Census – New York State

Cover of the published data from the 'Census of the New-York for 1835'

Article five of the first New York State Constitution of 1777 required that a census of its electors and inhabitants be taken "once in every seven years, after the taking of the said first census."  The census of electors taken in 1790, 1795, 1801, 1807, 1814 and 1821 provided a basis for the reapportionment of senate and assembly districts.  The second New York State Constitution, 1821, mandated that an enumeration of the inhabitants be taken in 1825 and at the end of every ten years thereafter.  The Census of 1925 was the last census taken by the State.  Amendments to the State Constitution approved by the voters in 1931 rescinded all sections of the Constitution which mandated that the state take a census every ten years for the purpose of apportionment. 

Listed below are publications that have been digitized from items/volumes in the New York State Library's collection.  (The volumes that have been digitized are statistical reports; schedules that list names are available on microfilm for use onsite.) The titles listed below are also available in print copy at the NYSL for use onsite.  Additional materials relating to the New York State and Federal census can be found by searching the NYSL online catalog.

For more information, contact the Reference Desk at 518-474-5355 or via email or see the Digital Collections FAQ.

Census of the State of New York: The titles listed below are the published statistical schedules compiled from the original returns under the direction of the Secretary of State which describe the population and economy of counties, cities and towns in New York State.  Instructions for the enumerations taking the census have also been digitized, as well as, several preliminary reports.

Census Year Title
1807 A General Account Of the Number Of Electors In the Several Counties Of This State
(excerpt from the Senate Journal, 31st session, 1808)
1814 Census Of Electors and Other Inhabitants Of This State, Taken and Sent To This Office, Pursuant To an Act, Entitled "An Act For Taking a Census Of Electors and Other Inhabitants Of This State," Passed April 15th, 1814
(excerpt from the Senate Journal, 38th session, 1815)
1821 Returns Made Pursuant To an Act, Entitled "An Act To Provide For Taking a Census, and For Other Purposes," Passed March 16, 1821
(excerpt from the Assembly Journal, 45th session, 1822)
1825 Census Of the State Of New York, 1825; a True and Accurate Enumeration Of the Inhabitants Residing In the Several Counties In This State, Together With Other Particulars Required By the Act, Entitled "An Act To Provide For Taking Future Enumerations Of the Inhabitants Of This State, and For Procuring Useful Statistical Tables," Passed April 8, 1825
1835 Census of the State of New York For 1835: Containing an Enumeration of the Inhabitants Of the State, With Other Statistical Information, In Pursuance Of Chapter Third Of the First Part Of the Revised Statutes, and Of the Act Amending the Same, Passed On the 16th March, 1835
1845 Census Of the State Of New York, For 1845: Containing an Enumeration Of the Inhabitants Of the State, With Other Statistical Information, In Pursuance Of Chapter Third Of the First Part Of the Revised Statutes, and Of the Act Amending the Same, Passed On the 7th day Of May, 1845
1855 Census of the state of New York, for 1855; taken in pursuance of article three of the constitution of the state, and of chapter sixty-four of the laws of 1855
Instructions For Taking the Census Of the State Of New York In the Year 1855; Issued By the Secretary of State, To the Officers Charged With the Duty Of taking It
1865 Census Of the State Of New York, For 1865. Taken In Pursuance Of Article Third Of the Constitution Of the State, and Of Chapter Sixty-four Of the Laws Of 1885
Preliminary Report On the Census Of the State Of New York, For the Year 1865
Statistics of population of the city and county of New York as shown by the state census of 1865, with the comparative results of this and previous enumerations and other statistics given by the state and federal census, from the earliest period
Instructions For Taking the Census Of the State Of New York, In the Year 1865; Issued By the Secretary Of State, To the Officers Charged With the Duty Of Taking It
1875 Census Of the State Of New York For 1875
Preliminary census report as to population of the State of New York
Instructions For Taking the Census Of the State Of New York: In the Year 1875, Together With the Laws Relating Thereto
1892 Exhibits Showing the Enumeration Of the State By Counties, Cities, Towns and Election Districts For the Year 1892
1905 Report Of the Enumeration Of the Inhabitants Of the State Of New York: June 1, 1905
1915 Report Of the Secretary Of State Of the Enumeration Of the Inhabitants, 1915: Transmitted To the Legislature January 17, 1916
1925 Enumeration Of Inhabitants, 1925: Report Presented To the Legislature, January 15, 1926
Population figures for the cities, incorporated villages, towns, and counties of New York State: according to the census of June 1, 1925
Supplementary report on the enumeration-tabulation of the inhabitants of the state as of June 1, 1925: with advance information tables for Cattaraugus and Richmond counties and some state census centennial tables and charts
Census Of 1925: Regulations and Instructions

New York State Census Records, 1790-1925: This publication, compiled in 1981 by New York State Library staff members Marilyn Douglas and Melinda Yates, contains an inventory of federal and state census manuscripts and microfilm holdings in repositories throughout New York State. A list of the questions asked on federal population schedules (1780-1980) is included on pages 43-46 and a list of the questions asked on state population schedules (1825-1925) is included on pages 48-49.

Report to Governor Alfred E. Smith on the investigation of the Department of State in relation to the State enumeration of 1925: The Cities Census Committee, Inc. filed a complaint on September 12, 1927 with Secretary of State Robert Moses "alleging irregularities in the conduct of the 1925 State enumeration" and charged Mrs. Florence E.S. Knapp "with the wasteful and illegal use of the funds appropriated by the Legislature for the census."  On October 6, 1927, Governor Alfred E. Smith appointed Randall J. Le Boeuf, Jr. a commissioner to examine and investigate the management and affairs of the Department of State, in relation to the 1925 enumeration of the inhabitants of NYS.  Commissioner Randall J. Le Boeuf, Jr. conducted an investigation and issued this report with his findings and recommendations on January 20, 1928.  In addition, he concluded that the either the State census should be abolished and the Constitution amended to permit the use of the Federal Census for purposes of reapportionment or the State should take a comprehensive decennial census midway between the Federal censuses.
Last Updated: August 8, 2012