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2010 Census and American Community Survey: Home


Census 2010 was taken using only a "short form" consisting of basic questions about age, sex, race, Hispanic origin, household relationship, and owner/renter status. The American Community Survey (ACS) has been designed to replace the Decennial Census "long form" beginning in 2010 and to provide demographic, housing, social, and economic data every year for the U.S., states, and local areas. ACS data for all geographical areas down to Block Group are now available.

Why is the Census taken?

A census (i.e., a complete count) of the people of the United States every 10 years is required for the purpose of dividing up the seats in the U.S. House of Representatives among the states by the Constitution in Article I, Section 2, Clause 3:

The actual Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct.

and by Amendment 14, Section 2:

Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State [...]. is the online source for current Decennial Census, American Community Survey, and other data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

What is the American Community Survey?

"The American Community Survey (ACS) is an ongoing survey that provides vital information on a yearly basis about our nation and its people. Information from the survey generates data that help determine how more than $675 billion in federal and state funds are distributed each year." (Source: Census Bureau, "About the American Community Survey")

Subject Guide

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Erin Valentino
Room 111-D in H-L