Can You Obtain Census Records for Free?


Quick Answer

Census records that are at least 72 years old can be viewed for free from libraries that have a census subscription. Information from censuses conducted between 1790 and 1940 are available via these subscription services, as of 2015.

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Full Answer

Census records are maintained by the Census Bureau's National Processing Center for 72 years after the date of the census. Individuals may request their own census records at any time via the Census Bureau's Age Search service. There is a mandated fee for accessing census records that are not yet publicly available. These protected records can only be accessed by the named individual, his or her heirs, or a legal representative.

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