Urban Rural by County, 1960

Hi all,

I’m trying to construct a dataset that has %urban from 1850-2010, by county. All decennial years are available on nhgis, with the exception of 1960. I found “Percentage Rural Non-Farm Population” exists in 1960, but I don’t believe this is giving me what I need - really what I want is # of urban persons in each county. I found this dataset for Iowa Urban Percentage of the Population for Counties, Historical | Iowa Community Indicators Program and discovered that the “Percentage Rural Non-Farm Population” dataset from nhgis does not match the 1960 values for Iowa counties, which reaffirms my concern.

Any ideas as to where I can get this data? Clearly the Iowa data is coming from somewhere - I checked the census bureau website and couldnt find their source dataset.


The information from the 1960 census that appears in NHGIS was transcribed by ICPSR, and that project only transcribed selected tables due to the large volume. Unfortunately the urban/ rural population by county was not one of the tables transcribed. If you have the resources to do some data entry, the data can be found at this link, under 1960 Census of Population, Volume I. There are separate PDF’s for each state. We would be interested to hear more about your process if you decide to pursue the data entry option; please email ipums@umn.edu if you decide to go this route.