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1970 Census (19th Census) of Population and Housing

Electronic Records Reference Report

Contents

  • Introduction
  • Summary Statistic Files
    Record Group 29: Records of the Bureau of the Census
    • Summary Statistic Data Files from the 19th Census of Population and Housing
      • [Decennial] Census of Population and Housing, 1970, First Count Files
      • [Decennial] Census of Population and Housing, 1970, Fourth Count Files
      • [Decennial] Census of Population and Housing, 1970, Fifth Count Files
    • Comparability between 1970 Census and 1980 Census Summary Statistic Files

    • County and City Data Book Files

    Collection CFS: Records of the Community and Family Study Center, University of Chicago

    • Census Tract Data Files, 1940-1970: Elizabeth Mullen Bogue Files
  • Public Use Samples
    Record Group 29: Records of the Bureau of the Census

    • Public Use Sample Data Files from the 19th Census of Population and Housing

    Record Group 453: Records of the United States Commission on Civil Rights

    • County Group Public Use Sample Puerto Rican and Southwestern Spanish Surname Extract Files from the 19th Census of Population and Housing

  • Geographic Reference Files Containing 1970 Summary Statistics
    Record Group 29: Records of the Bureau of the Census
    • Geographic Reference Files from the 19th Census of Population and Housing

    • 1980-1970 Tract Comparability File

    Collection CDE: Records of the Center for Demography and Ecology, University of Wisconsin - Madison

    • Master Area Tract Identification, Latitude and Longitude Descriptive Array (MATILDA) Tract Extract Files from the 19th Census of Population and Housing

  • Special Tabulations and Other Files with 1970 Census Data
    Record Group 381: Records of the Community Services Administration
    • Data Files from a Special Project on Poverty Neighborhoods in 105 Large Central Cities, 1970-1973 (LEAP System Files)

    • Ten Tables of State and County Socio-economic Data Tabulated from the 1970 Census (1970 Census Putnam Files)

    Record Group 419: Records of the National Institute of Education

    • Compensatory Education Study (CES), 1975-1978: County Census Poverty Tabulations Study

    Record Group 512: Records of the Health Resources and Services Administration

    • Area Resources Files (ARF), 1978-1999

  • List of Selected Geographic Terms from the 1970 Census User's Guide

  • Contact Information

Introduction

This reference report provides information about data files from the 1970 Census (19th Census) of Population and Housing in the custody of the National Archives. None of the records described contain individual names or identifiers. The data files contain summary statistics on population and housing characteristics, public use microdata samples, or geographic reference data.

Researchers may order copies of the computerized data files on removable media for a cost-recovery fee and analyze the records directly, using whatever hardware and software they have. For more information on ordering data files, see: Ordering Information for Electronic Records. Descriptions of the series and data files listed in this report are in NARA's catalog available via the Online Public Access (OPA) resource. The online catalog can be searched by title, National Archives Identifier, type of archival material, or keyword.


Summary Statistic Files

Record Group 29: Records of the Bureau of the Census
  • Summary Statistic Data Files from the 19th Census of Population and Housing
    National Archives Identifier: 594228

    For the 1970 Census, the Bureau of the Census released for the first time a series of summary statistic files or "Counts" as part of the regular program for disseminating the data. Six series of counts were released, as well as a number of special tabulations. The Bureau of the Census has transferred data from the First, Fourth, and Fifth Counts to NARA. Each Count consists of a particular set of data tables for specific types of areas and the files within each count differ in the types of geographic areas reported. The First, Second, and Third Count tabulations are based on the complete count of persons; the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Counts are derived from the 5-, 15-, and 20-percent sample data. The Bureau of the Census published a complete listing and description of the counts and special tabulations in the Directory of Data Files (October 1979). Counts in NARA's custody include:

    • Census of Population and Housing, 1970, First Count File 1A
      National Archives Identifier: 594229
      Data Files: 51 (one per state and the District of Columbia)
      Geographic Areas: state and enumeration district or block group
      Technical Documentation: 35 pages and 82 supplemental pages

    • Census of Population and Housing, 1970, First Count File 1B
      National Archives Identifier: 594230
      Data Files: 51 (one per state and the District of Columbia)
      Geographic Areas: state, county, minor civil divisions or census county divisions, places, and congressional districts
      Technical Documentation: 35 pages and 82 supplemental pages

    • Census of Population and Housing, 1970, Fourth Count File 4A, Population
      National Archives Identifier: 594237
      Data Files: 49 (one per state (except VT & WY) and the District of Columbia)
      Geographic Areas: all census tracts
      Technical Documentation: 81 pages and 82 supplemental pages

    • Census of Population and Housing, 1970, Fourth Count File 4A, Housing
      National Archives Identifier: 594234
      Data Files: 49 (one per state (except VT & WY) and the District of Columbia)
      Geographic Areas: all census tracts
      Technical Documentation: 165 pages and 82 supplemental pages

    • Census of Population and Housing, 1970, Fourth Count File 4B, Population
      National Archives Identifier: 594238
      Data Files: 51 (one per state and the District of Columbia)
      Geographic Areas: minor civil divisions or census county divisions
      Technical Documentation: 81 pages and 82 supplemental pages

    • Census of Population and Housing, 1970, Fourth Count File 4B, Housing
      National Archives Identifier: 594235
      Data Files: 51 (one per state and the District of Columbia)
      Geographic Areas: minor civil divisions or census county divisions
      Technical Documentation: 165 pages and 82 supplemental pages

    • Census of Population and Housing, 1970, Fourth Count File 4C, Population
      National Archives Identifier: 594239
      Data Files: 54 (one per state and the District of Columbia, and summary files with data for states, counties, and places)
      Geographic Areas: 20 levels of geography (see ARC description for details)
      Technical Documentation: 81 pages and 82 supplemental pages

    • Census of Population and Housing, 1970, Fourth Count File 4C, Housing
      National Archives Identifier: 594236
      Data Files: 52 (one per state and the District of Columbia, and a summary file with data for all counties)
      Geographic Areas: 20 levels of geography (see ARC description for details)
      Technical Documentation: 165 pages and 82 supplemental pages

    • Census of Population and Housing, 1970, Fifth Count File 5A
      National Archives Identifier: 594231
      Data Files: 1 (one national file)
      Geographic Areas: United States by three-digit ZIP code summaries
      Technical Documentation: 37 pages and 82 supplemental pages

    • Census of Population and Housing, 1970, Fifth Count File 5B
      National Archives Identifier: 594232
      Data Files: 10 (one per ZIP Code Area, based on first digit of ZIP code)
      Geographic Areas: 12,500 ZIP code areas for Standard Metropolitan Statistical Areas (SMSAs)
      Technical Documentation: 44 pages and 82 supplemental pages

    • Census of Population and Housing, 1970, Fifth Count File 5C
      National Archives Identifier: 594233
      Data Files: 51 (one per state and the District of Columbia)
      Geographic Areas: enumeration districts or block groups, minor civil divisions or census county divisions, and census tracts
      Technical Documentation: 32 pages and 82 supplemental pages

  • Comparability between 1970 Census and 1980 Census Summary Statistic Files

    For those researchers interested in comparing 1970 Census data and 1980 Census data, several 1970 Census summary counts are comparable to some of the 1980 Census summary tape files (STF). The 1980 STF1 is similar in subject matter and geographic detail to the 1970 First and Third Count files. The 1980 STF2 and STF4 are roughly comparable to the 1970 Second and Fourth Counts, respectively. The 1980 STF3 is comparable to the 1970 Fifth Count, while the 1980 STF5 corresponds to the 1970 Sixth Count. For more information about the 1980 Census summary tape files available from NARA, please see the 1980 Census (20th Census) of Population and Housing Electronic Records Reference Report. For 1970 Census and 1980 Census tract comparability, see 1980-1970 Tract Comparability File below.

  • County and City Data Book Files
    National Archives Identifier: 625278

    This series consists of a compendia of summary statistics from government and private sources that are available in comparable form for various geographic areas, including states, Standard Metropolitan Statistical Areas, counties, cities, and places. The statistics date from 1944 to 1988 and cover the following subjects: population, employment, vital statistics, education, health, income, banking, housing, government employment and finance, elections, crime, manufacturing, retail and wholesale trade, agriculture, climate, and service industries. The data files with summary statistics derived from the 1970 Census include:

    • County and City Data Book, 1972
      National Archives Identifier: 639134
      Data Files: 1
      Technical Documentation: 93 pages and supplemental documentation

    • County and City Data Book, 1977
      National Archives Identifier: 639135, 639136, 639137, 639138, 639139
      Data Files: 5
      Technical Documentation: 134 pages and supplemental documentation

    • County and City Data Book Consolidated File, 1944-1977: City Data from the 1944, 1947, 1949, 1952, 1956, 1962, 1967, 1972, and 1977 Editions
      National Archives Identifier: 639128
      Data Files: 1
      Technical Documentation: 140 pages

    • County and City Data Book Consolidated File, 1947-1977: County Data from the 1947, 1949, 1952, 1956, 1962, 1967, 1972, and 1977 Editions
      National Archives Identifier: 639129
      Data Files: 1
      Technical Documentation: 321 pages
Collection CFS: Records of the Community and Family Study Center, University of Chicago
  • Census Tract Data Files, 1940-1970: Elizabeth Mullen Bogue Files
    National Archives Identifier: 617523
    Data Files: 474 (180 data files for the 1970 census)
    Technical Documentation: varies per census year (133 pages for the 1970 census)

    This series contains data from the 1940, 1950, 1960, and 1970 Censuses tabulated for census tracts in most tracted cities for those years. For a detailed description of the series and the available tracted cities/metro areas with data, please see the Census Tract Data Files, 1940-1970: Elizabeth Mullen Bogue Files Electronic Records Reference Report.

Public Use Samples

Record Group 29: Records of the Bureau of the Census
  • Public Use Sample Data Files from the 19th Census of Population and Housing
    National Archives Identifier: 594240

    This series contains data files with representative samples of records from the two 1970 Census sample ("long form") questionnaires, with one for a 5-percent sample and the other for a 15-percent of the population. The primary sample size is one-in-a-hundred, or one sample unit (household, vacant unit, or person in group quarters) for every one hundred such units in the population. One-in-a-thousand and one-in-ten-thousand samples are also available. For each household, information is provided about the unit itself as well as the characteristics of the persons therein. Individual identifiers are not included. Public Use Sample data files in NARA's custody include:

    • Census of Population and Housing, 1970: County Group 5 Percent Public Use Sample Files
      National Archives Identifier: 5481739
      Data Files: 31
      Technical Documentation: 215 pages

    • Census of Population and Housing, 1970: County Group 15 Percent Public Use Sample Files
      National Archives Identifier: 5607270
      Data Files: 31
      Technical Documentation: 215 pages

    • Census of Population and Housing, 1970: Neighborhood Characteristics 5 Percent Public Use Sample Files
      National Archives Identifier: 594241
      Data Files: 11
      Technical Documentation: 224 pages

    • Census of Population and Housing, 1970: Neighborhood Characteristics 15 Percent Public Use Sample Files
      National Archives Identifier: 594242
      Data Files: 11
      Technical Documentation: 224 pages

    • Census of Population and Housing, 1970: State 5 Percent Public Use Sample Files
      National Archives Identifier: 594244
      Data Files: 23
      Technical Documentation: 222 pages

    • Census of Population and Housing, 1970: State 15 Percent Public Use Sample Files
      National Archives Identifier: 594243
      Data Files: 23
      Technical Documentation: 222 pages

    • Census of Population and Housing, 1970: Puerto Rico 20 Percent 1/100 Sample, "State," Municipio, and Neighborhood Characteristics Public Use Sample Files
      National Archives Identifier: 594311
      Data Files: 3
      Technical Documentation: 74 pages
Record Group 453: Records of the United States Commission on Civil Rights
  • County Group Public Use Sample Puerto Rican and Southwestern Spanish Surname Extract Files from the 19th Census of Population and Housing
    National Archives Identifier: 607070
    Data Files: 4
    Technical Documentation: 256 pages

    This series contains responses from all households/persons in the 1/100 Public Use Sample whose head of household was of Puerto Rican birth or parentage or whose head of household had both a Spanish surname and lived in Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, or Texas. The data, extracted from the 15 percent sample of the 1970 Census, includes household and population characteristics.

Geographic Reference Files Containing 1970 Summary Statistics

Record Group 29: Records of the Bureau of the Census
  • Geographic Reference Files from the 19th Census of Population and Housing
    National Archives Identifier: 594245
    Data Files: 9
    Technical Documentation: 23 pages

    This series contains the Master Enumeration District List (MEDList) with coordinates files with records identifying and cross-referencing political and census geography in use at the time of the 1970 Census, in addition to basic population and housing counts. There is one data file for each of the nine census regions.

  • 1980-1970 Tract Comparability File
    National Archives Identifier: 594205
    Data Files: 1
    Technical Documentation: 11 pages; also available in electronic format

    This file contains records of 1980 Census tracts whose boundaries or identification changed between the 1970 and 1980 Censuses. The file is part of the Geographic Reference Files and Related Computer Programs from the 20th Census of Population and Housing series. For more information about the 1980 Census geographic files available from NARA, please see the 1980 Census (20th Census) of Population and Housing Electronic Records Reference Report.

Collection CDE: Records of the Center for Demography and Ecology, University of Wisconsin - Madison
  • Master Area Tract Identification, Latitude and Longitude Descriptive Array (MATILDA) Tract Extract Files from the 19th Census of Population and Housing
    National Archives Identifier: 644613
    Data Files: 51
    Technical Documentation: 18 pages

    This series contains geographic codes, area names, and total population and housing unit counts for states and counties; plus geographic codes, area names, total population and housing unit counts, and average latitude and longitude coordinates for census tracts.

Special Tabulations and Other Files with 1970 Census Data

Record Group 381: Records of the Community Services Administration
  • Data Files from a Special Project on Poverty Neighborhoods in 105 Large Central Cities, 1970-1973 (LEAP System Files)
    National Archives Identifier: 599074
    Data Files: 49
    Technical Documentation: 143 pages and supplemental documentation

    This series contains summary data for poverty neighborhoods in 105 central cities in Standard Metropolitan Statistical Areas (SMSAs) of 250,000 or above created from the 20%, 15%, and 5% sample portions of the 1970 Census of Population and Housing.

  • Ten Tables of State and County Socio-Economic Data Tabulated from the 1970 Census (1970 Census Putnam Files)
    National Archives Identifier: 641338
    Data Files: 52 (one per state and the District of Columbia, and summary file with state level data) and 11 computer program files
    Technical Documentation: 100 pages and supplemental documentation

    This series contains ten special tabulations of statistics from the 1970 Census concerning population and housing characteristics of the poor and near poor at the state and county level.

Record Group 419: Records of the National Institute of Education
  • Compensatory Education Study (CES), 1975-1978: County Census Poverty Tabulations Study
    Data Files: 1
    Technical Documentation: 38 pages and codebook in electronic format

    The Bureau of the Census used 1970 Census data and the Congressional Research Service used 1977 Title I funding data to create the County Census Poverty Tabulations Study. This file contains data on the number of children throughout the United States, number of children in poverty by official definitions, and the number of children in poverty by alternative definitions. The data include information on age, sex, race, ethnic group, family group, family size, family income, food consumption, and/or residency locations.

Record Group 512: Records of the Health Resources and Services Administration
  • Area Resources Files (ARF), 1978-1999
    National Archives Identifier: 571544
    Data Files: 18 (2 with 1970 census statistics)
    Technical Documentation: varies per release (157 pages for the release of 1940-1977 data; 307 pages for the release of 1940-1980 data)

    This series contains population characteristics, environment, and health care data for all counties and the independent cities that are county equivalents. Files with 1970 Census statistics include the release of 1940-1977 data and the release of 1940-1980 data.


List of Selected Geographic Terms from the 1970 Census User's Guide

Block Group - In 1970, block groups were combinations of blocks having an average population of about 1,000. Block groups were subdivisions of census tracts in the urbanized area of the 145 SMSAs where ED data are not available.

Census Tract - In 1970, census tracts were designed to be relatively homogeneous areas at the time of establishment with respect to population characteristics, economic status, and living conditions. The average tract contained about 4,000 residents. All SMSAs recognized at the time of the 1970 census were completely tracted. In addition, over 2,300 census tracts were recognized in non-SMSA cities and counties. The 1970 census total was about 34,700 tracts.

Census County Division (CCD) - In 1970, CCDs were defined in 21 states (AL, AZ, CA, CO, DE, FL, GA, HA, ID, KY, MT. NM, ND, OK, OR, SC, TN, TX, UT, WA, and WY) where MCDs were found to be unsuitable for presenting statistics. CCDs are defined with boundaries that seldom change and can be easily located (e.g., roads, highways, streams, railroads, power lines, and bridges). Large incorporated places are usually recognized as separate CCDs, even though their boundaries may change as a result of annexations. Cities with 10,000 or more inhabitants generally are separate CCDs and some incorporated places with as few as 1,000 inhabitants may be separate CCDs in very rural places. There were approximately 7,000 CCDs in the 1970 census.

County - Counties are the primary political and administrative divisions of the states. In Louisiana, such divisions are called parishes, and in Alaska 29 census divisions were established as county equivalents in 1970 for statistical purposes. A number of cities (Baltimore, MD, independent cities in Virginia, St Louis, MO, and Carson City, NV) are independent of any county organization and thereby constitute primary division of their states. In 1970, there were 3,141 counties or county equivalents.

Enumeration District (ED) - In 1970, EDs were areas averaging about 800 people or 250 housing units and were defined by the Bureau of the Census to control the collection and tabulation of 1970 census data for the conventional enumeration areas. EDs were defined as representing an adequate enumerator workload and the boundaries of the ED do not cross boundaries of any area for which data were to be tabulated (except blocks). About 142,000 EDs were created for the 1970 census.

Minor Civil Division (MCD) - In 1970, MCDs were defined as the primary political or administrative subdivisions of counties. They are most frequently known as townships, but in some states include towns, precincts, and magisterial districts. MCD tabulations were made for the 1970 census in 29 states. In 1970, over 24,000 MCDs were recognized by the Bureau of the Census.

Place - In 1970, the term 'place' as used by the Bureau of the Census, refers to a concentration of population, regardless of the existence of legally prescribed limits, powers, or functions. Most of the places identified in the 1970 census are incorporated as cities, towns, villages, or boroughs. There were almost 21,000 places recorded in the 1970 census.

Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area (SMSA) - An SMSA is an integrated economic and social unit with a recognized large population nucleus. Generally, each SMSA consists of one or more entire counties, or county equivalents, that meet standards pertaining to population and metropolitan character. In 1970, SMSAs were designated by the Office of Federal Statistical Policy and Standards of the Department of Commerce. There were 238 defined SMSAs in the United States (exclusive of Puerto Rico) at the time of the 1970 census.

Zip Code Areas - ZIP code areas were a new type of area for which the 1970 census data were summarized. Fifth count summary tapes are the only source for population and housing data from the 1970 census by ZIP code areas. Nationwide, ZIP code data are available for three-digit ZIP-codes, except that data for five-digit ZIP code areas are provided within SMSAs. ZIP code areas seldom cross state lines, but frequently cross county, SMSA, and city boundaries.


Contact Information

Reference Services
Electronic Records
National Archives at College Park
8601 Adelphi Road
College Park, MD 20740-6001
(301) 837-0470
e-mail: cer@nara.gov

July 2013



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