What is the Census?
The decennial census is the once-a-decade population and housing count of all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Island Areas. The census counts every person once, only once, and in the right place. The results of the census provide vital information for you and your community.
- It’s in the constitution. The U.S. Constitution mandates that everyone in the country be counted every 10 years. The first census was conducted in 1790.
- It’s about fair representation. Every 10 years, the results of the census are used to reapportion the House of Representatives, determining how many seats each state gets.
- It’s about redistricting. After each decade’s census, state officials redraw the boundaries of the congressional and state legislative districts in their states to account for population shifts.
- It’s about funding. Using census data, the federal government distributes more than $675 billion annually to states and communities for schools, hospitals, roads, and other vital community programs.
- It’s about the economy. Businesses use census data to decide where to build factories, offices, and stores, which ultimately create jobs.
- It’s about your community. Communities rely on census statistics to plan for a variety of residential needs, including new roads, schools, and emergency services.
- It’s about You! Residents use the census to support community initiatives involving legislation, quality-of-life, and consumer advocacy.
How To Complete the Census
This year, thanks to new technology, it is easier than ever to respond to the census. For the first time, you will be able to respond online, by phone, as well as by mail. In less than 10 minutes, you’ll have a great impact on your community for the next 10 years! View Sample 2020 Census Questionnaire.
Your Privacy is Important
Your information is protected by law. The law requires the Census Bureau to keep your information confidential. Your responses can only be used to produce statistics, in no way can it identify you or your household. View the U.S. Census Bureau's Confidentiality Fact Sheet.
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What is the 2020 Census?
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