The 1950 census population questionnaire asked fewer questions than its predecessor; the full population was asked only 20 questions. As in 1940, a 5 percent sample was asked an additional slate of questions. Enumerators asked the following questions, listed by column:
- Name of street, avenue or road where the household is located
- Home or apartment number
- Serial number of dwelling unit
- Is this house on a farm (or ranch)?
- If no, is this house on a place of three or more acres?
- Corresponding agriculture questionnaire number
- Relationship to head
- How old was this person on his last birthday?
- Is this person now married, widowed, divorced, separated, or never married?
- Enumerators were to enter "Mar" for married, "Wd" for widowed, "D" for divorced, "Sep" for separated, or "Nev" for never married
- What State or country was the person born in?
- If foreign born, is the person naturalized?
For persons 14 years of age and over
- What was this person doing most of last week - working, keeping house, or something else?
- Enumerators were to record "Wk" for working, "H" for keeping house, "U" for unable to work, or "Ot" for other
- If the person was "keeping house" or "something else" in question 15, did the person do any work at all last week, not counting work around the house? (Including work-for-pay, in his own business, working on a farm or unpaid family work)
- If the person answered "no" to question 16, was he looking for work?
- If the person answered "no" to question 17, even if he didn't work last week, does he have a job or business?
- If the person was working, how many hours did he or she work in the last week?
- What kind of work does the person do?
- What kind of business or industry is the person in?
- Class of worker the person is.
- Enumerators were to mark "P" for private employment, "G" for government employment, "O" for own business, or "NP" for working without pay
Supplemental Questions (for a 5 percent sample of the population)
For all ages
- Was the person living in the same house a year ago?
- If no to question 21, was the person living on a farm a year ago?
- If no to question 21, was the person living in the same county a year ago?
- If no to question 23...
- What county (or nearest place) was he living in a year ago?
- What state or foreign country was he living in a year ago?
- What country were the person's mother and father born in?
- What is the highest grade of school that the person has attended?
- Enumerators were to mark "0" for no school; "K" for kindergarten; "S1" through "S12" depending on the last year of elementary or secondary school attended; "C1" through "C4" depending on the last year of undergraduate college education attended; or "C5" for any graduate or professional school.
- Did the person finish this grade?
- Has the person attended school since February 1st?
- Enumerators could check a box for "yes" or "no" for those under thirty; for those over thirty, they were to check a box for "30 or over."
For persons 14 years and older
- If the person is looking for work, how many weeks has he been looking for work?
- Last year, how many weeks did this person not work at all, not counting work around the house?
- Last year, how much money did the person earn working as an employee for wages or salary?
- Last year, how much money did the person earn working at his own business, professional occupation, or farm?
- Last year, how much money did the person receive from interest, dividends, veteran's allowances, pensions, rents, or other income (aside from earnings)?
- If this person is the head of the household: last year, how much money did his relatives in this household earn working for wages or salary?
- If this person is the head of the household: last year, how much money did the person earn working at his own business, professional occupation, or farm?
- If this person is the head of the household: last year, how much money did the person receive from interest, dividends, veteran's allowances, pensions, rents, or other income (aside from earnings)?
- If male: did he ever serve in the U.S. Armed Forces during...
- World War II
- World War I
- Any other time, including present service
- To enumerator: if the person worked in the last year, is there any entry in columns 20a, 20b, or 20c?
- If yes, skip to question 36; if no, make entries for questions 35a, 35b, and 35c.
- What kind of work does this person doe in his job?
- What kind or business or industry does this person work in?
- Class of worker
- If ever married, has this person been married before?
- If married, widowed, divorced, or separated, how many years since this event occurred?
- If female and ever married, how many children has she ever borne, not counting stillbirths?