Are The Census Records From 1950 Available?

By | July 28, 2017

If you are reading this post then you are probably wondering what records you can check. The 1940 census records are already out there but are the census records from 1950 available? It’s an important question to ask as family historians we try to gather as much information about our ancestors as we possibly can. Well read on as I explain what we can and cannot be accessed.

Census Records From 1950

Topics covered in this post:

Are The Census Records From 1950 Available?

The short answer is …


The long answer is …

There is more to it than that, so in a way the answer is actually yes!

If you are familiar with U.S. census records you may know that there is a 72-year rule, where you have to wait that long until these records are made public.

Credit:   Ancestry

The latest 1940 census records are available and were made available in April 2012. So by following the rule we know that to gain access to the 1950 census records that we will unfortunately have to wait until April 2022.

You may think that that sucks but as Americans we have it much better than our British or Canadian counterparts. If you want to check out the latest British census records then there is a 100-year rule. So the latest census records for them dates to 1911. And to top it off there are no census records for 1931 and 1941 for them.

The Canadians fair a bit better as there is ‘only’ a 92-year rule. So the latest Canada census record that is available dates to 1921.

How Can I Access the Census Records From the 1950?

Apologies but I digressed slightly there from the question. To answer your question though the answer is indeed yes. So how can you access these records? What do you have to do?

How to access the census records from 1950?

The Census Bureau and the Age Search Service

Through the Census Bureau Age Search Service you can request the census records from 1910 right up to 2010. So that means that not only can you get your hands on records from 1950 but even the last census that was carried out.

So what’s the catch?

I knew you would ask that. Well there is currently a $65 charge for this service, and you can only request to search for one census for one person for each search. I must point out also that personal checks and money orders are accepted, except for credit cards unfortunately.

So it’s not a cheap service but it can help you if you have encountered a brick wall in your genealogy research!

By using this service though you will get an official transcript of the results that you requested. And then from these results you not only can break down brick walls but you may search for other records, such as birth, death or marriage certificates.

How do you access these records then?

You will need to download an application form from the Census Bureau Age Search Service. The form is titled “BC-600 Application For Search of Census Records“.

How to access the 1950 census records!

If the person that you are looking for is deceased then you will need to get an appropriate signature. This is no problem if you are in fact a relative. But if you are not then you can get the signature from any one of the following:

  • Their partner;
  • Administrator or executor of the estate; or
  • A beneficiary by will or insurance.

You will also need to provide a copy of their death certificate as well!

So the process may not seem so simple but if you really want to find out something that is bugging you about your family tree then this is definitely one service that you can use.

What results do you get?

For the $65 that you pay you will get an official census transcript. This transcript will list the person’s name, relationship to the head of the household, their age when the census was taken and also the state where they were born. The person’s citizenship will be provided as well if they were born overseas.

What results can you get from the 1950 census records?

Note: A person’s state of birth and their citizenship is not available from the 1910 and 1950 census records!

But to get the full schedule, i.e. the complete line of entry as it appears in the census, then you will need to pay an additional $10. This service is not available for census years 1970, 1980, 1990 and 2000.

And if you want details about other persons in the household then there is an extra $10 to pay.

How long does this service take?

The whole process takes between 3 to 4 weeks. If you do wish to speed up the process you can pay a further $20.

My Final Thoughts On Census Records From 1950

Census records are a great resource to the genealogists. They can not only provide a lot of information but they can help you immensely to build your family tree. You can also use what you find to search for other records.

But if you want to access more recent information than what appears in the 1940 census records then it doesn’t come cheap. If you want to get just one line of entry from the census records for one person then you will need to cough up as much as $105.

But the process is actually a lot easier for the 1950 census records than records from 1960 to 2010!

There is an alternative though as suggest by renowned genealogist Lisa Louise Cooke. Check out the 1950 Census Substitute from Ancestry. Here you can access city directories from the 1940s to the 1950s. These directories will help you locate where your ancestors were living during this time period. It’s not much but it can give you some more information about them.

Whatever you do decide when it comes to researching your family tree just remember that sometimes genealogy research is not easy. We do sometimes have to go through a number of hoops to get the information that we are looking for. And we occasionally have to pay for that information.

But at the end of the day we want to do our family history research justice. So we do have to go that a extra mile to create a legacy that we can be proud of.

Thank You and Please Leave A Comment

I hope you enjoyed this post discussing Census Records from 1950. If you think that this post will be helpful to others then please share it with friends and family using the social media buttons below.

If you have any questions or comments then please leave a comment below. I would love to hear from you.

Author: Owain

Hello, Owain here. After researching my family history for a number of years I wanted to give back to the genealogy world. So here you will find guides, tips and product reviews that will help you on your genealogy journey.

6 thoughts on “Are The Census Records From 1950 Available?

  1. paul

    Hi I have never looked into my family History. I’m wondering if this problem is the same in the UK ?
    I might have to start looking up my family ?
    Thanks for the great post. It has given me something to think about.

    1. Owain Post author

      Hi Paul,

      British Census Records dating from 1841 upto 1911 are available to you. There is so much information that you can get from U.S. census records and the same can definitely be said for the U.K. records as well.

  2. Peter

    Seeing this has made me really want to find out more about my family history. After reading this I just feel that there is so much out there. Who knows what interesting things I might discover! The mystery remains unsolved as of yet. But I am so looking forward to discovering my heritage.

    1. Owain Post author

      That’s great Peter, I am glad that I have motivated you. And you’re right there is just so much information out there that can tell us our own family history.

      As a starting point you may wish to check out my Ten Step Guide that can really put you on your way. All the best.

  3. Kevin Bulmer

    Hi Owain,

    As usual when I visit your site, I just learned a lot I didn’t know. And I actually chuckled out loud at the short answer/long answer part near the beginning.

    I didn’t know about the 72-year rule, or the demand for the 1950 census. It’s all really interesting.

    Interesting, isn’t it, how you can speed up the process with a little more money?

    Great work!


    1. Owain Post author

      Thanks Kevin, I am glad that you like the post and that it made you chuckled. I didn’t even try to do that, lol.

      Whenever we do find information about our ancestors we became thirsty, thirsty for more information. So checking through census records is a great way to connect with our family’s past.

      I feel that is why that many people want to get hold of the 1950 census records. It’s only 5 more years away until that information is readily available. But we can get that information quicker albeit with some money.

      If you can wait though until then that’s fine as there is plenty of information out there besides using census records. And we have so many ancestors for us to research. So I’m sure that will keep us busy until te 1950 census records are ready.

      All te best and enjoy your genealogy journey.


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