The U.S. Constitution (Article I, Section 2) mandates a headcount every 10 years of everyone residing in the 50 states, Puerto Rico, and the Island Areas of the United States. This includes people of all ages, races, ethnic groups, citizens, and noncitizens. The first census was conducted in 1790 and one has been conducted every 10 years since then.
The population totals from the census determine the number of seats each state has in the House of Representatives. States also use the totals to redraw their legislative and school districts. The next census occurs in 2020.
The U.S. Census Bureau must submit state population totals to the President of the United States by December 31, 2020. The population totals also affect funding in your community, and data collected in the census help decision makers know how your community is changing. Approximately $675 billion in federal funding is distributed to communities each year.
Listen to FYI Stillwater podcast about the 2020 Census.