Primary Source

Puerto Rican Labor Movement and the 1940 Census

  • 1940 census


This particular census table describes the types of jobs done by men and women. It illustrates how roles are assigned on a gendered basis. After the Great Depression of 1929, the world economy was in crisis. The United States promoted agriculture to improve the economy and the lives of its citizens. Puerto Rico, as part of the insular possession of the United States, was included in this plan. Thus, an economic plan was implemented to increase the agricultural output of the island. The sugar and tobacco industries became the main source of labor. Men usually worked in the fields while women did other tasks in the factories, such as rolling tobacco leaves.

This source is a part of the Women and the Puerto Rican Labor Movement teaching module.

U.S. Bureau of the Census, "Employment status of persons 10 years old and older, and principal industry groups of employed workers, by sex, for Puerto Rico: 1940," 1940, Women in World History

How to Cite This Source
Puerto Rican Labor Movement and the 1940 Census in World History Commons,