The census takes place every 10 years in the United States. Its goal is to get an accurate count of the population as well as the location of where each person typically lives. This information serves two major purposes.
First, it helps determine how much federal funding states, cities, counties and other entities will receive. These funds and grants are used for schools, hospitals, roads, public works and other areas, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
The census also determines the reapportionment of the U.S. House of Representatives. The 435 seats are divided among the 50 states based on the population counts from the census. The seats for Washington, D.C., and U.S. territories are not affected by reapportionment.