Punch Cards Made for the U.S. Census of Population, 1930


These paper punch cards have the fields used in the U.S. Census of population in 1930. Each is marked: POPULATION, 1930. Each is also marked: TM2021.

The cards were similar in past ones in that they record the age, gender, race, marriage status, and education status of an individual. The 1930 punch card changed from the 1920 punch card in three ways. The first was the use of a more standardized 12-key punch, which required changing some of the code symbols to make the card puncher’s job a bit easier. The second was a different look and column spacing of the card. The third was changes in the content. Some areas, like household head, were moved to the family card. The columns were numbered and labeled on the bottom of the card.

Columns indicated (by number):

5. Whether the person lived on a farm

6. Sex

7. Color (or race)

8-9. Age (in units of 10)

10. Marital State

11. Education: NY – not attending school, able to read and write

NN – not attending school, not able to read or write

Yes – attending school

12. State of birth

13. Mother tongue

14-15. Country of birth

16. Nativity: of individual and parents

17. Year immigrated to the U.S.

18. Citizenship: Na – native

Pa – papers

Al – alien

19. Speak English?

20-23. Occupation

24. Class


Truesdell, Leon E. The Development of Punch Card Tabulation in the Bureau of the Census,1890-1940: With Outlines of Actual Tabulation Programs. Washington, D.C.: G.P.O., 1965.

Date Made: 1930

Maker: U. S. Census Bureau

Location: Currently not on view

Subject: Mathematics

See more items in: Medicine and Science: Mathematics, Science & Mathematics, Punch Cards


Exhibition Location:

Credit Line: Transfer from Bureau of the Census

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: 1988.3098.01Catalog Number: 1988.3098.01Nonaccession Number: 1988.3098

Object Name: Punch Cards, Group ofpunch cards, group of

Physical Description: paper (overall material)Measurements: each card: 17 cm x 8.2 cm; 6 11/16 in x 3 7/32 in

Guid: http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746b3-8423-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa

Record Id: nmah_1848441

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