What We Do

Our Mission

The Census Bureau's mission is to serve as the leading source of quality data about the nation's people and economy. We honor privacy, protect confidentiality, share our expertise globally, and conduct our work openly.

We are guided on this mission by scientific objectivity, our strong and capable workforce, our devotion to research-based innovation, and our abiding commitment to our customers.

Our Authority

The Census Bureau operates under Title 13 and Title 26 of the U.S. Code.

Our Goal

Our goal is to provide the best mix of timeliness, relevancy, quality and cost for the data we collect and services we provide.

What Data We Collect & When







How Our Data Are Used

To determine the distribution of Congressional seats to states.
  • Mandated by the U.S. Constitution
  • Used to apportion seats in the U.S. House of Representatives
  • Used to define legislature districts, school district assignment areas and other important functional areas of government

Find out about the 2010 Census Redistricting Data Program

To make planning decisions about community services, such as where to:
  • Provide services for the elderly
  • Build new roads and schools
  • Locate job training centers
To distribute more than $400 billion in federal funds to local, state and tribal governments each year.

Census data informs how states and communities allocate funding for:

  • Neighborhood improvements
  • Public health
  • Education
  • Transportation
  • Much more
To provide Age Search information for:
  • Qualifying for Social Security and other retirement benefits
  • Passport applications
  • Proving relationship in settling estates
  • Researching family history or a historical topic

Other Activities