Frequently Asked Questions
1. Q. Who should fill out the census questionnaire?
A. The individual in whose name the housing unit is owned
or rented should complete the questionnaire on behalf of
every person living in the residence, including relatives and
2. Q. How will the 2010 Census differ from previous censuses?
A. In 2010, every residence will receive a short questionnaire
of just 10 questions. More detailed socioeconomic information
previously collected through the decennial census will be asked
of a small percentage of the population through the annual
American Community Survey. To learn more about the American
Community Survey, visit www.census.gov.
3. Q. How are census data used?
A. Census data determine the number of seats each state will
have in the U.S. House of Representatives. Census data also can
help determine the allocation of federal funds for community services, such as school lunch programs and senior citizen
centers, and new construction, such as highways and hospitals.
4. Q. What kind of assistance is available to help people
complete the questionnaire?
A. 2010 Census questionnaire language assistance guides are
available in a variety of languages. Questionnaire Assistance
Centers (QAC) will also assist those unable to read or understand
the questionnaire. Large-print questionnaires are available to
the visually impaired upon request, and a Teletext Device for
the Deaf (TDD) program will help the hearing impaired. Contact
your Regional Census Center for more details about the types of
assistance available and for QAC locations.
5. Q. How does the Census Bureau count people without a
A. Census Bureau workers undertake extensive operations
to take in-person counts of people living in group quarters,
such as college dormitories, military barracks, nursing homes
and shelters, as well as those who have been displaced by
2010 Census Key Dates
February – March 2010
Census questionnaires are mailed or delivered to households.
March – April 2010 Be Counted program is implemented. Census
questionnaires are available at select public sites for individuals who did not receive one by mail.
April 1, 2010
May – July 2010
Census takers visit households that did not return a questionnaire by mail.
Dec. 31, 2010
By law, the Census Bureau delivers population counts to the President.
By law, the Census Bureau completes delivery of redistricting data to states.