the 1880 population census. Only households with children aged 10 and under were indexed in the 1880 soundex.
  • Western European census reports, 1960. Published by Redgrave Information Resources in microfiche with an English language guide. This collection reproduces 74 official census reports of the 22 nations of western Europe, covering the 1960 census period. The reports are written in the language of the issuing country.