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What We Do

Our Mission

The Census Bureau's mission is to serve as the nation’s leading provider of quality data about its people and economy.

Our Authority

The Census Bureau operates under Title 13 and Title 26 of the U.S. Code.

Our Goal

Our goal is to provide the best mix of timeliness, relevancy, quality and cost for the data we collect and services we provide.

At a Glance

What Data We Collect & When

How Our Data Are Used

To determine the distribution of Congressional seats to states

  • Mandated by the U.S. Constitution
  • Used to apportion seats in the U.S. House of Representatives
  • Used to define legislature districts, school district assignment areas and other important functional areas of government

Find out about the 2020 Census Redistricting Data Program

To make planning decisions about community services

Such as where to:

  • Provide services for the elderly
  • Build new roads and schools
  • Locate job training centers

To inform how trillions of dollars in federal funds are distributed to local, state and tribal governments each year

Census data informs how states and communities allocate funding for:

  • Neighborhood improvements
  • Public health
  • Education
  • Transportation
  • Much more

To learn more, read the report Uses of Decennial Census Programs Data in Federal Funds Distribution: Fiscal Year 2021.

To provide Age Search  information

The Age Search service provides information for:

  • Qualifying for Social Security and other retirement benefits
  • Passport applications
  • Proving relationship in settling estates
  • Researching family history or a historical topic

Other Activities

Modernizing Federal Statistics at the U.S. Census Bureau
Learn how we are leveraging 21st century technology and data science to transform our nation’s statistical infrastructure.

Advancing Equity with Data
The Census Bureau is committed to producing data that depict an accurate portrait of America, including its underserved communities.

Combining Data
The Census Bureau reuses data from other agencies to cut the cost of data collection and to reduce the burden on people who respond to our censuses and surveys.

Evidence-Based Decision-Making at the Census Bureau
Learn how we support evidence-building across government, how we measure the effectiveness of our own work, and how we’re implementing the Evidence Act.

Data Linkage Infrastructure
Our Data Linkage Infrastructure is transforming data discovery and fueling innovative research.

International Programs Center
The U.S. Census Bureau conducts demographic, economic, & geographic studies of other countries & strengthens statistical development around the world.

Respond to Requests
This is our Frequently Asked Questions site. Start here to check if your question has already been answered.

Research to Improve Data on Race and Ethnicity
Learn more about Census Bureau's ongoing history of conducting research to improve questions and data on race and ethnicity.

What Are Synthetic Data?
Synthetic Data means combining data, often from multiple sources, to produce estimates for more granular populations than any one source can support.

Page Last Revised - August 2, 2023
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