Skip Header

Why We Conduct the Decennial Census

Component ID: #ti252759079

The framers of the Constitution of the United States chose population to be the basis for sharing political power, not wealth or land.

“Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which

may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers…”

- The Constitution of the United States, Article I, Section 2.

A census aims to count the entire population of a country, and at the location where each person usually lives.

The census asks questions of people in homes and group living situations, including how many people live or stay in each home, and the sex, age and race of each person. The goal is to count everyone once, only once, and in the right place.

Component ID: #ti1911663946

How the Census Benefits Your Community

Federal funds, grants and support to states, counties and communities are based on population totals and breakdowns by sex, age, race and other factors. Your community benefits the most when the census counts everyone. When you respond to the census, you help your community gets its fair share of the more than $675 billion per year in federal funds spent on schools, hospitals, roads, public works and other vital programs.

Businesses use census data to decide where to build factories, offices and stores, and this creates jobs. Developers use the census to build new homes and revitalize old neighborhoods. Local governments use the census for public safety and emergency preparedness. Residents use the census to support community initiatives involving legislation, quality-of-life and consumer advocacy.

Component ID: #ti462720659

Importance of Apportionment

Article I, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution mandates that an apportionment of representatives among the states must be carried out every 10 years. Therefore, apportionment is the original legal purpose of the decennial census, as intended by our Nation's Founders. Apportionment is the process of dividing the 435 memberships, or seats, in the U.S. House of Representatives among the 50 states, based on the state population counts that result from each decennial census.  The apportionment results will be the first data published from the 2020 Census, and those results will determine the number of seats each state will have in the U.S. House of Representatives for the next 10 years.

X
  Is this page helpful?
Thumbs Up Image Yes    Thumbs Down Image No
X
Comments or suggestions?
No, thanks
255 characters remaining
X
Thank you for your feedback.
Comments or suggestions?
Back to Header