We ask questions about whether a person moved in the last year and where he or she lived 1 year ago to create statistics about where people are moving (to/from places within the United States and from foreign countries).
Migration (residence 1 year ago) data are used in planning government programs and adjusting other important geographic data as people move. The characteristics of people who have moved are also an important part of estimating population changes. These population estimates are used in funding decisions, to ensure surveys are accurate, to understand change in other data, and to produce official international migration estimates.
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 one question about where a person lived 1 year ago to better understand if and where people are moving.
The results from this question are compiled to provide communities with important statistics to understand change. You can see some of these published statistics here for the nation, states, and your community.
Information on the characteristics of people who have moved and the patterns of migration (where people move to and from) is an important part of estimating population changes. Population estimates are used in funding decisions, to ensure surveys are accurate, to understand change in other data, and to produce international migration estimates. These data also help agencies assess residential stability and the effects of migration on urban and rural areas.
Information on where certain populations move to and from helps federal agencies assess the needs of counties with large refugee populations and the effects of immigration on local areas.
Information on the characteristics of people who live or have lived in certain areas is important to understand the relationships among different development patterns, including housing and travel information, public health, and pollution. State and local agencies use these statistics to develop programs that attract new residents or employers.
The residence 1 year ago/migration question originated with the 1930 Census. It was transferred to the ACS in 2005 when it replaced the decennial census long form.