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

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

<< >>
Usage conditions apply
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.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Punch Cards, Group of
punch cards, group of
date made
U. S. Census Bureau
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
each card: 17 cm x 8.2 cm; 6 11/16 in x 3 7/32 in
ID Number
catalog number
nonaccession number
Credit Line
Transfer from Bureau of the Census
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Science & Mathematics
Punch Cards
Data Source
National Museum of American History
Nominate this object for photography.   

Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.


Add a comment about this object