2010 United States Census

national census of the United States taken in 2010

The Twenty-Third United States Census, known as Census 2010 or 2010 Census was a count of the population of the United States. It was done by the Census Bureau. It found that the population of the United States on April 1, 2010 was 308,745,538. This was an increase of 9.7 percent over the 281,421,906 people counted during the 2000 Census.[1] This was the twenty-third federal census.

Twenty-third Census
of the United States
U.S. Census Bureau Seal
General Information
Date TakenApril 1, 2010
Total U.S. Population308,745,538
Percent ChangeIncrease 9.7%
Most Populous StateCalifornia
Least Populous StateWyoming

The Census Bureau did not use a long form for the 2010 Census.[2] The 2010 Census used only a short form asking ten basic questions.[2]

The 2010 census cost $13 billion. It cost about $42 per capita. To compare, the 2010 census per-capita cost for China was about US$1; for India, the cost was US$0.40.[3] Operational costs were $5.4 billion, under the $7 billion budget.[4] In December 2010 the Government Accountability Office (GAO) noted that the cost of doing the census has doubled each decade since 1970.[3] In a detailed 2004 report to Congress, the GAO asked the Census Bureau to fix cost and design problems. They estimated the 2010 Census cost to be $11 billion.[5]

In August 2010, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said that the census operational costs were a lot less than what they thought it would be. Their budget was almost $7 billion, but they saved:[4]

  • $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.


  1. "Census 2010 News | U.S. Census Bureau Announces 2010 Census Population Counts -- Apportionment Counts Delivered to President". 2010.census.gov. 2011. Archived from the original on December 24, 2010. Retrieved March 7, 2011.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "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.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Censuses: Costing the count". The Economist. June 2, 2011. Archived from the original on June 10, 2011. Retrieved June 17, 2011.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Census Bureau comes in under budget for 2010 operational costs". CNN. August 10, 2010. Retrieved August 10, 2010.
  5. "2010 Census: Cost and Design Issues Need to Be Addressed Soon (GAO-04-37)" (PDF). Washington, D.C.: U.S. General Accounting Office. January 15, 2004. OCLC 54778614. Archived from the original on January 7, 2010. Retrieved December 27, 2009.

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