Volunteers Make Record Progress Indexing 1940 U.S. Census

  • 11 June 2012

The 1940 U.S. Federal Census indexing project, launched on April 2, 2012, is already seeing great progress—with 18 states’ records already indexed by the community of online volunteers.

UPDATE 6/11/2012

The 1940 U.S. Census Community Project announced on June 7 that its searchable index of 1940 U.S. census records has reached—and surpassed—the halfway mark toward completion. Thanks to the efforts of more than 125,000 volunteers, more than 75 million names from the 1940 U.S. census have been indexed with 18 state records already available to the public on all Project partner websites, including the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), Archives.com, FamilySearch.org and findmypast.com. The records will also be made available in more than 7,000 public libraries nationwide in the coming months by ProQuest.

Following just two months of volunteer indexing, records for the following 18 U.S. states are currently available and searchable by name, location and family relation: Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Oregon, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, and Wyoming.


Only one month has passed since the 1940 U.S. Census was released, and already more than 85,000 volunteers have completed 25 percent of the census project, indexing more than 33 million records.

The 1940 U.S. Federal Census indexing project is seeing record-breaking levels of activity, like the use of the program by 34,947 volunteers in a single day. On another day, volunteers indexed more than 3.2 million records and arbitrated 1.5 million.

Launched on April 2, 2012, as part of a broad online community effort, the 1940 census indexing project contains online images and indexing projects for all states and territories in the 1940 census.

Of the 50 U.S. states, 13 have already had their records from the 1940 census indexed by the community of online volunteers. Another four states are within four percentage points of having their records indexed.

Thousands of volunteers continue to sign up weekly to index the records and make them searchable for genealogy research and family history work. As a result, millions of people will soon be able to search every name that was recorded in the 1940 U.S. census free of charge.

Individuals can follow this never-before-seen indexing progress at FamilySearch.org.

FamilySearch always has numerous indexing projects underway. View a list of currently available indexing projects, along with their record language and completion percentage, on the FamilySearch indexing updates page. To learn more about individual projects, visit the FamilySearch projects page.