2010 United States census
of the United States
|Total population||308,745,538 ( 9.7%)|
|Most populous ||California (37,253,956)|
|Least populous ||Wyoming (563,826)|
The United States census of 2010 was the twenty-third United States national census. National Census Day, the reference day used for the census, was April 1, 2010.  The census was taken via mail-in citizen self-reporting, with enumerators serving to spot-check randomly selected neighborhoods and communities. As part of a drive to increase the count's accuracy, 635,000 temporary enumerators were hired.   The population of the United States was counted as 308,745,538,  a 9.7% increase from the 2000 census. This was the first census in which all states recorded a population of over half a million people as well as the first in which all 100 largest cities recorded populations of over 200,000.
As required by the United States Constitution, the U.S. census has been conducted every 10 years since 1790. The 2000 U.S. census was the previous census completed. Participation in the U.S. census is required by law of persons living in the United States in Title 13 of the United States Code. 
On January 25, 2010, Census Bureau Director Robert Groves personally inaugurated the 2010 census enumeration by counting World War II veteran Clifton Jackson, a resident of Noorvik, Alaska.  More than 120 million census forms were delivered by the U.S. Post Office beginning March 15, 2010.  The number of forms mailed out or hand-delivered by the Census Bureau was approximately 134 million on April 1, 2010.  Although the questionnaire used April 1, 2010 as the reference date as to where a person was living, an insert dated March 15, 2010 included the following printed in bold type: "Please complete and mail back the enclosed census form today."
The 2010 census national mail participation rate was 74%.  From April through July 2010, census takers visited households that did not return a form, an operation called "non-response follow-up" (NRFU).
The Census Bureau did not use a long form for the 2010 census.  In several previous censuses, one in six households received this long form, which asked for detailed social and economic information. The 2010 census used only a short form asking ten basic questions: 
- How many people were living or staying in this house, apartment, or mobile home on April 1, 2010?
- Were there any additional people staying here on April 1, 2010 that you did not include in Question 1? Mark all that apply: (checkboxes for: children; relatives; non-relatives; people staying temporarily; none)
- Is this house, apartment, or mobile home – [Checkboxes for owned with a mortgage, owned free and clear, rented, occupied without rent.]
- What is your telephone number?
- What is Person 1's name? (last, first)
- What is Person 1's sex? (male, female)
- What is Person 1's age and Person 1's date of birth?
- Is Person 1 of Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin? (checkboxes for: "No", and several for "Yes" which specify groups of countries)
- What is Person 1's race? (checkboxes for 14 including "other". One possibility was "Black, African Am., or Negro")
- Does Person 1 sometimes live or stay somewhere else? (checkboxes for "No", and several locations for "Yes")
The form included space to repeat some or all of these questions for up to twelve residents total.
Detailed socioeconomic information collected during past censuses will continue to be collected through the American Community Survey.  The survey provides data about communities in the United States on a 1-year or 3-year cycle, depending on the size of the community, rather than once every 10 years. A small percentage of the population on a rotating basis will receive the survey each year, and no household will receive it more than once every five years. 
In June 2009, the U.S. Census Bureau announced that it would count same-sex married couples. However, the final form did not contain a separate "same-sex married couple" option. When noting the relationship between household members, same-sex couples who are married could mark their spouses as being "Husband or wife", the same response given by opposite-sex married couples. An "unmarried partner" option was available for couples (whether same-sex or opposite-sex) who were not married. 
The 2010 census cost $13 billion, approximately $42 per capita; by comparison, the 2010 census per-capita cost for China was about US$1 and for India was US$0.40.  Operational costs were $5.4 billion, significantly under the $7 billion budget.  In December 2010 the Government Accountability Office (GAO) noted that the cost of conducting the census has approximately doubled each decade since 1970.  In a detailed 2004 report to Congress, the GAO called on the Census Bureau to address cost and design issues, and at that time, had estimated the 2010 census cost to be $11 billion. 
- $650 million was saved in the budget for the door-to-door questioning (NRFU) phase because 72% of households returned mailed questionnaires;
- $150 million was saved because of lower-than-planned costs in areas including Alaska and tribal lands; and
- the $800 million emergency fund was not needed.
Locke credited the management practices of Census Bureau director Robert Groves, citing in particular the decision to buy additional advertising in locations where responses lagged, which improved the overall response rate. The agency also has begun to rely more on questioning neighbors or other reliable third parties when a person could not be immediately reached at home, which reduced the cost of follow-up visits. Census data for about 22% of U.S. households that did not reply by mail were based on such outside interviews, Groves said. 
In 2005, Lockheed Martin won a six-year, $500 million contract to capture and standardize data for the census. The contract included systems, facilities, and staffing.  The final value of that contract was in excess of one billion dollars.  Information technology was about a quarter of the projected $11.3 billion cost of the decennial census.  The use of high-speed document scanning technology, such as ImageTrac scanners developed by IBML, helped Lockheed Martin complete the project on schedule and under budget. 
This was the first census to use hand-held computing devices with GPS capability, although they were only used for the address canvassing operation. Enumerators (information gatherers) that had operational problems with the device understandably made negative reports. During the 2009 Senate confirmation hearings for Robert Groves, President Obama's Census Director appointee, there was much mention of contracting problems but very little criticism of the units themselves.  In rural areas there was a problem with transmission of data to and from the HHC. Since the units were updated nightly with important changes and reprogramming, operator implementation of proper procedure was imperative. Dramatic dysfunction and delays were caused if the units were not put into sleep mode overnight. The Census Bureau chose to conduct the primary operation, Non-Response Follow Up (NRFU), without using the handheld computing devices.  
Due to allegations surrounding previous censuses that poor people and non-whites are routinely undercounted, for the 2010 census, the Census Bureau tried to avoid that bias by enlisting tens of thousands of intermediaries, such as churches, charities and firms, to explain to people the importance of being counted. 
The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) was given a contract to help publicize the importance of the census count and to encourage individuals to fill out their forms. In September 2009, after controversial undercover videos showing four ACORN staffers giving tax advice to a man and a woman posing as a prostitute, the bureau canceled ACORN's contract.  Various American celebrities, including Demi Lovato and Eva Longoria,  were used in public service announcements targeting younger people to fill out census forms. Wilmer Valderrama and Rosario Dawson have helped spread census awareness among young Hispanics, a historically low participating ethnicity in the U.S. census.  Rapper Ludacris also participated in efforts to spread awareness of the 2010 census. 
The Census Bureau hired about 635,000 people to find those U.S. residents who had not returned their forms by mail; as of May 28, 2010, 113 census workers had been victims of crime while conducting the census. [ needs update] As of June 29, there were 436 incidents involving assaults or threats against enumerators, more than double the 181 incidents in 2000; one enumerator, attempting to hand-deliver the census forms to a Hawaii County police officer, was arrested for trespassing – the officer's fellow policemen made the arrest. 
Some political conservatives and libertarians questioned the validity of the questions and even encouraged people to refuse to answer questions for privacy and constitutional reasons.  Michele Bachmann, a former conservative Republican Representative from Minnesota, stated that she would not fill out her census form other than to indicate the number of people living in her household because "the Constitution doesn't require any information beyond that."  Former Republican representative and Libertarian presidential candidate Bob Barr stated that the census has become too intrusive, going beyond the mere enumeration (i.e., count) intended by the framers of the U.S. Constitution.  According to political commentator Juan Williams, "Census participation rates have been declining since 1970, and if conservatives don't participate, doubts about its accuracy and credibility may become fatal." 
As a result, the Census Bureau undertook an unprecedented advertising campaign targeted at encouraging white political conservatives to fill out their forms, in the hope of avoiding an undercount of this group. The 2010 U.S. census was the primary sponsor at NASCAR races in Atlanta, Bristol, and Martinsville, and sponsored the No. 16 Ford Fusion driven by Greg Biffle for part of the season, because of a marketing survey that indicated most NASCAR fans lean politically conservative.  It also ran an advertisement during the 2010 Super Bowl, and hired singer Marie Osmond, who is thought to have many conservative fans, to publicize the census. 
The results of the 2010 census determined the number of seats that each state received in the United States House of Representatives starting with the 2012 elections. Consequently, this affected the number of votes each state had in the Electoral College for the 2012 presidential election.
Because of population changes, eighteen states had changes in their number of seats. Eight states gained at least one seat, and ten states lost at least one seat. The final result involved 12 seats being switched. 
|Gained four seats||Gained two seats||Gained one seat||Lost one seat||Lost two seats|
Some objected to the counting of persons who are in the United States illegally.   Senators David Vitter (R-LA) and Bob Bennett (R-UT) tried unsuccessfully to add questions on immigration status to the census form. 
Organizations such as the Prison Policy Initiative argued that the census counts of incarcerated men and women as residents of prisons, rather than of their pre-incarceration addresses, skewed political clout and resulted in misleading demographic and population data. 
The term " Negro" was used in the questionnaire as one of the options for African Americans (Question 9. What is Person (number)'s race? ... Black, African Am., or Negro) as a choice to describe one's race. Census Bureau spokesman Jack Martin explained that "many older African-Americans identified themselves that way, and many still do. Those who identify themselves as Negroes need to be included."   The word was also used in the 2000 census, with over 56,000 people identifying themselves as "Negro". 
The 2010 census contained ten questions about age, gender, ethnicity, home ownership, and household relationships. Six of the ten questions were to be answered for each individual in the household. Federal law has provisions for fining those who refuse to complete the census form. 
Detroit Mayor Dave Bing held a press conference on March 22, 2011, to announce that the city would challenge its census results.  The challenge, being led by the city's planning department, cited an inconsistency as an example showing a downtown census tract which lost only 60 housing units, but 1,400 people, implying that a downtown jail or dormitory was missed in canvassing. 
NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg held a conference on March 27, 2011, to announce that the city would also challenge his city's census results, specifically the apparent undercounting in the boroughs of Queens and Brooklyn.  Bloomberg said that the numbers for Queens and Brooklyn, the two most populous boroughs, are implausible.  According to the census, they grew by only 0.1% and 1.6%, respectively, while the other boroughs grew by between 3% and 5%. He also stated that the census showed improbably high numbers of vacant housing in vital neighborhoods such as Jackson Heights, Queens.
The District of Columbia announced in August 2011 that it would also challenge its census results. The Mayor's Office claimed that the detailed information provided for 549 census blocks is "nonsensical", listing examples of census data that show housing units located in the middle of a street that does not actually exist. However, officials do not believe the city's total population will drastically change as a result of the challenge. 
The state with the highest percentage rate of growth was Nevada, while the state with the largest population increase was Texas.  Michigan, the 8th largest by population, was the only state to lose population (although Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory, lost population as well), and the District of Columbia saw its first gain since the 1950s.  Note that the resident populations listed below do not include people living overseas. For Congressional apportionment, the sum of a state's resident population and its population of military personnel and federal contractors living overseas (but not other citizens overseas, such as missionaries or expatriate workers) is used. 
|Rank||State||Population as of
|Population as of
2010 census 
|—||District of Columbia||572,059||601,723||29,664||5.2%|
These are core metropolitan rankings versus combined statistical areas. For full list with current data, go to metropolitan statistics.
(per square mile)
|1||New York||New York||8,175,133||302.6||27,016.3||Northeast|
|24||Washington||District of Columbia||601,723||61.0||9,864.3||Northeast|
|46||San Juan||Puerto Rico||395,326||47.9||8,253.1|
|76||Jersey City||New Jersey||247,597||14.8||16,729.5||Northeast|
|94||North Las Vegas||Nevada||216,961||101.3||2,141.8||West|
- "Interactive Timeline". About the 2010 Census. U.S. Census Bureau. 2011. Archived from the original on December 20, 2010. Retrieved June 17, 2010.
"Census worker taken to court for trespassing". New York Post. Associated Press. July 5, 2010.
Archived from the original on January 7, 2017. Retrieved January 6, 2017.
The resident continued to refuse to take the Census, and [census worker Russell] Haas said he waited outside a chain-link fence while the resident called his co-workers at the Hawai‘i County Police Department. When police arrived, instead of asking the resident to accept the forms as required by federal law, the officers crumpled the papers into Haas' chest and handcuffed him, Haas said....Haas said he told officers that it was his duty to leave the Census forms with the resident, and that he would leave as soon as he did it. The officers were enforcing state law and had not been trained on the federal Census law, Hawaii County Police Maj. Sam Thomas said.
- "US Census Takers Attacked on the Job". National Ledger. May 28, 2010. Archived from the original on May 31, 2010. Retrieved May 30, 2010.
- "U.S. Census Bureau Announces 2010 Census Population Counts – Apportionment Counts Delivered to President" (Press release). United States Census Bureau. December 21, 2010. Archived from the original on December 24, 2010. Retrieved January 9, 2011.
- Selby, W. Gardner. "Americans must answer U.S. Census Bureau survey by law, though agency has not prosecuted since 1970" (January 9, 2014). politifact.com. Archived from the original on January 7, 2017. Retrieved January 6, 2017.
- D'oro, Rachel (January 25, 2010). "Remote Alaska village is first eyed in census". The Denver Post. Noorvik, Alaska. Associated Press. Archived from the original on January 7, 2017. Retrieved January 6, 2017.
- "2010 Census forms arrive, kicking off once-a-decade head count". NJ.com. March 15, 2010. Archived from the original on May 24, 2017. Retrieved January 6, 2017.
- "Stand up and be counted". The Economist. March 31, 2010. Archived from the original on May 25, 2017. Retrieved January 6, 2017.
- "Take 10 Map 2010 Census Participation Census Bureau". Archived from the original on August 20, 2010. Retrieved August 10, 2010.
- PIO, US Census Bureau, Census History Staff. "The "72-Year Rule" – History – U.S. Census Bureau". www.census.gov. Archived from the original on April 16, 2019. Retrieved October 26, 2015.
- "Frequently Asked Questions" (PDF). 2010 Census. U.S. Census Bureau. May 10, 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 14, 2011. Retrieved June 17, 2011.
- Castro, Daniel (February 2008). "e-Census Unplugged: Why Americans Should Be Able to Complete the Census Online" (PDF). Washington, D.C.: Information Technology & Innovation Foundation. Archived (PDF) from the original on July 4, 2010. Retrieved March 29, 2010.
- "Chapter 4: Sample Design and Selection" (PDF). ACS Design and Methodology. U.S. Census Bureau. December 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 20, 2011. Retrieved June 17, 2011.
- "LGBT Fact Sheet" (PDF). 2010.census.gov. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 28, 2010. Retrieved October 12, 2017.
- "Censuses: Costing the count". The Economist. June 2, 2011. Archived from the original on June 10, 2011. Retrieved June 17, 2011.
- "Census Bureau comes in under budget for 2010 operational costs". CNN. August 10, 2010. Archived from the original on November 9, 2012. Retrieved August 10, 2010.
"2010 Census: Cost and Design Issues Need to Be Addressed Soon (GAO-04-37)" (PDF) (GAO-04-37). Washington, D.C.: U.S. General Accounting Office. January 15, 2004.
Archived from the original on January 7, 2010. Retrieved December 27, 2009. Cite journal requires
- Mosquera, Mary (October 3, 2005). [harps://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/10/02/AR2005100201032.html "Lockheed Gets Census Job"]. The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved September 28, 2015.
- 2010 CENSUS PLANNING MEMORANDA SERIES No 195 (PDF) (Report). May 22, 2012. Archived (PDF) from the original on January 24, 2016. Retrieved February 10, 2016.
- Sternstein, Aliya (June 13, 2005). "Preparing for a decennial task". Federal Computer Week. Falls Church, Virginia: 1105 Media. Archived from the original on October 3, 2011. Retrieved December 27, 2009.
- "IBML Scanning Platform Helps Lockheed Martin Team Complete 2010 Census Project On Schedule, Under Budget" Archived January 8, 2015, at the Wayback Machine. Health IT Outcomes. Retrieved January 20, 2015.
- Chan, Wade-Hahn (March 28, 2008). "Have feds cheapened contract bonuses?". FCW. Archived from the original on August 26, 2012. Retrieved August 9, 2013.
- "Press Releases". Harris.com. Archived from the original on April 20, 2016. Retrieved October 12, 2017.
- "U.S. Census Bureau – Use of Global Positioning Systems (GPS)". Ask.census.gov. Retrieved October 12, 2017.[ permanent dead link]
- Sherman, Jake (September 12, 2009). "Census Bureau Cuts Its Ties With Acorn". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on September 15, 2009. Retrieved June 17, 2011.
- "Demi Lovato And Eva Longoria Urge Census Participation". Looktothestars.org. March 19, 2010. Retrieved October 12, 2017.
- "Rosario Dawson, Wilmer Valderrama Encourage Latinos To Complete 2010 Census In New PSA's". icelebz.com. Archived from the original on February 21, 2010. Retrieved April 28, 2010.
- "Ludacris 2010 Census Campaign In New York". Killerhiphop.com. Archived from the original on June 20, 2017. Retrieved October 12, 2017.
- Williams, Juan (March 1, 2010). "Marketing the 2010 census with a conservative-friendly face". Washington Post. Archived from the original on April 24, 2010. Retrieved March 25, 2011.
- Swami, Perana (June 18, 2009). "Rep. Bachmann Refuses To Fill Out 2010 Census". Political Hotsheet. CBS News. Archived from the original on September 9, 2012. Retrieved April 15, 2010.
- "Census goes too far with children". Atlanta Journal Constitution. Archived from the original on September 11, 2009. Retrieved September 8, 2009.
- "Apportionment Population and Number of Representatives, By State: 2010 Census" (PDF). US Census. December 21, 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on January 24, 2011. Retrieved December 21, 2010.
- Baker, John S.; Stonecipher, Elliott (August 9, 2009). "Our Unconstitutional Census". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on September 5, 2015. Retrieved August 9, 2009.
- "Census 2010: Latino Pastors Urge Census Boycott". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on November 30, 2011. Retrieved April 22, 2009.
- Lotke, Eric; Wagner, Peter (Spring 2004). "Prisoners of the Census: Electoral and Financial Consequences of Counting Prisoners Where They Go, Not Where They Come From" (PDF). Pace Law Review. White Plains, NY: Pace Law School. 24 (2): 587–607. ISSN 0272-2410. Archived from the original on July 14, 2014. Retrieved June 10, 2014. Originally presented at Prison Reform Revisited: a symposium held at Pace University School of Law and the New York State Judicial Institute, Oct. 16–18, 2003. Research supported by grants from the Soros Justice Fellowship Program of the Open Society Institute. Retrieved January 2, 2010.
- "U.S. Census Bureau interactive form, Question 9". Archived from the original on January 8, 2010. Retrieved January 8, 2010.
- McFadden, Katie; McShane, Larry (January 6, 2010). "Use of word Negro on 2010 census forms raises memories of Jim Crow". NYDailyNews.com. Archived from the original on January 9, 2010. Retrieved January 8, 2010.
- Kiviat, Barbara (January 23, 2010). "Should the Census Be Asking People if They Are Negro?". Time. Archived from the original on January 26, 2010. Retrieved February 7, 2010.
- Frequently Asked Questions on the National Census Archived August 13, 2013, at the Wayback Machine from the ACLU website
- Cwiek, Sarah (March 22, 2011). "Bing plans to challenge Detroit census numbers". MichiganRadio.com. Archived from the original on August 21, 2011. Retrieved June 15, 2011.
- Davidson, Kate (May 2, 2011). "Detroit census challenge". MichiganRadio.com. Archived from the original on August 21, 2011. Retrieved June 15, 2011.
- NYC To File Formal Challenge to 2010 Census under Count Question Resolution Process "Archived copy". Archived from the original on March 30, 2011. Retrieved March 31, 2011.CS1 maint: archived copy as title ( link)
- On the 2010 Census Results Archived May 28, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
- DeBonis, Mike (August 10, 2011). "District challenges its 2010 Census count". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on August 11, 2011. Retrieved August 14, 2011.
- "Texas Adds Four Congressional Seats as State's Hispanic Population Grows". Bloomberg.com. December 21, 2010. Archived from the original on February 2, 2014. Retrieved October 12, 2017.(subscription required)
- "USA Today 2010 Census". Usatoday.com. Archived from the original on March 9, 2011. Retrieved October 12, 2017.
- "Congressional Apportionment" (PDF). Census.gov. Archived (PDF) from the original on January 15, 2018. Retrieved October 12, 2017.
- "Resident Population Data: Population Change". United States Census Bureau. December 23, 2010. Archived from the original on December 25, 2010. Retrieved December 23, 2010.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to 2010 United States Census.|
- 2010 Census
- 2010 United States Census Form
- U.S. Census Bureau
- The 2010 Census: Winners and Losers – slideshow by Life magazine
- How to deep link into US Census Bureau FactFinder2 Archived May 15, 2011, at the Wayback Machine, see FactFinder2 info
- Census: As Red States Grow, So Do Hispanic Populations Within – video report by Democracy Now!