By law, census records are sealed from public view for 72 years. The US census has been taken every ten years starting in 1790. When the 1950 census is released Friday, it will not have a name index. So finding people in the census will involve searching by location instead. Even when a name index becomes available, there will still be many reasons for doing locational searches.
The census is organized by Enumeration Districts (EDs), so the location needs to be converted to an ED before the census can be accessed. The One-Step website (https://stevemorse.org) contains numerous tools for obtaining EDs.
The census day for the 1950 census was April 1, 1950. That doesn’t mean that the census taker knocked on the door on April 1 and took down the information. He might have come anytime during the month of April. But the questions he asked pertained to April 1.
Ancestry. com has lots of interesting information about the 1950 census. See https://www.ancestry.com/lp/family-history/1950-census. For example,
“The 1950 Census also included supplemental questions. On each census page, the fourth person and then every subsequent fifth person was asked supplemental questions—for a total of six people per page. This means that for households with five or more members, presumably someone would get the additional questions.”
For many people, including myself, this will be the first time they should appear in a census. There were 151,325,798 people counted that year. I wonder how many of that group are still living, are genealogists and are looking for themselves…
Roberta Estes explains lots on her blog, see https://dna-explained.com/2022/03/30/1950-census-will-be-released-on-april-fools-day/
Searching with enumeration district will be the way to go until the names indexes are ready. If you are having difficulties finding yourself, you can visit our own Family History Center next Tuesday or Thursday. The volunteers are all experts in searching with Enumeration Districts.
If you were born after April 1950, too bad, you might have to wait another 10 years to find yourself! 🙂
The National Archives is located here https://www.archives.gov/research/census/1950