Statewide North Carolina Census records that exist for North Carolina are 1790 incomplete, 1800, 1810 incomplete, 1820 incomplete, 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1890 (fragment, see below), 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930 and 1940. There are Industry and Agriculture Schedules 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880. Slave Census Schedules exist for 1850 & 1860. The Mortality Schedules for the years 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880. In 1790 the first federal census took place.
Those records for North Carolina have survived, except for the records from Granville, Orange, and Caswell counties. Similarly, the records from the 1810 federal census for North Carolina have survived, except for a handful of counties. Those counties are New Hanover, Greene, Craven, and Wake. As for the 1820 North Carolina federal census records, those for the counties of Wake, Martin, Franklin, Randolph, Montgomery, and Currituck are missing.
Population schedules for North Carolina in 1890 that have survived are those for the townships of River Bend and South Point, each located in Gaston County, as well as the records for Cleveland County’s Township No. 2. North Carolina original census records or microfilmed copies can be found at the North Carolina State Archives.
There were no North Carolina colonial censuses taken. However, there are tax records from that time period, which contain quite a bit of useful census-like information. In 1775, the Continental Congress ordered that a census of North Carolina be taken. However, the only surviving records are those from Pitt County.
Census records generally list people according race, gender, and age. Some counties did not respond to the 1775 census requirement until as late as 1786. Some records seem to indicate that there was another census taken in 1787. Therefore, what is known as the State Census of North Carolina, 1784-1787 may actually be records from two separate censuses.