All About the U.S. Census Bureau
The United States Census Bureau is an official governmental agency that serves a sector of the nation's Department of Commerce. The Census Bureau is most commonly known for its national demographic data gathering efforts; however, on a more comprehensive scale, the U.S. Census Bureau is responsible for providing individuals with the most accurate and large-scale data pertaining to American citizens and the economy.
At the core of its duties are the three primary focuses of the Census Bureau, which involve monitoring and gathering statistics pertaining to the country, the citizens, and the economy.
The Census Bureau and National Economic Data
Once every ten years, the Census Bureau sends out a census form to all individuals living in the United States. As the United States' Constitution declares that all citizens be counted once every decade, the Census Bureau aims to accurately determine the number of individuals living in the country. With the data and reports from these efforts, the Census Bureau is able to determine the number of representatives each state is entitled to hold in the House of Representatives. Furthermore, the population of each state serves to identify the number of votes in the Electoral College.
Since the “official” census count only occurs once per decade, the Census Bureau aims to estimate the general population of each state in the years between each national count. To do this, the Bureau engages in population projections and informed approximations.
Objectives of the Census Bureau
The Bureau is further responsible for providing key information that helps determine federal funding assistance for each state. With approximately $300 billion in annual funding for state and federal programs, various regions in the country are able to utilize allocated funds for an array of services:
- Community / public safety
- Improvements in communities / neighborhoods
Furthermore, the population count for each state also helps leaders determine information and data pertaining to topics such as:
- Number of public facilities to be created for equitable service for citizens (such as schools, police stations, and so forth)
- Determination of necessary structural changes to a community / state, including transportation, roadway, and housing developments
- Sociologically and economically gain a more accurate picture of the nation's demographics in communities across the country
- Establish locations for localized elections and public-access venues
History of the Census Bureau
The Census Bureau has been the nation's official agency for census data since 1903. The Census Bureau is lead by a Deputy Director, as well as a team of associate directors, also known as the Executive Staff. Currently, as of 2009, President Barack Obama appointed Robert M. Groves as the leader of the Census Bureau.
Located in Suitland, Maryland, the Census Bureau headquarters employs more than 4,000 workers. The Bureau also has regional offices located in various cities across the country.