Stand Up and Be Counted

New in the Zoo
January 7, 2020

Photo by Jamie Pham

The people who created the U.S. Constitution chose population to be the basis for sharing political power—not wealth or land. For this reason, the federal government conducts an extensive United States census every 10 years. This is an effort to count the entire population of the country at the location where each person usually lives in homes and group living situations. The questions include how many people live or stay in each home as well as the sex, age, and race of each person. The goal is to count everyone once, only once, and in the right place.

The census is important because the allocation of federal funds, grants, and support to communities is based on population totals and breakdowns by sex, age, race, and other factors. When you respond to the census, you are helping to ensure that your community receives its fair share of more than $675 billion in federal funding that is spent on schools, hospitals, roads, public works, and other vital programs.

Local governments use the census for public safety and emergency preparedness. Additionally, businesses use census data to decide where to build factories, offices, and stores—this creates jobs. Developers use the data to choose locations for new homes and select neighborhoods for revitalization. You can use census data to support community initiatives that determine legislation and quality-of-life in your community.

Participate in the U.S. Census and be part of the big picture! Learn More >