- The census is mandated by the U.S. Constitution (Article I, Section 2). Every 10 years, a count of everyone living in the United States is taken. The census encompasses:
- All 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Island Areas.
- People of all ages, races, ethnic groups, citizens and non-citizens.
- People should be counted where they live most of the year.
- The next census is in 2010.
- Census data are used to distribute Congressional seats to states, to make decisions about what community services to provide, and to distribute federal funds to local, state and tribal governments.