The U.S. Constitution mandates a headcount every 10 years of everyone residing in the 50 states, Puerto Rico, and the island areas of the United States. This includes people of all ages, races, ethnic groups, citizens, and non-citizens. The first census was conducted in 1790, and one has been conducted every 10 years since then.
Why is it important?
Every year, billions of dollars in federal funding go to hospitals, fire departments, schools, roads, and other resources based on census data. Census results show where communities need new schools, medical clinics, bridges, and more services for families, older adults, and children. The data also helps determine representation and the number of seats each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives.
What information is collected?
Responses to census questions provide a snapshot of the nation. Census results affect your voice in government, how much funding your community receives, and how your community plans for the future. Learn more about the questions and why the census asks about race, gender, and relationships on the Census’ flyers.