U.S. Department of Commerce

Data Protection and Privacy Policy

Meeting America's Data Needs

High Quality Relevant Statistics

The questions we ask meet specific data needs in our country. The information is only used for one purpose: to produce high quality, relevant statistics that are important to every community in the United States. These statistics are used in both government and the private sector to improve the economic and social health of our communities.

Your responses are important to ensuring the completeness and accuracy of the statistics we produce. Statistics from these surveys inform policies, determine priorities, and perhaps most importantly, measure the results of government programs.

In short, your information helps government agencies answer important questions, such as:

  • Are government policies creating new jobs?
  • Are government policies strengthening the economy?
  • Are more children going to school and obtaining their degrees?
  • Is there less crime now than before?

The questions for every survey the Census Bureau conducts are carefully developed with input from those who need our data. Each question on every survey is specifically designed to meet a statistical need. Examples include:

Questions about...are used to...
what you buy and your household finances understand the economy and provide input to cost of living measures
the location of your employer, how you travel to work calculate average commuting times and determine if local areas need new roads or new public transportation routes
your age and if you served in the military helps the Veterans Administration to provide services such as veterans hospitals

Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Privacy Office | Last Revised: September 27, 2012