2010 Census: In Our Hands
In order to achieve an accurate assessment of the number and location of people living within the nation’s borders, the U.S. Constitution mandates a census of the population every 10 years.
The census population totals determine which states gain or lose representation in Congress. It also determines the amount of state and federal funding communities receive over the course of the decade. 2010 Census data will directly affect how more than $4 trillion is allocated to local and state governments over the next 10 years. The facts gathered in the census also help shape decisions for the rest of the decade about public health, neighborhood improvements, transportation, education, senior services and much more.
With one of the shortest questionnaires in history, the 2010 Census asks for name, gender, age, race, ethnicity, relationship, and whether you own or rent your home. It takes only about 10 minutes for the average household resident to complete. Questions about how we live as a nation: our diversity, education, housing, jobs and more, are now covered in the American Community Survey, which is conducted every year throughout the decade and replaces the Census 2000 long-form questionnaire. Responses to the 2010 Census questionnaire are required by law. All responses are used for statistical purposes only, and all are strictly confidential.
By 2010, there will be an estimated 310 million people residing in the United States. Counting each person is one of the largest operations the federal government undertakes. For example, the Census Bureau will recruit nearly 3.8 million applicants for 2010 Census field operations. Of these applicants, the Census Bureau will hire about 1.4 million temporary employees. Some of these employees will be using GPS-equipped hand-held computers to update maps and ensure there is an accurate address list for the mailing of the census questionnaires.
For more information, visit the 2010 Census web site.