Census Data From 1940 Released

April 3, 2012 Updated: April 6, 2012

The U.S. National Archives released the complete census data from 1940 on Monday. The release drew so much attention to its website that it crashed soon after the announcement, it was reported.

Susan Cooper, the director of public and media relations for the National Archives told ABC News that the agency’s servers were overwhelmed. “There is such a huge volume, they’re having a hard time keeping up.” At least 22.5 million people attempted to access the website in three hours.

The 1940 census is comprised of 3.8 million images, which were scanned from more than 4,000 rolls of microfilm, according to a statement from the agency. The census was released “after a mandatory 72-year waiting period,” according to the archives.

“The 1940 census reflects economic tumult of the Great Depression and President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal recovery program of the 1930s,” its website states. Between 1931 and 1940, the U.S. population increased by around 7.2 percent to 131,669,275 people.