1930 U.S. Census: Discover Your Family History from 1930
The 1930 U.S. Census was the 15th decennial census conducted in the United States. It captured a portrait of the country right after the Wall Street Crash of 1929 slammed the lid on the Roaring Twenties. The decade that preceded it had seen the world emerging from the devastation of World War I and the Spanish flu and flourishing in cultural and economic growth. The first mass-produced automobiles, the rise of the radio and cinema, and the introduction of votes for women in many parts of the world were just a few of the radical changes that took place between the previous census and this one. Penicillin had just been discovered, though it would take another few years before its use as an antibiotic became widespread.
The 1930 Census recorded the population of the United States as 122,775,046. This was an increase of almost 16% over the population recorded in 1920. It was conducted in April of 1930, except in the territory of Alaska (which would not be a state for a few decades yet), where it was conducted in late 1929.
What can the 1930 Census show us about our ancestors?
In the 1930 Census records, you will find information on your ancestors who were living in the United States in April of 1930. The information you can learn about them includes:
- Place of residence
- Place of birth
- Relationship to head of household
- Education and literacy
- Immigration and citizenship
- Whether they owned or rented their home
- The value of their home, or what they paid in rent
See below for a full list of the questions included on the 1930 Census.
What changed from the 1920 Census to the 1930 Census?
The 1930 Census included a number of new questions that didn’t appear on earlier censuses, and omitted some questions that had been asked previously. One question unique to the 1930 Census is whether the family had a radio set. Knowing how widespread the use of radio was would help the government understand how this medium could be used to spread information to citizens. The 1930 Census also asked for residents’ age at the time of their first marriage as well as the value of their home, if they owned it, or the amount they paid in rent, if they were renting it.
Searching the 1930 Census on MyHeritage
While census records are available to the public on the National Archives website, searching on MyHeritage offers invaluable additional benefits:
- Advanced search capabilities: Using MyHeritage’s search engine, you can search for your ancestors according to any criteria and not just home address or enumeration district. MyHeritage’s sophisticated search algorithms can even identify nicknames and name variations from other languages.
- Easily flip between records within the family: MyHeritage allows you to easily flip between census records of individuals in the same family group. Family members are listed on the record page, and you can click their names to go to their records.
- Explore related records: When you are viewing records on MyHeritage, you’ll see additional historical records that mention the person you are researching. Our database includes more than 16 billion records and is constantly growing.
- Receive automatic Record Matches: When you build a family tree on MyHeritage, you won’t even need to search actively. MyHeritage finds historical records that mention the people in your family tree and delivers them straight to your inbox.
- Extract new information straight to your family tree: Extracting information from historical records and placing it on your online family tree is as simple as a few clicks on MyHeritage.
Get more great tips by watching Preparing for the 1950 Census: How-to Search the U.S. Census Records:
What does a 1930 Census record look like?
Below is a sample record from the 1930 Census. This record, from Albany in New York, features Franklin D. Roosevelt and his family, 3 years before he was elected president. Franklin was 48 at the time, living with his wife and 4 sons. You can find him on line 20 of this questionnaire.
Questions included in the 1930 Census form
The 1930 Census contained 32 questions as follows:
PLACE OF ABODE:
- Street, avenue, road, etc.
- House number (in cities and towns)
- Number of household in order of visitation
- Number of family in order of visitation
- Name of each person whose place of abode on April 1, 1930, was in this family
- Relationship of this person to the head of the family
- Home owned or rented
- Value of home, if owned, or monthly rental, if rented
- Radio set
- Does this family live on a farm?
- Color or race
- Age at last birthday
- Marital condition
- Age at first marriage
- Attended school or college any time since Sept. 1, 1929
- Whether able to read and write
PLACE OF BIRTH:
MOTHER TONGUE (OR NATIVE LANGUAGE) OF FOREIGN BORN
- Language spoken in home before coming to the United States
- Year of immigration to the United States
- Whether able to speak English
OCCUPATION AND INDUSTRY:
- OCCUPATION: Trade, profession, or particular kind of work, as spinner, salesman, riveter, teacher, etc.
- INDUSTRY: Industry or business, as cotton mill, dry-goods store, shipyard, public school, etc.
- Class of worker
- Whether actually at work yesterday (or the last regular working day): Yes or No
- If not, line number on Unemployment Schedule
- Whether a veteran of U.S. military or naval forces: Yes or No
- What war or expedition?
- Number of farm schedule
Ready to discover your family stories? Search the 1930 census on MyHeritage now!