What is the census? The census is a count of everyone residing in the U.S., including Puerto Rico and the Island Areas (the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Northern Mariana Islands).
Who is counted? All residents of the U.S. must be counted. This includes people of all ages, races, ethnic groups, citizens and non-citizens.
Why is it important? Filling out the census helps you get the benefits you deserve, such as health care, day care and job training. With over $400 billion per year in federal funds at stake, your response helps ensure our communities aren’t overlooked, paving the way for improvements to your schools, roads, and fire and police stations.
How often is the census conducted? The U.S. census has been held once every 10 years since its inception in 1790.
What do I need to do? Census questionnaires will be mailed or delivered to every U.S. household beginning in March of 2010. Questionnaires include 10 easy questions and should take no more than 10 minutes to complete. The forms are available in English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Russian and Vietnamese. Completed forms should then be mailed back in the enclosed, postage-paid envelope.
Do I have to partake? Yes, participation is required. Households that do not respond will be mailed a second questionnaire. Households that still do not respond will be contacted or visited by an employee of the Census Bureau. These employees are called enumerators.
How is the 2010 Census different? In the past, most households received a short-form questionnaire, while one household in six received a long form that contained additional questions and provided more detailed socioeconomic information about the population.
The 2010 Census will be short-form only and will count all residents living in the United States. Questions include name, gender, age, date of birth, race, ethnicity, relationship of persons in household and housing tenure.