That’s right. Whether you’re looking for a long lost relative, doing industry research on regional demographics, in charge of a Historical Society, or just a Nosey Nellie, the 1940 Census is online and ready for your eager clicks!
Do take a look at the site first though. The National Archives have set up some great tutorials, both in print and in video form, to make your searching and understanding of the results a little more intuitive.
As to be expected, the excitement and curiosity levels are high for this excellent project and the site is experiencing some minor wait times. Be patient! I waited a few more than a few minutes and found this excellent map of the town I grew up in!
Confidentiality laws set in place dictate that the US Census reports must maintain a 72 year dormancy before they are released to the public. April 2, 2012 celebrates not only the release of the 1940 Census records, but the first time they will ever be released to the public ONLINE! The records, which will be available free of charge, will be indexed the by state, county, city, township or minor civil division, and enumeration district.
In anticipation for this amazing researchable collection, the Bureau has set up a website which answers questions about the release, the Census records themselves, and about how the organization provides Government data to the masses.