1940 Census

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chrisdamato
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1940 Census

Postby chrisdamato » 18 Jul 2010, 00:14

Is it true that the 1940 census will be released in 2012???

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johnnyonthespot
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Re: 1940 Census

Postby johnnyonthespot » 18 Jul 2010, 00:44

chrisdamato wrote:Is it true that the 1940 census will be released in 2012???


Yep. Federal law says they are released 72 years after the fact.
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chrisdamato
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Re: 1940 Census

Postby chrisdamato » 18 Jul 2010, 01:15

Ok, thanks. Wonder why 72 years. Seems like an odd number. Why not 70? Or even 50 or 60 for that matter.

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Re: 1940 Census

Postby johnnyonthespot » 18 Jul 2010, 03:21

chrisdamato wrote:Ok, thanks. Wonder why 72 years. Seems like an odd number. Why not 70? Or even 50 or 60 for that matter.


I suspect it had something to do with the statistically average lifespan at the time the rule was put in place. Apparently the concept was that by ensuring that the data would remain private for a lifetime, people would be more likely to be truthful and not hide from enumerators.

See http://news.medill.northwestern.edu/chi ... ?id=155002
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jweintraub
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Re: 1940 Census

Postby jweintraub » 18 Jul 2010, 14:05

The 72 year rule has nothing to do with life expectancy, nor actually is the 72 years specifically in the law that regulates the National Archives. The rule is not in regulations of the census bureau.

See my article on the history of the rule:
http://members.cox.net/census1940/paper6.jpg

Joel Weintraub
http://members.cox.net/census1940/

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johnnyonthespot
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Re: 1940 Census

Postby johnnyonthespot » 18 Jul 2010, 14:13

Very interesting and informative article, Joel. Thanks for sharing!
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Tessa78
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Re: 1940 Census

Postby Tessa78 » 18 Jul 2010, 14:23

Hi Joel,

So to what (Title 44, US Code) is this article referring on the www.census.gov website?
Census Schedules Available to the Public

Individual records from the federal population
censuses are confidential for 72 years, by law (Title 44, U.S. Code). Thus, April 2012 is the scheduled date for the National Archives to open the 1940 records to public use.


Full article link http://www.census.gov/prod/2000pubs/cff-2.pdf

T.

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Re: 1940 Census

Postby jweintraub » 18 Jul 2010, 16:46

T.

Go to the NARA (National Archives) website, the page for laws regulating the Archives.
http://www.archives.gov/about/laws/

Note that Title 44 refers to NARA regulations, NOT the Census Bureau. The Census Bureau is regulated under Title 13.

If you follow the link through the above, you will end up at section 2108
http://www.archives.gov/about/laws/nara.html#custody

Read part b that refers to an exchange of letters in 1952 (which is also available on the NARA website) between the Archivist and the Census Director that included an agreement for 72 years (and after that the 1880 census was released in 1952 to the public), but in fact the precedent was set in 1942 when the 1870 was given to the National Archives (which was formed in 1934) and then released by the Archives.

The agreement was codified into law in 1978 with a process whereby the Archivist and the Director could change the confidentiality period. Something all genealogists should be aware of. I give talks on this very subject.

Joel Weintraub
http://members.cox.net/census1940/

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Tessa78
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Re: 1940 Census

Postby Tessa78 » 18 Jul 2010, 19:47

Hi Joel,

Thanks for the great explanation! :-)

I had no doubt of your expertise, just needed clarification...

And I agree with Carmine, very informative article.

T.

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chrisdamato
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Re: 1940 Census

Postby chrisdamato » 18 Jul 2010, 19:55

Thanks for the great information.


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