The U.S. Constitution (Article I, Section 2) mandates a headcount every 10 years of everyone residing in the 50 states, Puerto Rico, and Island Areas of the United States. This includes people of all ages, races, ethnic groups, citizen and noncitizens. The first census was conducted in 1790 and one has been conducted every 10 years since then.

The population totals from the census determine the number of seats each state has in the House of Representatives. States also use the totals to redraw legislative districts. The next census occurs in 2020.

The U.S. Census Bureau must submit state population totals to the President of the United States by December 31, 2020.

The population totals also affect funding in our community and data collected in the census help decision makers know how our community is changing. More than $675 billion in federal funding flows back to states and local communities each year based on census data. That money is spent on schools, hospitals, roads, public works and other vital programs.

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