1950 Census Form P85

The release of the 1950 Census images to the public remains scheduled for April 1, 2022. Once again, I do have plans to put a team together to transcribe the census for the CHamoru Roots Genealogy Project.  If all goes well, I hope to have the transcription book published sometime next year.

A few notes/observations about the population of Guam in 1950…

  • See my previous article, "Expected Release of the 1950 Census."
  • Total population = 59,498. More than doubled from 1940, which was 22,290. The shock growth is attributed to the militarization and refortification of Guam because of World War II.  Thousands of military and contractors were brought into Guam immediately after WWII.  Note the influx of Filipinos. Many were skilled contract workers, mostly recruited from the Philippine province, Iloilo.
  • There were 15 Municipalities. The Municipality of Barrigada had the largest population, surpassing the Municipality of Agana, which was the largest in 1940.This will be interesting to compare with the 1940 census pre- and post-WWII. The transformation of Guam involuntarily displaced many native people from their original homes.
  • Although Guam was a U.S. Territory, natives, classified as those born on Guam at the time of the census, were only U.S. nationals and not U.S. citizens until naturalized. It would be later that year, in 1950, were federal law would finally naturalize all natives born on Guam. However, the census Form P85 does include a question if the person was already a U.S. citizen.
  • On June 30, 1950, The U.S. Department of Commerce released a preliminary population count of 58,754. The final official population count of 59,498. The difference is not surprising but something researchers should be aware of. My transcription numbers from previous census periods do not match with the official count. Primarily, because I transcribe every name, which includes those that were crossed out on the sheet.
  • The census Form P85 contains questions about serving in the U.S. Armed Forces, during World War I, World War II or any other time. I suspect that there will be some level of correlation between those who were veterans and became naturalized during their term of service.

Stay tuned…Will put out a call for volunteers to transcribe and index the 1950 Population Census of Guam sometime later this year.