Decennial Census 2000

Every ten years, the Census Bureau conducts a constitutionally-mandated national household survey to count every resident in the United States. The federal government uses Decennial Census data for apportioning congressional seats, for identifying distressed areas, and for many other activities. Census data was collected using two survey forms: the short form and the long form. Short form information is collected on every person and includes basic characteristics, such as age, sex, and race. The long form was sent to one out of every six households and collects more detailed information, such as income, housing characteristics, and employment. (The American Community Survey has since replaced the Long Form data.) Most of the indicators in the summary file are from the long form, and are thus estimates based on the sample of households. These values may differ considerably from the same indicators based on the Short Form data, particularly for small areas. For more information, visit the Census web site at