What is the U.S. Census Bureau?

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  1. What The U.S. Census Bureau Does
  2. History of The U.S. Census Bureau

Their Mission:

  • The United States Census Bureau's mission is to serve as the nation’s leading provider of quality data about the nation's people and economy.

Their Authority:

Their Goal:

  • Provide the best mix of timeliness, relevancy, quality, and cost for the data collected and services provided.


Two Most Commonly Known Census Surveys:

The U.S. Decennial Census Survey:

  • Conducted every 10 years
  • Counts every person living in the 50 states, District of Columbia, and the five U.S. territories
  • Asked a shorter set of questions, such as age, sex, race, Hispanic origin, and owner/renter status
  • Provides an official count of the population, which determines congressional representation. Also provides critical data that lawmakers and many others use to provide daily services, products, and support for communities such as Livingston County
  • Data can be sorted by characteristics such as age, sex, and race, as well as by national, state, and county location.
  • Data is released every 10 years

The American Community Survey (ACS):

  • Conducted every month, every year
  • Sent to a sample of addresses (about 3.5 million) in the 50 states, District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico
  • Asks about topics, not on the Decennial Census, such as education, employment, internet access, and transportation
  • Provides current information to communities such as Livingston County every year. It also provides local, state, and national leaders with the information they need for programs, economic development, emergency management, and understanding local issues and conditions.
  • The Census Bureau publishes population estimates and demographic components of change, such as births, deaths, and migration through the use of the American Community Survey. 
  • Data can be sorted by characteristics such as age, sex, and race, as well as by national, state, and county location.
  • Data is released annually in 1 year and 5 year estimates.

Other Types of Surveys The U.S. Census Bureau Conducts:

  • Demographic Surveys measure income, poverty, education, health insurance coverage, housing quality, crime victimization, computer usage, and many other subjects.
  • Economic Surveys are conducted monthly, quarterly, and annually. They cover selected sectors of the nation’s economy and supplement the Economic Census with more frequent information about the dynamic economy. These surveys yield more than 400 annual economic reports, including principal economic indicators.
  • Sponsored Surveys are demographic and economic surveys conducted for other government agencies. They include the Current Population Survey, the National Health Interview Survey, and the National Survey of College Graduates.
  • The Small Business Pulse Survey provides detailed information on the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on small businesses as well as their participation in federal programs such as the Paycheck Protection Program.
  • The Household Pulse Survey asks questions about how the COVID- 19 pandemic affected education, employment, food security, health, housing, Social Security benefits, household spending, consumer spending associated with stimulus payments, intention to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, and transportation.

Contact the U.S. Census Bureau:

Customer Contact Center: 800-923-8282 or

TDD: TTY users can dial 800-877-8339 to use the Federal Relay Service.

News Media: 877-861-2010 or 301-763-3030 or pio@census.gov.

Request a free data workshop, training, or presentation:
Email the Census Bureau
Phone: 844-275-3282

Mailing Address:
Via U.S. Postal Service (USPS):
U.S. Census Bureau
4600 Silver Hill Road
Washington, DC 20233

Social Media: Connect with the U.S. Census Bureau using social media.

Follow Them: @uscensusbureau