Ways the Census is Used

PoliticalRepresentation
  • Reapportioning seats in the U.S. House of Representatives.
  • Determining the number of votes each state receives in the Electoral College.

Political Redistricting
  • Drawing federal, state and local legislative districts.
  • Drawing local city council and school district boundaries.

FederalFunding
  • Distribution of over $675 billion annually in federal funds and even more in state funds.
  • Determining areas eligible for housing assistance and rehabilitation loans.

EmergencyServices
  • Estimating the number of people displaced by natural disasters.
  • Designing public safety strategies.
  • Creating maps to speed emergency services to households in need of assistance.
MedicalHealthCare
  • Planning for hospitals, nursing homes, clinics and the location of other health services.
  • Assessing the potential for the spread of communicable diseases.
  • Planning health and educational services for people with disabilities.
  • Distributing medical research.

HousingLandUse
  • Forecasting future housing needs for all segments of the population.
  • Development of rural areas.
  • Planning urban land use.

ResearchMapping
  • Facilitating scientific research.
  • Researching historical subject areas.
  • Providing genealogical research.
  • Setting a standard for creating both private and public surveys.
  • Planning and researching for news stories.
  • Developing "intelligent" maps for government and businesses.
TransportationMobility
  • Forecasting future transportation needs for all segments of the population.
  • Planning for public transportation.

SchoolsEducation
  • Planning for school facilities and programs.
  • Developing adult education programs.

EqualOpportunity
  • Establishing fair market rents and enforcing fair lending practices.
  • Enforcing the Voting Rights Act.
  • Enforcing the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

SocialAssistance
  • Directing funds for people in poverty.
  • Developing assistance programs for American Indians and Native Alaskans.
  • Directing services to children and adults with limited English-language proficiency.
  • Designing facilities for people with disabilities, the elderly and children.
BusinessEconomy
  • Attracting new businesses to state and local areas.
  • Delivering goods and services to local markets.
  • Distributing catalogs and developing mail pieces.
  • Locating factory sites and distribution centers.
  • Understanding labor supply.
  • Spotting trends in the economy.
DecisionMaking
  • Planning future government services.
  • Analyzing local trends.
  • Decision making at all levels of government.
  • Evaluation programs in different geographical areas.
  • Planning outreach strategies.
  • Planning budgets for government at all levels.