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HIST3250: American Ethnic History: Using the 1920 Decennial Census

Using the 1920 Decennial Census

To use Census publications effectively, it is important to understand that data is always presented for specific geographical units. These can include the country, states, counties, cities, and other places. For the 1920 Census, some data is only available for places that meet a minimum population threshold of 25,000 or more, and this is generally true for the major "ethnic" data categories.

The following 1920 data is available for New Jersey. Please note that the hyperlinks below will provide you with a compressed (*.zip) file containing the complete text of Volume 2 of the 1920 Census. You'll need to extract the PDF files to view them. You only need to do this once to get all of the data listed below:

State-Level Data: Volume 2. Population, 1920. General report and analytical tables - See especially Chapter I: Color or Race, Nativity, and Parentage, and the following tables:

  • Table 5 - Color or race, nativity, and parentage, by divisions and states
  • Table 6 - Increase by color or race, nativity, and parentage, by divisions and states: 1910-1920
  • Table 7 - Percent distribution of total population by color or race, nativity, and parentage, and of white population by nativity and parentage, by divisions and states
  • Table 10 - Native and foreign-born population, 1920, 1910, and 1900, and percent foreign born, 1850-1920, by divisions and states
  • Table 11 - Color or race, nativity, and parentage, with decennial increase, by divisions and states, 1920, 1910, and 1900

 

County-Level Data: Volume 2. Population, 1920. General report and analytical tables - See especially Chapter XVI: General Statistics of Population by Counties

Note that data on "Year of Immigration," "Mother Tongue of the Foreign White Stock," and "Foreign Born by Country or Continent of Birth" are not available for 1920 at the county level.


Data for Cities with Populations of 25,000 or More: Volume 2 Population 1920 General report and analytical tables

Among the cities with a population of 25,000 or more in 1920 are Newark, Jersey City, Paterson, Elizabeth, Trenton, Clifton, Camden, Passaic, East Orange, Bayonne, New Brunswick, Irvington, Perth Amboy, Hoboken, Plainfield, West New York, Kearny, Atlantic City, Montclair, and Orange.

The following tables are among the most useful for large cities:

  • Race - See Chapter I, Tables 13 and 16
  • Foreign Born by Citizenship Status - See Chapter VIII, Tables 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, and 16
  • Year of Immigration - See Chapter VII, Tables 9, 10, 11, and 12
  • Mother Tongue of the Foreign White Stock - See Chapter X, Tables 11, 12, and 13
  • Foreign Born by Country or Continent of Birth - See Chapter VI, Tables 12, 13, 14, and 15

Subject Guide

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Richard Kearney
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