The Census

Updated February 21, 2017 | Factmonster Staff

Every 10 years, the U.S. Bureau of the Census, an agency of the government, counts how many people live in the United States and asks them questions about their lifestyle, families, jobs, income, age, ethnicity, childcare and other topics. In addition to determining the population of the country, the government uses the information to outline voting districts in each state and to decide how many state and U.S. representatives each state needs. The statistics also help the federal government plan for employment services, highways, parks, health care, services for veterans and other programs. The state governments use the information to plan for schools, hospitals, services for the elderly and roads.

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