The 1830 US Census

The 1830 US census was taken as of June 1, 1830. 

By this time, the population had increased to about 12.8 million people, of whom 2 million were slaves. 

Only heads of households were actually named in the census, although other family members and slaves were counted and placed in various age categories.

What was happening in the US in particular, and in the world in general, during this decade?

People and Issues in the 1830s

During the 1830s, the following men were US Presidents.

Andrew Jackson (1767 - 1845) was President from 1829 - 1837.  He is considered the first President to have been elected by the populace.

A lawyer, politician, and judge, Jackson gained national prominence for his role in leading troops to victory against the British, the Spanish, and native Americans.

Martin van Buren (1782 - 1862) was the US President from 1837 - 1841. 

Prior to becoming President, he served as Vice-President under Andrew Jackson, from 1833 to 1837.

During this decade in the US, among other important events, the following occurred:

  • In 1832, the "Trail of Tears" campaign began, which involved the removal of native Americans from their homes and their relocation farther west, to facilitate white settlement.
  • On January 13, 1835, the first attempt at assassinating a US President occurred.  Unemployed house painter Richard Lawrence fired two rounds straight at the President, from close range.  However, the gun misfired, following which Jackson went after the would-be assassin with a cane!
  • In December of 1835, after gold was discovered on land occupied by native Americans in Georgia, they were forced to cede the land, and move across the Mississippi River.
  • In 1837, the "Panic of 1837", a worldwide financial crisis, began.  New York City banks failed, and unemployment rose to record levels.

    Queen Victoria.  Public Domain

In the United Kingdom, King William IV, son of George III, ascended the throne in 1830, upon the death of his brother, George IV.  He reigned until 1837.

Queen Victoria became queen in 1837, and reigned until 1901.

Prime Ministers during this decade were Earl Grey (1830 - 1834), and Lord Melbourne (1834 -1841).

In France, Louis Philippe became king in 1830.

Various revolutions in Central and South America led to the formation of current-day Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras, Costa Rica,  and Uruguay.

What States were Included in the Census?

The following states and territories were included in this enumeration.  The West of the country was still in territories, rather than states, with little settlement.





District of Columbia













New Hampshire

New Jersey

New York

North Carolina



Rhode Island

South Carolina




What Questions were asked on the Census?

The 1830 US census uses the same categories of individuals as the 1820 US census did, but breaks them down into a further set of age groups: 13 categories, from age 5 to over 100, for each of white males and females, and six age categories for each of male and female slaves and male and female free coloreds.

It also includes questions regarding the number of blind, deaf and dumb, in three age categories for whites, and three age categories for slaves and for free coloreds.

In addition, it asks how many white aliens (foreign nationals who have not been naturalized) had been included among the individuals already counted.

As you can imagine, all of those age categories led to a dizzying number of vertical and horizontal lines on the page! I pity the poor individuals in the census office who had to work with this mind-boggling array of lines, day after day, with no assistance from computers!

The following list provides the details of what was required to complete the 1830 US census:

  1. names of heads of families;
  2. number of free white males, in 13 age categories
    (under 5, 5-9, 10-14, 15-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, 70-79, 80-89, 90-99, and 100+);
  3. number of free white females, in the same 13 age categories
    (under 5, 5-9, 10-14, 15-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, 70-79, 80-89, 90-99, and 100+);
  4. number of male slaves, in 7 age categories
    (under 10; 10-23, 24-35, 36-54, 55-99, and 100+);
  5. number of female slaves, in the same 7 age categories
    (under 10; 10-23, 24-35, 36-54, 55-99, and 100+);
  6. number of free colored males, in the same 7 age categories
    (under 10; 10-23, 24-35, 36-54, 55-99, and 100+);
  7. number of free colored females, in the same 7 age categories
    (under 10; 10-23, 24-35, 36-54, 55-99, and 100+);
  8. number of persons included in the foregoing who are:
  9. deaf and dumb white persons, in 3 age categories
    (under 14, 14-24, and 25+);
  10. blind white persons;
  11. Aliens (foreigners not naturalized);
  12. deaf and dumb slaves and colored persons, in the same 3 age categories
    (under 14, 14-24, and 25+); and
  13. blind slaves and colored persons.

To see a blank sample of the 1830 US census, click here

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