MyHeritage is first genealogy firm to publish entire 1950 U.S. Census image collection

Genealogy site MyHeritage announced today the complete publication of an image-only collection of the full 1950 U.S. Census records, which can now be browsed free of charge. MyHeritage is the first company to achieve this with all metadata to make the images searchable (by state, county, city/town, and enumeration district), since the records were released earlier today by NARA (National Archives and Records Administration), 72 years after the enumeration was initiated, the company said.

At 12:00 am on April 1st, 2022, the U.S. Census Bureau and National Archives released the images of the 1950 U.S. Census, precisely 72 years after enumerators began knocking on the doors of over 46 million American households, revealing important details about their place of residence, household occupants, occupations, age, birthplaces, and Immigration status.

“This is a momentous occasion for family history,” says Gilad Japhet, founder and CEO at MyHeritage. “The fact that this significant collection containing millions of images was made available on our site only 13 hours after receiving them, is a testament to the brilliance of the MyHeritage engineering team, providing value to consumers thirsty to search the 1950 census.”

The records form the first national census following the Second World War, the start of the Baby Boomers, and an increase in emigration from war-ravaged Europe to the U.S., making its publication of interest to many families outside the country. The decade that passed between 1940 and 1950 was one of the most eventful in human history. (See interesting information about the U.S. 1950 Census at right.)

To help people get started with census research, MyHeritage released the Census Helper, a new feature that tells you who in your family tree is likely to appear in the 1950 U.S. Census and in other censuses.

Following the release of the records, here are key highlights MyHeritage’s Research team has gathered so far:

  • In 1950, the United States was four years into the famous post WW2 baby boom: sharp increase in births, starting in 1946 (ending at 1964). The US became younger: The baby boom led to a dramatic turn in US demographics, triggering a drop in the nation’s median age, which had been steadily increasing in previous decades. Starting from 30.2 in 1950, to 29.5 in 1960, and median age of 28.1 in 1970.
  • The top five most popular names for girls according to the 1950 census:
    Mary, Linda, Patricia, Susan, and Deborah
  • The top five most popular names for boys according to the 1950 census:
    James, Michael, Robert, John, and David
  • At least 26 million Americans who were living here during the 1950 Census are still alive (in other words, at least 26 million Americans are over 72 and could find their own 1950 census entries)
  • 30 million people aged nine and younger will appear for the first time in a U.S. federal census
  • The 1950 census records describe 151 million people in 43 million homes
  • The US was less diverse than today – with totals recorded for “white” (89.5%), “Negro” (10%), and a group of “other races” (0.5%). Today, parallel categories would total 60%, 12%, and 28% respectively.
  • Immigrants: Immigrants or foreign-born persons were 6.7% of the total US population listed in the 1950 Census, with the majority born in Italy, USSR, Canada and Germany