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1890 Census Quick Facts

  • 1890 U.S. Census Date:
    June 2, 1890
    (All reported data is “as of” this official date chosen by the census agency)
  • 1890 Census Duration:
    30 days
  • 1890 U.S. Census Population:
    62,979,766
  • President during 1890 Census:
    Benjamin Harrison


42 states participated in the 1890 census, including the new states of North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, and Washington.  The territories of Arizona, Utah, New Mexico, Idaho, Wyoming, Alaska, Oklahoma and Indian also participated.
42 states participated in the 1890 census, including the new states of North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, and Washington. The territories of Arizona, Utah, New Mexico, Idaho, Wyoming, Alaska, Oklahoma and Indian also participated.

1890 Census Data: 11th United States Census

  • It took about $11,547,000 and 46,408 enumerators to complete the 1890 census, resulting in 26,408 total pages in published reports.
  • The U.S. population increased by 25.5 percent from the 1880 census to the 1890 census.
  • The 1890 census was the first census to be tabulated using punched card machines. It took one year to tabulate the 1890 census compared to the eight years needed previously to tabulate the 1880 census.

Information requested by the 1890 U.S. Census

The 1890 census provided information about every individual in the house including:


  • Name
  • Whether Civil War veteran, or the widow of one
  • Relationship to head of household
  • Color
  • Sex
  • Age
  • Marital status
  • Mother of how many children, and number of these living
  • Place of birth (state, territory, or foreign country)
  • Parents place of birth (state, territory, or foreign country)
  • Number of years in the United States
  • Profession, occupation, or trade
  • Whether able to read and write

What was lost from the 1890 U.S. Census?

In 1921, a fire destroyed nearly all of the records and materials from the 1890 census that were stored in the basement of the Commerce Building in Washington D.C.. Almost all of the original data from the 1890 census is no longer available.

About 1,000 pages and fragments survived the fire. These include some records from specific counties in Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, South Dakota, and Texas.

Famous people in history: Lizzie Borden

Born in 1860, Lizzie Borden was tried and acquitted in the 1892 ax murders of her father and stepmother in Fall River, Massachusetts. Lizzie Borden became a media sensation during the trial and even a century later, the Borden murders still fascinate the public with her likeness appearing in film and television.

By searching through the findmypast.com records, violence in the family was uncovered showing that Borden was a descendant of Thomas Cornell, Jr. the first man in America to be convicted and put to death for committing matricide – murdering his own mother.

A jury acquitted Borden due to lack of evidence and her inconsistent testimony being rendered inadmissible. During the trial it was rumored Borden was mentally unstable, however she lived well until 1927 off her father's well-guarded fortune and was buried next to her parents' plots.

Despite missing the 1890 US census, Borden can be found with her parents in the 1880 Census.
Despite missing the 1890 US census, Borden can be found with her parents in the 1880 Census.

Historical events surrounding the 1890 U.S. Census


  • May 5, 1891: Tchaikovsky conducts the first performance at New York’s Carnegie Hall.
  • January 1, 1892: Ellis Island begins processing immigrants to the United States.
  • August 28, 1894: Congress passes first graduate income tax which the U.S. Supreme Court declares unconstitutional the following year.
  • July 7, 1898: The United States annexes Hawaii.