It is a survey given the U.S. Census Bureau, a nonpartisan government agency, every 10 years. The census is required by the Constitution of the United States. It is very important that you respond to the census, because census data is used to determine how Illinois is represented in Congress and who gets grants and other from the federal and state government. $675 billion is distributed annually for schools, roads and other public services. Demographic data is used by businesses to determine, for example, where to build new supermarkets. Emergency responders use the data to find injured people after natural disasters.
The census counts people in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and five U.S. territories (Puerto Rico, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands). Each household will receive an invitation to respond to a short questionnaire—online, by phone, or by mail. This will mark the first time that you will be able to respond to the census online.