Genealogy: 1930 Census birth year reference chart

Census birth yearBy Barry J. Ewell
As you track your ancestor through the U.S. Federal Population Censuses, you can use age to help you

  • Identify individual members of the family
  • Provide clues to confirm I have the right person/family unit as you search each census
  • Provide clues as to relationship in the family
  • Provide clues if I have the right female when surnames change through marriage

Provide clues when people use nicknames and other name variations from one census to the next

I have prepared a birth year reference chart for each census to help you identify an estimated birth year for each ancestor.  This article will focus on the 1930 U.S. Federal Population Census.

Learn more about information about age found in the census:

1930 U.S. Census birth year reference chart
In Column 13 of the 1930 US Population Census, learn the age of each member of the household.  The following chart will provide the approximate corresponding birth year for the age provided.

Age calculated as of April 1, 1930.

AgeBirth YearAgeBirth YearAgeBirth Year
Mar 0/121930281902671863
Feb 1/121930291901681862
Jan 2/121930301900691861
Dec 3/121930311899701860
Nov 4/121930321898711859
Oct 5/121929331897721858
Sep 6/121929341896731857
Aug 7/121929351895741856
Jul 8/121929361894751855
Jun 9/121929371893761854
May 10/121929381892771853
Apr 11/121929391891781852

Census taker instructions for age on 1930 Census
The following are the exact instructions given to census taker (enumerator):

156. Column 13. Age at last birthday.-This question calls for the age in completed years at last birthday. Remember, however, that the age question, like all other questions on the schedule, relates to April 1, 1930. Thus a person whose exact age on April 1, the census day, is 17 years, 11 months, and 25 days should be returned simply as 17, because that is his age at his last birthday prior to April 1, even though at the time of your visit he may have completed 18 years.

157. Age in round numbers.-In many cases persons will report the age in round numbers, like 30 or 45, or “about 30” or “about 45,” when that is not the exact age. Therefore, when an age ending in “0” or “5” is reported, you should inquire whether it is the exact age. If, however, it is impossible to get the exact age, enter the approximate age rather than return the age as unknown.

158. Ages of children.-Take particular pains to get the exact ages of children. In the case of a child less than 5 years old, the age should be given in completed months, expressed as twelfths of a year. Thus the age of a child 3 months old should be entered as 3/12, a child 7 months old as 7/12, a child 1 year and 3 months old as 1 3/12, a child exactly 3 years old as 3 0/12, a child 3 years and 1 month old as 3 1/12, etc. It a child is not yet a month old, enter the age as 0/12. but note again that this question should be answered with reference to April 1. For instance, a child who is just a year old on the 5th of April 1930, should nevertheless be returned as 11/12, because that is its age in completed months on April 1.

159. Enumerators must make a special effort to obtain returns for all infants and young children. Children under 1 year of age, in particular, have frequently been omitted from the enumeration in past censuses.