1860 United States Census

Last updated

1860 United States Census
Seal of the United States Census Bureau.svg
1860 census Lindauer Weber.jpg
1860 US Census from the state of New York
General information
CountryUnited States
Date takenJune 1, 1860 (1860-06-01)
Total population31,443,321
Percent changeIncrease2.svg 35.4%

The United States Census of 1860 was the eighth Census conducted in the United States starting June 1, 1860, and lasting five months. It determined the population of the United States to be 31,443,321, an increase of 35.4 percent over the 23,191,875 persons enumerated during the 1850 Census. The total population included 3,953,761 slaves.

United States federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.

An enumeration is a complete, ordered listing of all the items in a collection. The term is commonly used in mathematics and computer science to refer to a listing of all of the elements of a set. The precise requirements for an enumeration depend on the discipline of study and the context of a given problem.


By the time the 1860 census returns were ready for tabulation, the nation was sinking into the American Civil War. As a result, Census Superintendent Joseph C. G. Kennedy and his staff produced only an abbreviated set of public reports, without graphic or cartographic representations. The statistics did allow the Census staff to produce a cartographic display, including preparing maps of Southern states, for Union field commanders. These maps displayed militarily vital topics, including white population, slave population, predominant agricultural products (by county), and rail and post road transportation routes.

American Civil War Civil war in the United States from 1861 to 1865

The American Civil War was a war fought in the United States from 1861 to 1865, between the North and the South. The Civil War is the most studied and written about episode in U.S. history. Primarily as a result of the long-standing controversy over the enslavement of black people, war broke out in April 1861 when secessionist forces attacked Fort Sumter in South Carolina shortly after Abraham Lincoln had been inaugurated as the President of the United States. The loyalists of the Union in the North proclaimed support for the Constitution. They faced secessionists of the Confederate States in the South, who advocated for states' rights to uphold slavery.

Joseph C. G. Kennedy American statistician

Joseph Camp Griffith Kennedy of Pennsylvania, was a 19th-century Whig politician, lawyer and journalist who was appointed to supervise the United States Censuses for 1850 and 1860. A prosperous farmer and journalist from a prominent Pennsylvania family, Kennedy was appointed to supervise the census operations because of his political activism in the 1848 Pennsylvania election.

Post road

A post road is a road designated for the transportation of postal mail. In past centuries, only major towns had a post house and the roads used by post riders or mail coaches to carry mail among them were particularly important ones or, due to the special attention given them, became so. In various centuries and countries, post road became more or less equivalent to main road, royal road, or highway. The 20th century spread of postal service blurred the distinction.

This census saw Philadelphia regain its position as second-most populous American city, which it had lost to Baltimore in 1820. Philadelphia would in turn permanently lose the position to Chicago in 1890.

Philadelphia Largest city in Pennsylvania, United States

Philadelphia, sometimes known colloquially as Philly, is the largest city in the U.S. state and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the sixth-most populous U.S. city, with a 2017 census-estimated population of 1,580,863. Since 1854, the city has been coterminous with Philadelphia County, the most populous county in Pennsylvania and the urban core of the eighth-largest U.S. metropolitan statistical area, with over 6 million residents as of 2017. Philadelphia is also the economic and cultural anchor of the greater Delaware Valley, located along the lower Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers, within the Northeast megalopolis. The Delaware Valley's population of 7.2 million ranks it as the eighth-largest combined statistical area in the United States.

Baltimore Largest city in Maryland

Baltimore is an independent city in the state of Maryland within the United States. Baltimore was established by the Constitution of Maryland as an independent city in 1729. With a population of 611,648 in 2017, Baltimore is the largest such independent city in the United States. As of 2017, the population of the Baltimore metropolitan area was estimated to be just under 2.808 million, making it the 20th largest metropolitan area in the country. Baltimore is located about 40 miles (60 km) northeast of Washington, D.C., making it a principal city in the Washington-Baltimore combined statistical area (CSA), the fourth-largest CSA in the nation, with a calculated 2017 population of 9,764,315.

Chicago City in Illinois, United States

Chicago, officially the City of Chicago, is the most populous city in Illinois and the third most populous city in the United States. As of the 2017 census-estimate, it has a population of 2,716,450, which makes it the most populous city in the Midwestern United States. Chicago is the county seat of Cook County, the second most populous county in the United States, and the principal city of the Chicago metropolitan area, which is often referred to as "Chicagoland." The Chicago metropolitan area, at nearly 10 million people, is the third-largest in the United States, the fourth largest in North America, and the third largest metropolitan area in the world by land area.

Census questions

The 1860 census Schedule 1 (Free Inhabitants) was one of two schedules that counted the population of the United States; the other was Schedule 2 (Slave Inhabitants). Schedule 1 collected the following information: [1]

1Dwelling-houses—numbered in the order of visitation.
2Families numbered in the order of visitation
3The name of every person whose usual place of abode on the first date of June 1860, was in this family.
4Description: Age.
5Description: Sex.M or F
6Description: Color, (White, black, or mulatto).W, B or M
7Profession, Occupation, or Trade of each person, male and female, over 15 years of age.
8Value of Estate Owned: Value of Real Estate.
9Value of Estate Owned: Value of Personal Estate.
10Place of Birth, Naming the State, Territory, or Country.
11Married within the year.Marked with '/'
12Attended School within the year.Marked with '/'
13Persons over 20 years of age who can not read and write.Marked with '/'
14Whether deaf and dumb, blind, insane, idiotic, pauper, or convict.

Data availability

Full documentation for the 1860 population census, including microdata, census forms and enumerator instructions, is available from the Integrated Public Use Microdata Series (IPUMS). Aggregate data for small areas, together with compatible cartographic boundary files, can be downloaded from the National Historical Geographic Information System.

In the study of survey and census data, microdata is information at the level of individual respondents. For instance, a national census might collect age, home address, educational level, employment status, and many other variables, recorded separately for every person who responds; this is microdata.

In statistics, aggregate data are data combined from several measurements. When data are aggregated, groups of observations are replaced with summary statistics based on those observations.

The National Historical Geographic Information System (NHGIS) is a historical GIS project to create and freely disseminate a database incorporating all available aggregate census information for the United States between 1790 and 2010. The project has created one of the largest collections in the world of statistical census information, much of which was not previously available to the research community because of legacy data formats and differences between metadata formats. The statistical and geographic data are disseminated free of charge through a sophisticated online data access system.

Common occupations

National data reveals that farmers (owners and tenants) made up nearly 10% of utilized occupations. Farm laborers (wage workers) represent the next highest percent with 3.2%, followed by general laborers at 3.0%. [2]

More localized data shows that other occupations were common. In the town of Essex, Massachusetts, a large section of the women in the labor force were devoted to shoe-binding, while for men the common occupations were farming and shoe-making. [3] This heavy demand of shoe-related labor reinforces the high demand for rigorous physical laborers in the economy, as supported by the data of very large amounts of farm related work as compared to most other labor options.

IPUMS' data also notes that the share of the population that had been enrolled in school or marked as "Student" stood at 0.2%. This demonstrates a small rate of growth, if any, in the proficiency of the human capital of the timethe skill set a worker has to apply to the labor force, which can increase total output through increased efficiency.

The census of 1860 was the last in which much of Southern wealth was held as slavesstill legally considered property. Analogous to today where wealth can fluctuate with value changes in stocks, factories, and other forms of property, the South suffered a huge loss of total wealth and assets when the American Civil War ended and slaves were no longer counted as physical property.

State rankings

01New York3,880,735
12North Carolina992,622
18South Carolina703,708
21New Jersey672,035
XWest Virginia [4] 376,688
27New Hampshire326,073
29Rhode Island174,620
XNew Mexico87,034
XDistrict of Columbia [5] 75,080
XSouth Dakota [6] 4,837

City rankings

RankCityStatePopulation [7] Region (2016) [8]
01 New York New York 813,669 Northeast
02 Philadelphia Pennsylvania 565,529 Northeast
03 Brooklyn New York 266,661 Northeast
04 Baltimore Maryland 212,418 South
05 Boston Massachusetts 177,840 Northeast
06 New Orleans Louisiana 168,675 South
07 Cincinnati Ohio 161,044 Midwest
08 St. Louis Missouri 160,773 Midwest
09 Chicago Illinois 112,172 Midwest
10 Buffalo New York 81,129 Northeast
11 Newark New Jersey 71,941 Northeast
12 Louisville Kentucky 68,033 South
13 Albany New York 62,367 Northeast
14 Washington District of Columbia 61,122 South
15 San Francisco California 56,802 West
16 Providence Rhode Island 50,666 Northeast
17 Pittsburgh Pennsylvania 49,221 Northeast
18 Rochester New York 48,204 Northeast
19 Detroit Michigan 45,619 Midwest
20 Milwaukee Wisconsin 45,246 Midwest
21 Cleveland Ohio 43,417 Midwest
22 Charleston South Carolina 40,522 South
23 New Haven Connecticut 39,267 Northeast
24 Troy New York 39,235 Northeast
25 Richmond Virginia 37,910 South
26 Lowell Massachusetts 36,827 Northeast
27 Mobile Alabama 29,258 South
28 Jersey City New Jersey 29,226 Northeast
29 Allegheny Pennsylvania 28,702 Northeast
30 Syracuse New York 28,119 Northeast
31 Hartford Connecticut 26,917 Northeast
32 Portland Maine 26,341 Northeast
33 Cambridge Massachusetts 26,060 Northeast
34 Roxbury Massachusetts 25,137 Northeast
35 Charlestown Massachusetts 25,065 Northeast
36 Worcester Massachusetts 24,960 Northeast
37 Reading Pennsylvania 23,162 Northeast
38 Memphis Tennessee 22,623 South
39 Utica New York 22,529 Northeast
40 New Bedford Massachusetts 22,300 Northeast
41 Savannah Georgia 22,292 South
42 Salem Massachusetts 22,252 Northeast
43 Wilmington Delaware 21,258 South
44 Manchester New Hampshire 20,107 Northeast
45 Dayton Ohio 20,081 Midwest
46 Paterson New Jersey 19,586 Northeast
47 Lynn Massachusetts 19,083 Northeast
48 Indianapolis Indiana 18,611 Midwest
49 Columbus Ohio 18,554 Midwest
50 Petersburg Virginia 18,266 South
51 Lawrence Massachusetts 17,639 Northeast
52 Lancaster Pennsylvania 17,603 Northeast
53 Trenton New Jersey 17,228 Northeast
54 Nashville Tennessee 16,988 South
55 Oswego New York 16,816 Northeast
56 Covington Kentucky 16,471 South
57 Bangor Maine 16,407 Northeast
58 Taunton Massachusetts 15,376 Northeast
59 Springfield Massachusetts 15,199 Northeast
60 Poughkeepsie New York 14,726 Northeast
61 Norfolk Virginia 14,620 South
62 Camden New Jersey 14,358 Northeast
63 Wheeling Virginia 14,083 South
64 Norwich Connecticut 14,048 Northeast
65 Peoria Illinois 14,045 Midwest
66 Fall River Massachusetts 14,026 Northeast
67 Sacramento California 13,785 West
68 Toledo Ohio 13,768 Midwest
69 Quincy Illinois 13,718 Midwest
70 Harrisburg Pennsylvania 13,405 Northeast
71 Newburyport Massachusetts 13,401 Northeast
72 Chelsea Massachusetts 13,395 Northeast
73 Dubuque Iowa 13,000 Midwest
74 Alexandria Virginia 12,652 South
75 New Albany Indiana 12,647 Midwest
76 Newburgh New York 12,578 Northeast
77 Augusta Georgia 12,493 South
78 Bridgeport Connecticut 12,106 Northeast
79 North Providence Rhode Island 11,818 Northeast
80 Elizabeth New Jersey 11,567 Northeast
81 Evansville Indiana 11,484 Midwest
82 Davenport Iowa 11,267 Midwest
83 New Brunswick New Jersey 11,256 Northeast
84 Auburn New York 10,986 Northeast
85 Gloucester Massachusetts 10,904 Northeast
86 Concord New Hampshire 10,896 Northeast
87 Lockport New York 10,871 Northeast
88 Newport Rhode Island 10,508 Northeast
89 Saint Paul Minnesota 10,401 Midwest
90 New London Connecticut 10,115 Northeast
91 Nashua New Hampshire 10,065 Northeast
92 Newport Kentucky 10,046 South
93 Waterbury Connecticut 10,004 Northeast
94 Haverhill Massachusetts 9,995 Northeast
95 Dorchester Massachusetts 9,769 Northeast
96 Hoboken New Jersey 9,662 Northeast
97 Columbus Georgia 9,621 South
98 Schenectady New York 9,579 Northeast
99 Atlanta Georgia 9,554 South
100 Wilmington North Carolina 9,552 South

See also


  1. "1860 Census Questionnaire" (PDF). US Census Bureau. Retrieved March 28, 2013.
  2. "IPUMS 1860 Census Data". IPUMS Data Collection. Retrieved March 1, 2011.
  3. Wilhelm, Kurt. "Essex, MA Census 1860". 1860 Federal Census. Archived from the original on July 23, 2011. Retrieved February 27, 2011.
  4. Between 1790 and 1860, the state of West Virginia was part of Virginia; the data for each states reflect the present-day boundaries.
  5. The District of Columbia is not a state but was created with the passage of the Residence Act of 1790.
  6. Figures recorded for Dakota Territory by the censuses of 1860, 1870, and 1880 are listed here as belonging to South Dakota..
  7. Population of the 100 Largest Cities and Other Urban Places in the United States: 1790 to 1990, U.S. Census Bureau, 1998
  8. "Regions and Divisions". U.S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original on December 3, 2016. Retrieved September 9, 2016.

Related Research Articles

United States Census decennial census mandated by Article I, Section 2 of the United States Constitution

The United States Census is a decennial census mandated by Article I, Section 2 of the United States Constitution, which states: "Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States ... according to their respective Numbers .... The actual Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years." Section 2 of the 14th Amendment states: "Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed." The United States Census Bureau is responsible for the United States Census. The Bureau of the Census is part of the United States Department of Commerce.

Integrated Public Use Microdata Series (IPUMS) is the world's largest individual-level population database. IPUMS consists of microdata samples from United States (IPUMS-USA) and international (IPUMS-International) census records. The records are converted into a consistent format and made available to researchers through a web-based data dissemination system.

1890 United States Census

The Eleventh United States Census was taken beginning June 2, 1890. It determined the resident population of the United States to be 62,979,766—an increase of 25.5 percent over the 50,189,209 persons enumerated during the 1880 census. The data was tabulated by machine for the first time. The data reported that the distribution of the population had resulted in the disappearance of the American frontier. Most of the 1890 census materials were destroyed in a 1921 fire and fragments of the US census population schedule exist only for the states of Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, South Dakota, and Texas, and the District of Columbia.

1850 United States Census

The United States Census of 1850 was the seventh census of the United States. Conducted by the Census Office on June 1, 1850, it determined the resident population of the United States to be 23,191,876—an increase of 35.9 percent over the 17,069,453 persons enumerated during the 1840 Census. The total population included 3,204,313 slaves.

1840 United States Census

The United States Census of 1840 was the sixth census of the United States. Conducted by the Census Office on June 1, 1840, it determined the resident population of the United States to be 17,069,453 — an increase of 32.7 percent over the 12,866,020 persons enumerated during the 1830 Census. The total population included 2,487,355 slaves. In 1840, the center of population was about 260 miles (418 km) west of Washington, near Weston, Virginia.

1980 United States Census

The Twentieth United States Census, conducted by the Census Bureau, determined the resident population of the United States to be 226,545,805, an increase of 11.4 percent over the 203,184,772 persons enumerated during the 1970 Census. It was the first census in which a state – California – recorded a population of 20 million people, as well as the first in which all states recorded populations of over 400,000.

1790 United States Census

The United States Census of 1790 was the first census of the whole United States. It recorded the population of the United States as of Census Day, August 2, 1790, as mandated by Article I, Section 2 of the United States Constitution and applicable laws. In the first census, the population of the United States was enumerated to be 3,929,214.

1800 United States Census

The United States Census of 1800 was the second Census conducted in the United States. It was conducted on August 4, 1800.

1810 United States Census

The United States Census of 1810 was the third Census conducted in the United States. It was conducted on August 6, 1810. It showed that 7,239,881 people were living in the United States, of which 1,191,362 were slaves.

1830 United States Census

The United States Census of 1830, the fifth census undertaken in the United States, was conducted on June 1, 1830. The only loss of census records for 1830 involved some countywide losses in Massachusetts, Maryland, and Mississippi.

1880 United States Census

The United States Census of 1880 conducted by the Census Bureau during June 1880 was the tenth United States Census. It was the first time that women were permitted to be enumerators. The Superintendent of the Census was Francis Amasa Walker. This was the first census in which a city – New York – recorded a population of over one million.

1870 United States Census

The United States Census of 1870 was the ninth United States Census. Conducted by the Census Bureau in June 1870, the 1870 Census was the first census to provide detailed information on the black population, only years after the culmination of the Civil War when slaves were granted freedom. The population was said to be 38,555,983 individuals, a 22.62% increase since 1860. The 1870 Census' population estimate is controversial, as many believed it underestimated the true population numbers, especially in New York and Pennsylvania.

1900 United States Census

The Twelfth United States Census, conducted by the Census Office on June 1, 1900, determined the resident population of the United States to be 76,212,168, an increase of 21.0 percent over the 62,979,766 persons enumerated during the 1890 Census.

1910 United States Census

The Thirteenth United States Census, conducted by the Census Bureau on April 15, 1910, determined the resident population of the United States to be 92,228,496, an increase of 21.0 percent over the 76,212,168 persons enumerated during the 1900 Census. The 1910 Census switched from a portrait page orientation to a landscape orientation.

1920 United States Census

The Fourteenth United States Census, conducted by the Census Bureau one month from January 5, 1920, determined the resident population of the United States to be 106,021,537, an increase of 15.0 percent over the 92,228,496 persons enumerated during the 1910 Census.

1930 United States Census

The Fifteenth United States Census, conducted by the Census Bureau one month from April 1, 1930, determined the resident population of the United States to be 122,775,046, an increase of 13.7 percent over the 106,021,537 persons enumerated during the 1920 Census.

1940 United States Census

The Sixteenth United States Census, conducted by the Census Bureau, determined the resident population of the United States to be 132,164,569, an increase of 7.3 percent over the 1930 population of 123,202,624 people. The census date of record was April 1, 1940. A number of new questions were asked including where people were 5 years before, highest educational grade achieved, and information about wages. This census introduced sampling techniques; one in 20 people were asked additional questions on the census form. Other innovations included a field test of the census in 1939. This was the first census in which every state (48) had a population greater than 100,000.

1950 United States Census

The Seventeenth United States Census, conducted by the Census Bureau, determined the resident population of the United States to be 150,697,361, an increase of 14.5 percent over the 131,669,275 persons enumerated during the 1940 Census. This was the first census in which:

1960 United States Census

The Eighteenth United States Census, conducted by the Census Bureau, determined the resident population of the United States to be 179,323,175, an increase of 18.5 percent over the 151,325,798 persons enumerated during the 1950 Census. This was the first census in which all states recorded a population of over 200,000.