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What: Count
The census is a count of everyone residing in the United States: in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Island Areas.

Who: Everyone
All residents of the United States must be counted. This includes people of all ages, races, ethnic groups, citizens and non-citizens.

When: Every 10 years
Every 10 years. Census questionnaires will be mailed or delivered to every household in the United States during a census. The questions ask you to provide information that is accurate for your household as of April 1, 2010.

  • The Census Bureau must count everyone and submit state population totals to the U.S. President..
  • The first Census was conducted in 1790 and has been carried out every 10 years since then.

Where: Everywhere in the U.S.
The census counts everyone residing in the United States: in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Island Areas.

People should be counted where they live and sleep most of the year.

Why: Representation and Funding
The U.S. Constitution (Article I, Section 2) mandates a headcount of everyone residing in the United States. The population totals determine each state’s Congressional representation. The numbers also affect funding in your community and help inform decision makers about how your community is changing.

How: By Mail or in Person
The Census Bureau will mail or deliver questionnaires to your home. We will mail a second form to households that do not respond to the initial questionnaire.

Households that still do not respond will be called or visited by a Census worker. (Census workers can be identified by a census badge and bag.)

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Socioeconomic Research Program Manager:
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