Michigan and The United States

Are you looking for only Michigan numbers? Often, answers about Michigan can be found at the following websites. The Census Bureau has two links for Michigan: State & County QuickFacts Michigan (for cities and towns with a population of 5,000 or more) page has the 2010 numbers (and later estimates)--you can input another state or city or zip code or location for their information, and a site with more visuals.  Click on "advanced search" and begin to drill down to specific places in Michigan (or elsewhere).  It's time consuming.

  • The Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget Office of Shared Solutions and Technology Partnerships maintains a state-level liaison office with the Census Bureau and creates and hosts a variety of data created specifically about Michigan continually.
  • Additionally, the Census Bureau has a document (skip to page 80) that has the historical population of Michigan Counties. Population of Counties -- Michigan: 1800-1990.
  • The Census Viewer has extracted county-level data and saves you the plod through confusing drill-downs.  Link is to Michigan's portion.

Michigan State Census Records, 1827-1894, are available from Michiganology.

Many older publications have been digitized as PDFs and are available for download from the University of Michigan or the Census Bureau. The links are embedded within the Excel files under the "UMich Inventory" section. The UM also have a very good webpage of Census resources.

Nationally, the U.S. Census Bureau is the starting point for data about people in the United States. Information ranges from the easy Fact Sheets of locales down to very detailed block and tract level data for your neighborhood.

The Census has a pretty complete A-Z list of topics available from their website. Within each topic selected from that list, data and reports will be available in most cases.

Historical (with many links to present data)

For the detailed, personal information about individuals (address, occupation, place of birth, ancestry, etc.), please refer to the census rolls, or schedules. The library has microfilm copies of these for Michigan dating from 1820-1880 and 1900-1930 (the call number is HA 201 YEAR). These are arranged by year of census and county name. This same information (for the nation as well as Michigan) can be found in the MyHeritage Library Edition database courtesy of the Michigan Electronic Library.

The National Historical Geographic Information System (IPUMS-NHGIS) provides, free of charge, aggregate census data and GIS-compatible boundary files for the United States between 1790 and the present.

We have print copies from 1900-present on the Census Shelves in the Government Documents area the right side of this map; a bit hard to see (organized alphabetically by subject and then year), and from 1790-1960 in microfilm (call number HA 201 YEAR).

Agricultural and Economic Census Resources 
Agriculture: 1950, 1964-present. Links to current and historical data are available form the Census Bureau
Business: 1933-1967 (became the Economic Census in 1967) 
Construction: 1967-1992 (included now with the Economic Census; publications can be found here
County Business Patterns 1962-1997 (most current data is here
Economic: 1967-present (most current data is here
Governments: 1957-1992 (online from 1992
Manufacturers: 1923-1990 (publications can be found here
Mineral Industries: 1940-1992 (1992-2002 data can be found at this link, recent data can be found in the Economic Census off the Manufacturing & Construction page)
Retail Trade: 1972-1992 (available now in the Economic Census
Service: 1972-1992 (available now in the Economic Census
Transportation: 1963-1992 (available here in several topics) 
Wholesale Trade: 1972-1992 (available now in the Economic Census)

Native American Population

The NMU Archives has the following local and regional Indian census rolls on microfilm. These are only viewable in the Archives:

1. Bay Mills School (Chippewa Indians), 1909- 1911, 1913- 1915, Birch Cooley Agency (Mdewakanton, Sioux Indians), 1891- 1893, 1895- 1898, Bishop Agency (Paiute and Other Indians) 1916- 1926.
2. Great Lakes (Chippewa and Potawatomi Indians) 1936, 1937.
3. Great Lakes (Chippewa and Potawatomi Indians) 1938- 1940.
4. Mackinac (Chippewa Indians) 1902, 1903, 1910, 1915- 1927.
5. Consolidated Chippewa, 1923.
6. Consolidated Chippewa, 1924.
7. Consolidated Chippewa, 1925.
8. Consolidated Chippewa, 1926.
9. Consolidated Chippewa, 1927.
10. Consolidated Chippewa, 1928.
11. Consolidated Chippewa (White Earth Subagency), 1929.
12. Consolidated Chippewa (Fon du Lac, Grand Portage, Leech Lake, and Nett Lake (Bois Forte) Subagencies) 1929.
13. Consolidated Chippewa (White Earth Reservation) (1930).
14. Consolidated Chippewa (Bois Forte (Nett Lake) Cass and Winnibigoshish, Fond du Lac, Grand Portage, Leech Lake, Mille Lac and White Oak Point Reservations) 1930.
15. Chippewa Indians 1910- 1927.
16. Lac du Flambeau, Bad River and Red Cliff Chippewa Indians and Potawatomi Indians 1928- 1930.
17. Lac du Flambeau, Bad River and Red Cliff Chippewa Indians and Potawatomi Indians 1931- 1932 (with birth and death rolls, 1924- 1932).
18. Lac du Flambeau, Bad River, La Courte Oreilles and Red Cliff Chippewa Indians and Potawatomi Indians 1933- 1935.

The difficulty in obtaining accurate population counts of Native Americans over the years in the Census (and other counts) is such that The National Archives has created a lengthy webpage explaining it. A good article to read posted on that webpage is Native Americans and the Census, 1860-1890 by James P. Collins.

Current national Native American population counts can be found here.

Additional statistical data on demographics can be found in the Statistics portion of the Government Information webpage.

Publications and History about the Census.

Measuring America: the decennial censuses from 1790 to 2000. Includes questionnaires, instructions and histories of each census. The call number is HA37.U55 M376 2002, but is also online. A shorter read (at only 13 pages) is Factfinder for the Nation: History and Organization.

200 years of U.S. Census taking: population and housing questions, 1790-1990. An older edition of the book mentioned above. HA37.U55 B63 1989, and also online.

Decennial census overview of historical census issues. A 1998 publication (but still relevant) from the Government Accountability Office.

The U.S. Census has a highly informative, if somewhat confusing, online history page. The tabbed menu at the top of that page includes "Through the Decades", which as the title indicates, is a section on each Census from 1790, and "Programs", which explains the different kinds of Censuses taken: Agriculture, Economic, and Governments.

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