The results are critically important because this once-a-decade census data helps businesses, researchers, and communities make decisions. The data can help inform where your community needs a new fire department, more funding for school lunches, or new roads.
Nevada was the fastest-growing state between 2000 and 2010. In that same time, the overall population of the United States grew 9.7 percent, jumping from 281,421,906 to 308,745,538.
Of course, the census tells us much more than just the population of our country, your state, and your community. The census produces a wide range of statistics about the makeup of those populations, from ages and races to how many people own their home.
In 2010, for example, we learned that women made up 50.8 percent of the population. We also learned that the male population grew at a slightly faster rate (9.9 percent) than the female population (9.5 percent) in the decade between 2000 and 2010.
The U.S. Constitution requires that electoral districts be periodically adjusted or redrawn to account for population shifts. Each decade, the census reveals where populations have risen or fallen.
State legislatures or independent bipartisan commissions handle the process of redrawing congressional district lines. The U.S. Census Bureau provides population counts to the states for this purpose.
The census also collects data that is valuable for businesses, which rely on census results to help make decisions such as where to open new stores, where to expand operations, and which products and services to offer.