Who We Are

One of the most basic functions of the census is to make an accurate count of the population. Equally important, however, is knowing where people live so that the proper number of representatives for each state can be determined. The Census also tells us about who makes up our population by collecting information on age, race, gender, and marital status. Both the types of and the methods for collecting data on race and ethnic origin have changed dramatically over time and reflect changes in the nation’s attitudes about race. The Census bureau also records statistics on births and deaths, incidents of disease, and levels of education.