Your responses are strictly confidential and protected by law. All Bureau employees have sworn for life to protect confidentiality. Anyone violating this oath is subject to severe penalties including a federal prison sentence of up to five years, a fine of up to $250,000 or both. Private information (names, addresses, social security numbers, employer identification numbers or telephone numbers) will never be disclosed or published.

It's required by law. Information from our communities is aggregated locally and across the country to provide summary statistical data used in local, state, and federal agencies.

Census directly affects how more than $300 billion per year in federal and state funding is allocated to communities for neighborhood improvements, public health, education, transportation and more. That's more than $3 trillion over a 10-year period. Filling out this information helps to ensure our communities get a fair share of the federal and state funds.

Census affects your voice in Congress. Mandated by the U.S. Constitution, the census is also used to apportion seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and to redistrict state legislatures.

Census affects your representation in state and local government. Census data are used to define legislature districts, school district assignment areas and other important functional areas of government.

Census informs your community's decisions. The census is like a snapshot that helps define who we are as a nation. Data about changes in your community are crucial to many planning decisions, such as where to provide services for the elderly, where to build new roads and schools, or where to locate job training centers.

United States Census 2010