Did you know October is Family History Month? Several cities and states have designated this month as Family History Month, and the U.S. Senate has adopted similar resolutions in the past. It is estimated that there are over 80 million people researching their family histories.
Census records are an invaluable resource for genealogists and family historians. The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration makes census records available to the public 72 years after the census is conducted. Can you figure out what year’s census records are due to be released on April 2, 2012?
The U.S. Census Bureau not only collects information that is useful to family historians, it also collects data on a variety of subjects, including American families:
- In 1950, there were 39 million families in the United States. By 2009, the number of families had more than doubled to 79 million. The average family size is three people.
- In 1890, the median age at first marriage was 26 for men and 22 for women. In 2009, the median ages were 28 and 26 for men and women, respectively.
- In 1960, 88 percent of the 63.7 million children under age 18, living in the United States, lived with both parents and 9 percent lived with one parent. In 2009, 70 percent of all children lived with two parents and 26 percent lived with one parent.
- The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 directed the Census Bureau to ask questions about grandparents as caregivers during the 2000 census. Census 2000 found that grandparents living with their grandchildren made up about 4 percent of the U.S. population. Within that group, 42 percent were the primary caregivers for their grandchildren and about two-fifths of them had been the primary caregivers for 5 or more years.