We ask questions about the use and cost of common utilities, any applicable condominium and mobile home fees, taxes, insurance, mortgages and home loans to produce statistics about selected monthly owner costs.
Federal agencies use these data to analyze whether adequate housing is affordable for residents and to provide and fund housing assistance programs. These statistics also help enforce laws, regulations, and policies against discrimination in government programs and in society.
We use your confidential survey answers to create statistics like those in the results below and in the full tables that contain all the data—no one is able to figure out your survey answers from the statistics we produce. The Census Bureau is legally bound to strict confidentiality requirements. Individual records are not shared with anyone, including federal agencies and law enforcement entities. By law, the Census Bureau cannot share respondents' answers with anyone—not the IRS, not the FBI, not the CIA, and not with any other government agency.
We ask seven questions that cover the cost of utilities, condominium fees, taxes, insurance, mortgages, and home loans to create a profile of a community's housing costs.
We compile the results from these questions to provide communities with important statistics to provide adequate housing, plan community development, and ensure equal opportunity. You can see some of these published statistics here for the nation, states, and your community.
We ask about housing costs and household income (the combined income of everyone in the household) to help communities understand whether housing is affordable for residents. When housing is not sufficient or not affordable, housing cost data can help communities:
Knowing how housing costs change over time can help communities:
We ask about the housing costs of people who own homes in the community in combination with age, gender, race, Hispanic origin, disability status, and other data about the household residents, to help the government and communities enforce laws, such as the 1968 Fair Housing Act, designed to eliminate discrimination in housing.
Cost of utilities, taxes, and mortgage costs originated with the 1940 Census, insurance costs originated with the 1980 Census, while condominium and mobile homes fees originated with the 1990 Census. They transferred to the ACS in 2005 when it replaced the decennial census long form.