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This Is Who We Were: A Companion to the 1940 Census

Table of Contents



Media Response

1940 and 2010 Census Data: State by State Comparisons & Rankings

Total Population

White Population

Black Population

American Indian/Alaska Native Population

Asian Population

Hispanic or Latino Population

Foreign-Born Population

Males per 100 Females

Median Age

High School Graduation Rate

College Graduation Rate

One-Person Households

Homeownership Rate

Median Home Value

Median Gross Rent

Households Lacking Complete Plumbing

Section One: Profiles

Family of Four Depend on Ford Motor Company Job

Family Life in a Planned Community

Farmer Finds Second Career Creating Insurance Just for Farmers

Family Wiped Out by Stock Market Crash

America Repatriates its Own Citizens to Mexico

African American Couple Emigrate from Rural South to Urban North

Tennessee Farmer Finds Success as Welder for TVA

The Fight for Equality and Civil Rights is Vibrant

Civil Unrest Sweeps Across America

Speedboat Champion Strives to Create the Ultimate Machine

Boxer Claims the Role of Villain to Achieve Success

Family Endures Death, Debts and Selling the Farm

Microphone Innovations Usher in Popular Crooners

Judge Takes the Road Less Travelled

Government Work Program Strengthens American Music Scene

Methodist Minister Tames Troubled Churches

The Fight to Make America Liquor-Free Continues

The Man Who Made the Electric Light Bulb Affordable

Newspaper Sportswriter is Best Job in the World

Discovering the Power of Technicolor

New York Bond Trader Sees a Rebounding Economy

Keeping up With the “Swingingest Female Alive”

RCA-Victor Researcher Works in Secret on Inventing Television

How Wheaties Became “Breakfast of Champions”

Tobacco Heiress Continues to Live the Good Life

Frozen Food Innovator Focuses on Portable Food for Soldiers

Section Two: Historical Snapshots

Early 1930s

Mid 1930s

Late 1930s


Section Three: Economy of the Times












Value of a Dollar Index 1860–2010

Section Four: All Around Us—What We Saw, Wrote, Read & Listened To

All Around Us—1930 through 1940

Section Five: 1940 Census Summary & Comparison Data

United States Summary from the 1940 Census

1940 Census Comparison of Principal Cities