U.S. Department of Commerce

Are You In a Survey?

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Am I required to participate in this household survey?

The Census Bureau will always tell you why your responses to this census or survey are important, and why you should participate, as well as whether your participation is mandatory or voluntary.

The information you provide is combined with responses provided by your neighbors and other households across the country, to provide summary statistical data that are used by various local, state, and federal agencies.

The questions for every census and survey the Census Bureau conducts are carefully developed with input from other federal agencies and stakeholders who need the statistics we produce. 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 and how you travel to work calculate average commuting times and to determine if local areas need new roads or new public transportation routes
your age and if you served in the military help the Veterans Administration to provide services such as veterans hospitals

Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Systems Support Division | Last Revised: September 26, 2013