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Census Data Resources

Census Bureau

Types of census and surveys

Types of Census

Decennial Census of Population and Housing

This is the demographic census of the United States which takes place once every 10 years as mandated by Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution. The Decennial Census determines the number of House of Representative seats assigned to States as well the redistricting of state legislative districts.

Distribution: Every 10 years

Data.Census.Gov Survey Code: DEC

Economic Census

This is the economic census of American business and their economy impact that occurs every 5 years. The census provides a basis for federal agencies to analyze and plan for spending as well as to develop economic reports.

Distribution: Every 5 years on years 2 and 7 of the decade

Data.Census.Gov Survey Code: ECN

Census of Governments

This is the census of state and local government sectors of the United State which occurs every five years. It identifies the scope and nature of the nation's state and local government sector; provides authoritative benchmark figures of public finance and public employment; classifies local government organizations, powers, and activities; and measures federal, state, and local fiscal relationships.

Distribution: Every 5 years on years 2 and 7 of the decade.

Data.Census.Gov Survey Code: PUB

Types of Surveys

In addition to the dissemination of the census, the Bureau also conducts over 130 surveys per year. Their largest surveys includes the American Community Survey which has become a supplement to the Decennial Census for demographic information and the Quarterly Service Survey which supplements the Economic Census.


Produce statistics that describe populations and their characteristics, such as age, education, housing and income.

Examples: American Community Survey (ACS)


Produce surveys that measure the pulse of the U.S. economy, businesses, and governments.

Example: Quarterly Services Survey (QSS)


Produce both demographic and economic surveys at the behest of federal agencies to inform policies.

Example: Current Population Survey for BLS