What is Census 2010?

The U.S. Census counts every resident in the United States, and is required by the Constitution to take place every 10 years. The population count will be used to distribute $400 billion in federal aid each year for things like health care, roads and education. It is also used to determine the number of seats each state receives in the House of Representatives.

How does it work?

In March of 2010, census forms will be delivered to every residence in the United States and Puerto Rico. When you receive yours, just answer the 10 short questions and then mail the form back in the postage-paid envelope provided. If you don't mail the form back, you may receive a visit from a census taker who will ask you the questions from the form.

The majority of the country will receive English–only materials. Households in areas with high concentrations of Spanish-speaking residents may receive a bilingual (English/Spanish) form.

When is it?

The questions ask you to provide information that is accurate for your households as of April 1, 2010.

The Census Bureau must count everyone and submit state population totals to the U.S. President by December 31, 2010. The first Census was conducted in 1790 and has been carried out every 10 years since then.

How will the census reach South Carolina?

Federal census officials are working around the state to raise awareness about the upcoming count and to explain how it works. This includes forming partnerships with government, civic and volunteer organizations who agree to help educate the community about the importance of Census 2010. The regional census office in Charlotte oversees eight local census offices in South Carolina.

What is South Carolina doing to get ready for the census?

Each of the 50 states wants to ensure the best possible count during the 2010 Census. In South Carolina, the Budget and Control Board’s Office of Research and Statistics has been working for several years to improve the 2010 count. This includes assisting local governments in reporting accurate address information to the federal government in advance of the mailing of forms in March 2010. The office is also coordinating a campaign to increase public awareness of the census, especially among hard-to-count populations.