STATSCapeCod

Decennial Census

The United States Constitution requires a census every 10 years to determine how many seats each state will have in the U.S. House of Representatives.  But community leaders use the census for everything from planning schools and building roads to providing recreational opportunities and managing health care services. The short form asks seven questions: name, sex, age, relationship, Hispanic origin, race, and housing tenure (whether the home is owned or rented) and takes approximately 10 minutes to complete.  About 83 percent of households receive the short form. The long form covers about 34 subjects, including education, ancestry, employment, disability, and home heating fuel.  Only one in six households receive the long form which takes about 38 minutes to complete.

http://www.census.gov/history/www/programs/demographic/decennial_census.html