Week 5 (January 29- February 4): In the Census.
When I search the 1940 census sometimes I find people I’ve known or know and that makes it a bit more interesting. My mother wasn’t yet when the census was taken born but my dad was a toddler.
Claude E Brown, his wife Ottie and their 2 year old son Wayne were living in a rental house at 215 E Washington in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Claude E. and Ottie G. Brown both listed as 31 years of age indicated they were living in Oklahoma City in 1935.
According to the census Claude finished the 2nd year of high school and Ottie finished the 4th year of high school. In 1939 Ottie was not employed for pay but did home housework. During the same time period Claude worked 52 weeks and his income was $1620. He was a yard superintendent in the oil field supply and the week prior to the census he worked 42 hours. In 1939 the unemployment rate was 17.2%1 and the median income for a man in 1940 was $956.2 My grandfather’s income was quite a bit above the median and one thing my Dad remembers Grandpa telling him was that he was proud that he was employed and that he never said no to a job no matter how tired he was.
- Unemployment Rate by Year Since 1929 Compared to Inflation and GDP
- The 1940 Census: 72-Year-Old Secrets Revealed