1920 United States Census
of the United States
U.S. Census Bureau Seal
|Date taken||January 5, 1920|
|Most populous state||New York|
|Least populous state||Nevada|
The United States Census of 1920, conducted by the Census Bureau one month from January 5, 1920, determined the resident population of the United States to be 106,021,537, an increase of 15.0 percent over the 92,228,496 persons enumerated during the 1910 Census.
Despite the constitutional requirement that House seats be reapportioned to the states respective of their population every ten years according to the census, members of Congress failed to agree on a reapportionment plan following this census, and the distribution of seats from the 1910 census remained in effect until 1933. In 1929, Congress passed the Reapportionment Act of 1929 which provided for a permanent method of reapportionment and fixed the number of Representatives at 435.
This was the first census in which a state – New York – recorded a population of more than ten million.
This census also marked a significant population shift from rural to urban. According to the Census Bureau, "Beginning in 1910, the minimum population threshold to be categorized as an urban place was set at 2,500. "Urban" was defined as including all territory, persons, and housing units within an incorporated area that met the population threshold. The 1920 census marked the first time in which over 50 percent of the U.S. population was defined as urban."
The 1920 census collected the following information:
- relationship to head of family
- marital status
- if foreign born, year of immigration to the U.S., whether naturalized and, if so, year of naturalization
- school attendance
- birthplace of person and parents
- if foreign-born, the mother tongue
- ability to speak English
- occupation, industry, and class of worker migratory
- whether home owned or rented, and, if owned, whether free or mortgaged
Full documentation for the 1920 census, including census forms and enumerator instructions, is available from the Integrated Public Use Microdata Series.
|Rank||State||Population as of
|Population as of
|–||District of Columbia||437,571||331,069||106,502||32.2%|
|United States Territories|
|Year of conquest or purchase||Territory||Population|
|1903||Panama Canal Zone||N/A|
|1916||US Virgin Islands||N/A|
The original census enumeration sheets were microfilmed by the Census Bureau in the 1940s; after which the original sheets were destroyed. (dead link). The microfilmed census is available in rolls from the National Archives and Records Administration. Several organizations also host images of the microfilmed census online, and digital indices.
Microdata from the 1920 census are freely available through the Integrated Public Use Microdata Series. Aggregate data for small areas, together with electronic boundary files, can be downloaded from the National Historical Geographic Information System.
- "History: Urban and Rural". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 16, 2020.
- "Library Bibliography Bulletin 88, New York State Census Records, 1790–1925". New York State Library. October 1981. pp. 45 (p. 51 of PDF). Archived from the original on January 30, 2009. Retrieved December 15, 2008.
- Population of the 100 Largest Cities and Other Urban Places in the United States: 1790 to 1990, U.S. Census Bureau, 1998
- "Regions and Divisions". U.S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original on December 3, 2016. Retrieved September 9, 2016.
- Algonquin Area Public Library District. "Census Secrets" (PDF). Retrieved May 17, 2012.[permanent dead link]