The 2010 Census - What You Need to Know

March 16, 2010

The US Census Bureau has sent out mailers alerting individuals and families that the 2010 census is on the way and aired a number of television advertisements. This week, the bureau will begin mailing the 10-question form in an effort to count every person living in America, one by one. It's critical that the population count be as accurate as possible so that state and federal funds can be distributed appropriately.

Learn more about the 2010 Census here.

The Census is Important to People with Disabilities

Accurate representation and funding is especially important to people with disabilities because these individuals rely on many government, community and social service programs. Research shows that people with disabilities are motivated by knowing that completing their census form can improve special services and the quality of life in their communities.                                        

Of interest to people with disabilities, an accurate census count helps to determine:

  • Distribution of funds for medical facilities.
  • Planning and construction of facilities for people with disabilities.
  • Transportation services and needs.
  • Community-based health care initiatives and programs.

Census Assistance Centers

Questionnaire Assistance Centers (QAC) will be available to assist those unable to read or understand the census form. For those with visual impairments, Language Assistance Guides will be available in large print and Braille. Deaf and hard-of-hearing persons who do not have access to Video Relay Service (VRS) can call 1-866-783-2010 via FedRelay, a free and confidential federal government communications service. In addition to these options, Language Assistance Guides also will be available in 59 languages at all QAC locations.

Census Facts... Did You Know?

  • By law, everyone in the United States, both citizens and noncitizens, must be counted every 10 years.
  • Census data directly affect how more than $400 billion per year in federal funding is distributed to state, local and tribal governments.  
  • Census data determine how many seats each state will have in the U.S. House of Representatives.
  • Community planners and local governments rely on census data to make the case for providing critical social services and funding community programs that affect quality of life for people in our community. Census data help guide local planning decisions, including where to provide additional social services and community facilities.
  • Accurate representation and funding is especially important to people with disabilities because these individuals may rely on certain government, community and social service programs. Without a complete count, vital community services such as health care, transportation and other assistance programs may not be adequate.

The 2010 Census is easy, important and safe, and your participation is vital.

  • It's easy: With only 10 questions, the form takes approximately 10 minutes to complete.
  • It's important: Census information helps determine locations for schools, roads, hospitals, senior centers and more.
  • It's safe: By law, the Census Bureau cannot share respondents' answers with anyone, including other federal agencies and law enforcement entities. All Census Bureau employees take an oath of nondisclosure and are sworn for life to protect the confidentiality of the data. The penalty for unlawful disclosure is a fine of up to $250,000 or imprisonment of up to five years, or both.


  • Census forms will be delivered or mailed to households in March 2010. Every household in the United States should complete their census form upon receipt. Census workers will visit households that do not return the forms to take a count in person and can be identified by a census badge and bag.

Learn More

For more information, visit