Know as the Sweet Sixteen of census data since it was the 16th Population Census of the United States of America, the 1940 census data will be made available in -
Just 126 days which is the time remaining until Monday, April 2, 2012.
The 1940 Census will be made available for public inspection beginning Monday, April 2, 2012. The U.S. Census Bureau and National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) have been coordinating closely for many months to prepare for and ensure access to the 1940 census schedules as quickly as possible. NARA has already announced the completion of a digitization project and their plans to place all images online for free browsing via the Internet. Although there will not be an index immediately available to search by name, a little preparation can increase your chances of finding your ancestors in the 1940 census without much trouble
This is the census that contains the individuals who are part of what has been called the greatest generation.
These are people who:
Survived the Great Depression
Fought in the Second World War
Innovated technology (TV, Microwave)
Sacrificed in the name of freedom
Practiced thrift and compassion
Understood hard work and industry
Why 72 years after the census and not at a more even number?
It is against the law for the Census Bureau to give personally identifiable information about an individual to any other individual or agency until 72 years after it is collected for the decennial census. After 72 years, the individual census records are sent to the National Archives where they are made public primarily for genealogical research. At the time the law was made 72 years was considered a safe wait time as the individuals listed in it would be dead and their private information could be made public. Who knew we would live longer and get to see our census information?