1820 United States Census

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The United States Census of 1820 was the fourth Census conducted in the United States. It was conducted on August 7, 1820. The 1820 Census included six new states: Louisiana, Indiana, Mississippi, Illinois, Alabama and Maine. There has been a district wide loss of 1820 Census records for Arkansas Territory, Missouri Territory and New Jersey, however.

The total population was determined to be 9,638,453, of which 1,538,022 were slaves. The center of population was about 120 miles (193 km) west-northwest of Washington in Hardy County, Virginia (now in West Virginia).

Data Collected[edit]

The 1820 census contains a great deal more information than previous censuses. Enumerators listed the following data in columns, left to right:

  1. Name of the head of family
  2. # of free white males under age 10
  3. # of free white males age 10-16
  4. # of free white males age 16-18
  5. # of free white males age 16-26
  6. # of free white males age 26-45
  7. # of free white males age 45 and up
  8. # of free white females under age 10
  9. # of free white females age 10-16
  10. # of free white females age 16-26
  11. # of free white females age 26-45
  12. # of free white females age 45 and up
  13. # of foreigners not naturalized
  14. # of persons engaged in agriculture
  15. # of persons engaged in commerce
  16. # of persons engaged in manufacture
  17. # of male slaves under 14
  18. # of male slaves age 14-26
  19. # of male slaves age 26-45
  20. # of male slaves age 45 and up
  21. # of female slaves under 14
  22. # of female slaves age 14-26
  23. # of female slaves age 26-45
  24. # of female slaves age 45 and up
  25. # of free male colored persons under 14
  26. # of free male colored persons age 14-26
  27. # of free male colored persons age 26-45
  28. # of free male colored persons age 45 and up
  29. # of free female colored persons under 14
  30. # of free female colored persons age 14-26
  31. # of free female colored persons age 26-45
  32. # of free female colored persons age 45 and up
  33. # of all other persons except Indians not taxed

Several of these columns were for special counts, and not to be included in the aggregate total. Doing so would have resulted in counting some individuals twice. Census takers were asked to use double lines, red ink or some other method of distinguishing these columns so that double counting would not occur. For example, the count of free white males between 16 and 18 was a special count, because these individuals were also supposed to be tabulated in the column for free white males of age 16 and under 26.

The other special counts were foreigners not naturalized, persons engaged in agriculture, persons engaged in commerce, and persons engaged in manufacture.

Census takers were also instructed to count each individual in only one of the occupational columns. For example, if an individual was engaged in agriculture, commerce, and manufacture, the census taker had to judge which one the individual was primarily engaged in.

Note to Researchers[edit]

Censustaking was not yet an exact science. Before 1830, enumerators lacked pre-printed forms, and drew up their own, sometimes resulting in pages without headings, line tallies, or column totals. As a result, census records for many towns before 1830 are idiosyncratic. This is not to suggest that they are less reliable than subsequent censuses, but that they may require more work on the part of the researcher.

City rankings[edit]

Rank City State Population[1] Region (2016)[2]
01 New York New York 123,706 Northeast
02 Philadelphia Pennsylvania 63,802 Northeast
03 Baltimore Maryland 62,738 South
04 Boston Massachusetts 43,298 Northeast
05 New Orleans Louisiana 27,176 South
06 Charleston South Carolina 24,780 South
07 Northern Liberties Pennsylvania 19,678 Northeast
08 Southwark Pennsylvania 14,713 Northeast
09 Washington District of Columbia 13,247 South
10 Salem Massachusetts 12,731 Northeast
11 Albany New York 12,630 Northeast
12 Richmond Virginia 12,067 South
13 Providence Rhode Island 11,767 Northeast
14 Cincinnati Ohio 9,642 Midwest
15 Portland Maine 8,581 Northeast
16 Norfolk Virginia 8,478 South
17 Alexandria District of Columbia 8,218 South
18 Savannah Georgia 7,523 South
19 Georgetown District of Columbia 7,360 South
20 Portsmouth New Hampshire 7,327 Northeast
21 Newport Rhode Island 7,319 Northeast
22 Nantucket Massachusetts 7,266 Northeast
23 Pittsburgh Pennsylvania 7,248 Northeast
24 Brooklyn New York 7,175 Northeast
25 New Haven Connecticut 7,147 Northeast
26 Kensington Pennsylvania 7,118 Northeast
27 Newburyport Massachusetts 6,852 Northeast
28 Petersburg Virginia 6,690 South
29 Lancaster Pennsylvania 6,633 Northeast
30 Charlestown Massachusetts 6,591 Northeast
31 Gloucester Massachusetts 6,384 Northeast
32 Marblehead Massachusetts 5,630 Northeast
33 Hudson New York 5,310 Northeast
34 Lexington Kentucky 5,279 South
35 Troy New York 5,264 Northeast
36 Hartford Connecticut 4,726 Northeast
37 Middleborough Massachusetts 4,687 Northeast
38 Taunton Massachusetts 4,520 Northeast
39 Lynn Massachusetts 4,515 Northeast
40 Plymouth Massachusetts 4,348 Northeast
41 Reading Pennsylvania 4,332 Northeast
42 Beverly Massachusetts 4,283 Northeast
43 Roxbury Massachusetts 4,135 Northeast
44 Louisville Kentucky 4,012 South
45 New Bedford Massachusetts 3,947 Northeast
46 Trenton New Jersey 3,942 Northeast
47 Schenectady New York 3,939 Northeast
48 New Bern North Carolina 3,663 South
49 Frederick Maryland 3,640 South
50 York Pennsylvania 3,545 Northeast
51 Fayetteville North Carolina 3,532 South
52 Elizabeth New Jersey 3,515 Northeast
53 Spring Garden Pennsylvania 3,498 Northeast
54 New London Connecticut 3,330 Northeast
55 Harrisburg Pennsylvania 2,990 Northeast
56 Norwich Connecticut 2,983 Northeast
57 Utica New York 2,972 Northeast
58 Carlisle Pennsylvania 2,908 Northeast
59 Raleigh North Carolina 2,674 South
60 Wilmington North Carolina 2,633 South
61 Middletown Connecticut 2,618 Northeast

Further reading[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Population of the 100 Largest Cities and Other Urban Places in the United States: 1790 to 1990, U.S. Census Bureau, 1998 
  2. ^ "Regions and Divisions". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved September 9, 2016.