Census 2010

The U.S. Constitution requires a census every 10 years to determine how many seats each state will have in the U.S. House of Representatives. Community leaders also use the census to assess the need for new schools, roads, and services.

Important Census Dates
How Big Is the U.S. Census?
What's on the Census Form?

The short form asks ten questions and takes approximately ten minutes to complete. For the first time, all households will receive the short form.

U.S. Census Data—Detailed for Every State

Colonial Population Estimates

Total Population of the U.S. and Its Territories

Population Distribution by Age, Race, Nativity, and Sex Ratio

Resident Population-Selected Characteristics

Population Trends by Region

Population by State

Population Distribution by Age, Race, Nativity, and Sex Ratio

In the past, a long form was submitted to 17% of households. This form covered more than 30 areas, including education, ancestry, employment, disability, and questions about home heating fuel. The questions included in the long form are now collected by the American Community Survey, which is part of the U.S. Census Bureau. The survey is distributed to a small population of Americans each year instead of once every ten years. The survey takes about 38 minutes to complete and is distributed to the same household no more than once every five years.

Answering the Census Is Important

Taking part in the census is in everyone's best interest. People who answer the census help their communities obtain federal funding and valuable information for planning hospitals, roads, and other services. Census information helps decision-makers understand which neighborhoods need new schools and which need greater services for the elderly.

Answering the census creates jobs and ensures the delivery of goods and services. Businesses use census numbers to locate new sites for supermarkets and shopping centers, housing, factories and offices, and facilities such as movie theaters and restaurants.

The Law Protects Your Answers

By law, the Census Bureau cannot share your answers with the IRS, FBI, or any government agency or court. The same law also prevents the Census Bureau from selling or giving away your address to people or businesses who may want to contact you for marketing or sales purposes.

Changes to the 2010 Census

Bilingual questionnaires will be sent in English and Spanish to about 13 million households in areas that have a high concentration of Hispanics. This initiative will be implemented to improve the overall rate of census returns in areas in which English is a second language.

The Census Bureau will send second-chance cards to households that fail to answers the census between February and March. The reminder will be sent with another census form, which is intended to reduce the need for census workers to visit non-returning households another time.

Married same-sex couples will now be counted on the census. In 2000, same-sex marriage was not legal; today same-sex couples can get married in six states. Though it will be easy to count the 35,000 same-sex married couples on the census form, the Census Bureau must still determine how to count same-sex unmarried couples. More than 3 million same-sex couples considered themselves married in 2000.

Read this Census Bureau PDF for more information about the 2010 Census.

Information Please® Database, © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.

Did you know?
The bicycle was invented in Germany by Karl D. von Sauerbronn in 1816.


Special Books for the Kids You Love
Celebrate 20 years of sharing love to the moon and back with the anniversary edition of Guess How Much I Love You, one of the world’s best-loved picture books. Plus, search our Book Finder for more great book picks. Brought to you by Candlewick Press.

Vote Now for the Children's & Teen Choice Book Awards
Voting is open now through May 3 for the Children's and Teen Choice Book Awards — the only national book awards program where the winning author, illustrator, and books of the year are selected by young readers. Encourage your child to vote for his favorites today!

Top 10 Math & Science Apps for Your Whiz Kid
Looking for the best math and science apps for kids? Check out these cool apps for all ages, which will grow your child's love of the STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, and math).

Registered for Kindergarten — Now What?
Wondering what to do now that you've signed your child up for kindergarten? Try our award-winning Kindergarten Readiness app! This easy-to-use checklist comes with games and activities to help your child build essential skills for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Facebook icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks