When the 1940 Census was released on April 2, 2012 I spent quite a few hours that evening searching for familiar names. I had prepared myself by creating a list of every person on my tree who may have been alive in 1940. I got the inspiration and instructions on how to do so from the ftmuser blog. I also made note of where a few particular relatives had been living in 1930 to use as a starting point (I chuckle each time I see that rent in one part of NYC was $25/month in 1930).
Then I was overwhelmed.
I'll admit I chose a challenging group to start with. Between 1930 and 1940 my grandfather's father had died and my grandfather had married my grandmother. I had also determined through photos and letters I found in the attic that my grandfather's mother (now a widow) had moved in with my (fairly) newlywed grandparents.
Determined to find some eagerly anticipated information, I located the appropriate enumeration district that this family lived in in 1930 hoping to find them still nearby. I stopped searching after about 25 pages of images.
Maybe I'll give it another try...
I also thought it was interesting that you can purchase the census! Prices for the various states range from $125 to $9,000 depending on the format (digitized or microfilm) and the size of the record. For $200,000 to $580,750 you can own the census for the entire nation. In case that doesn't appeal to you you can also access the records for free.
Today my tree contains 1338 people and 2049 records.