Today the National Archives put the results of the 1940 Census online. The data shows the remarkable changes that have occurred in the nation over the past few decades. The Archives have put out graphics indicating those changes. The biggest changes occurred in the number of people with college degrees and the type of work people do for a living. California led the nation with 6.7% of its population possessing a college degree in 1940, but by 2010 Massachusetts had taken the lead with 39% holding a college degree.
The other start contrast in the data was in economics. In 1940 there were 45 million people in the workforce. That number grew to 139 million in 2010. The type of industries people worked in changed as well. In 1940 manufacturing was the top industry with 23% of the workforce participating in that field. Manufacturing fell to 10% of the workforce by 2010. Many experts blame the fall of manufacturing for the stagnation of the middle class wages in America.
You can dig deeper into the 1940s Census by checking out the National Archives website at http://www.archives.gov/research/census/1940/