U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Skip Header

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) provides the public the right to request access to records from any federal agency. Federal agencies are required to disclose any information requested under the FOIA unless it falls under one of nine exemptions which protect interests such as personal privacy, national security, and law enforcement. The exemptions commonly used at the U.S. Census bureau include but are not limited to:

  • Internal agency rules and practices
  • Information that is prohibited from disclosure by law
  • Trade secrets and other confidential business information
  • Inter-agency or intra-agency communications that are protected by legal privileges
  • Information involving matters of personal privacy

Privacy Act

The Privacy Act establishes a code of fair information practices that governs the collection, maintenance, use, and dissemination of information about individuals that is maintained in systems of records by federal agencies. The Privacy Act: 

  • Allows individuals to request access to their own personal records.
  • Allows individuals to seek correction or amendment of federally maintained records that are inaccurate, incomplete, untimely.
  • Prohibits the disclosure of a record about an individual from a system of records without the written consent of the individual. 

Navigate the tabs below to submit a Privacy Act Request, a FOIA Request, or explore the resources available.

FOIA by the Numbers
  • Search Available Records
  • Submit a FOIA Request
  • Submit a Privacy Request
  • FOIA by the Numbers
  • FOIA and Privacy Act Videos
FOIA by the Numbers

The Census Bureau’s FOIA Office receives FOIA and Privacy Act requests year-round and the topics of the requests vary each year. The FOIA team works diligently to respond to each of the requests as they are received.

FOIA Requests Received by Fiscal Year
Type of Requests Received in FY21

The requests that are received by the Census Bureau’s FOIA office range in topics from requests for personnel records to requests for Census operations and other complex topics.

Page Last Revised - March 15, 2022
Is this page helpful?
Thumbs Up Image Yes Thumbs Down Image No
255 characters maximum 255 characters maximum reached
Thank you for your feedback.
Comments or suggestions?


Back to Header