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Primary Sources: 1970 Census
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Consider These Questions

  

1. Why was the enumerator instructed only to ask married or previously married women whether they had any children? In what ways might this affect the census count?

2. Why did the categories on the forms change over time, and what do those changes tell us about the specific times that each of the forms came from?

3. Compare and contrast: What are the key important similarities and differences between the forms?

4. What is your overall sense about the likelihood of achieving accuracy on these forms for counting and gathering data about the population?


Population Inquiries

The 1970 census was taken principally by means of a seperate questionnaire (a 9 1/2"x10 7/8" booklet) for each household, completed by the resident.
Population inquiries 2-8 were asked of all persons. The remaining questions were asked on a sample basis: some at everyfifth household (15 percent), others at every twentieth household (5 percent), and some at both (20 percent). Only data items collected for tabulation are shown here. For identification items, screening questions, and format, see bibliography item 5.
Except for questions on Spanish orgin or descent, citizenship, year of immigration, vocational training completed, presence and duration of disability, and activity 5 years ago, the 1970 population items were comparable to those in 1960.

   

All answers were designed for self-identification on the part of the respondent, but the enumerator was allowed to fill in blanks by observation when this was possible. For item 4 (color or race), it was assumed that the respondent's relatives living in the unit were also of the same race unless the census taker learned otherwise. The enumerator's manual included a long list of possible written-in entries and how they were to be classified: For example, "Chicano", "LaRaza", "Mexican American", "Moslem", or "Brown" were to be changed to White, while "Brown (Negro)" would be condidered as Negro or Black for census purposes.
Although not specified on the questionnaire, the enumerator was instructed to limit question 25 (children ever born) to mothers who were or had been married unless a son or daughter had been listed.

2. HOW IS EACH PERSON RELATED TO THE
HEAD OF HOUSEHOLD?

Fill one circle.

If "Other relative of head",also give exact relationship, for example, mother-in-law, brother, niece, grandson, etc.

If "Other not related to head", also give exact relationship, for example, partner, maid, etc.

 Head of household Roomer, boarder, lodger
 Wife of head Patient or inmate
 Son or daughter of head Other not related to head->
 Other relative --->

3. SEX

Fill one circle.

 Male Female

4. COLOR OR RACE

Fill one circle.

If "Indian(American)", also give tribe.

If "Other", also give race.

 White Japanese Hawaiian
 Negro or Black Chinese Korean
 Indian(Amer)- Print Tribe Filipino Other- Print race

DATE OF BIRTH

5. MONTH AND YEAR OF BIRTH AND AGE LAST BIRTHDAY

Print

Month________________

Year_________________

Age__________________

6. MONTH OF BIRTH

Fill one circle

 Jan.-Mar.

 Apr.-Jun.

 July-Sept.

 Oct.-Dec.

7. YEAR OF BIRTH

Fill one circle for first three numbers

 186     192

 187     193

 188     194

 189     195

 190     196

 191     197

Fill one circle for last number

 0        5

 1        6

 2        7

 3        8

 4        9

8. WHAT IS EACH PERSON'S MARITAL STATUS

Fill one circle.

 Now Married

 Widowed

 Divorced

 Seperated

 Never Married


13

a. Where was this person born?

If born in hospital, give State of country where mother lived. If born outside U.S., see instruction sheet; distinguish Northern Ireland from Ireland (Eire).

 This State
    Or_____________________________________________
    (Name of State or foreign country; or Puerto Rico, Guam, etc.)


b. Is this person's orgin or descent—(Fill one circle please)

 Mexican         Central or South American

 Puerto Rican  Other Spanish

 Cuban           No, none of these

14. What country was his father born in?

 United States
    Or_____________________________________________
    (Name of State or foreign country; or Puerto Rico, Guam, etc.)

15. What country was his mother born in?

 United States
    Or_____________________________________________
    (Name of State or foreign country; or Puerto Rico, Guam, etc.)

16 For persons born in a foreign country—

a. Is this person naturalized?

 Yes, naturalized

 No, alien

 Born abroad of American parents


b. When did he come to the United States to stay?

 1965 to 70   1950 to 54   1925 to 34  
 
 1960 to 64   1945 to 49   1915 to 24  
 
 1955 to 59   1935 to 44   Before 1915  

17. What language, other than English, was spoken in this person's home when he was a child?
Fill one circle.

 Spanish  

 Other—

 French  

 _______________________

 German  

 None, English only

18. When did this person move into this house (or apartment)?

Fill circle for date of last move.

 1969 or 1970   1965 or 66   1949 or earlier  
 
 1968   1960 to 64   Always lived in
  this apartment or house
  
 
 1967   1950 to 59  

19

a. Did he live in this house on April 1, 1965? If in college or Armed Forces in April 1965, report place of residence there.

 Born April 1965 or later Skip to 20
 Yes, this house... Skip to 20
 No, different house

b. Where did he live on April 1, 1965?

(1) State, foreign country,
U.S. possesion, etc.____________________________________

(2) County_____________________________________________

(3) Inside the limits of a city, town, village, etc?

 Yes   No

(4) If "Yes", name of city,
town, village, etc.___________________________________________

20. Since February 1, 1970, has this person attended regular school or college at any time? Count nursery school, kindergarten, and schooling which leads to an elementary school certificate, high school diploma, or college degree.

 No

 Yes, public

 Yes, parochial

 Yes, other private

U.S. Census Bureau