The primary purpose of the census is for the government to correctly be able to give each state the correct number of House of Representative members. Members are reapportioned every ten years based on total population and population proportion. The census is also used to help determine apportionment for federal funding for social and economic programs.
The U.S. Census has been conducted every 10 years since 1790. It is required by the Constitution to determine how many members each state sends to the House of Representatives. While Congress always has two representatives from each state, regardless of population size, the House is required to be proportional to the results of the Census. In addition, the U.S. Census is used to determine social and health statistics for the nation, the distribution for federal funding for educational and federal activities and programs, and economic statistics used to guide our economic policy.
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