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Census Data and Information

What is the Census?

What is the Census? In the United States, the population in the United States and five U.S. territories (Puerto Rico, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands) is counted every 10 years.

How does the information get collected? Each residence receives an invitation to respond to a short questionnaire—online, by phone, or by mail. 

Why is it important? The census provides critical data that lawmakers, researchers, business owners, teachers, and many others use to provide daily services, products, and support for you and your community. The results of the census also determine the number of seats each state will have in the U.S. House of Representatives and to draw congressional and state legislative districts.

Who conducts the Census? In 2020, the U.S. Census Bureau will be gathering the data.

Are there other censuses published by the U.S. government? Yes. The United States Department of Agriculture conducts the Census of Agriculture every five years. To learn more about other statistics collected by the U.S. government, visit

What else does the U.S. Census Bureau do? The U.S. Census Bureau conducts more than 130 surveys and programs each year, including the Economic Census, Census of Government, and National Survey of College Graduates.

Can students use census data? Absolutely. There are a lot of electronic and print resources out there that people can use to get data for assignments and projects. This guide has been put together to help people find the census data they are looking for.