The Bay Area in 1940

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The National Archives has released long-awaited raw data from the 1940 census, providing a snapshot of America at that time. What do the numbers tell us about life in the Bay Area in 1940? How have things changed?

The National Archives video introduction to the 1940 census:


Marcy Goldstein, director of the National Archives at San Francisco, based in San Bruno

Kevin Starr, professor of history at the University of Southern California and author of "Golden Gate: The Life and Times of America's Greatest Bridge"

Charles Fracchia, founder and president emeritus of the San Francisco Museum and Historical Society and author of five books on San Francisco history, including "When the Water Came Up to Montgomery Street: San Francisco During the Gold Rush"

Nicka Smith, outreach and education chair of the African American Genealogical Society of Northern California

Michael Nolan, San Francisco resident and geneologist who has used the newly released 1940 census data to research his street in the Bernal Heights neighborhood