International students should fill out census forms too

March 16, 2010

Counting all students will be key to achieving the most complete census count, and that includes international students, regardless of their citizenship status.

Anyone living in the United States must be counted to achieve the Census goal of counting every resident once and in the right place, defined as a person's primary residence as of April 1. The census is an important factor in distributing annual federal funds to communities for services that most people use, such as transportation and emergency services, among many others.

Students living in residence halls and fraternity houses are counted during an operation known as Group Quarters. As part of Group Quarters Enumeration, students living in residence halls or fraternity houses will be provided with Individual Census Questionnaires. Forms will be distributed and collected by RAs or housing staffs. Group Quarters enumeration will be conducted between April 1 and May 15, 2010.

Students living at home with their parents are counted along with other members of the family or their guardian at that address. Students living independently off campus in apartments or homes should complete their own census forms.

To facilitate participation, questionnaires are available in six languages: English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Russian and Vietnamese. Language guides that translate key words and phrases are available in 59 languages. By law, all information collected by the U.S. Census Bureau is strictly confidential and is used for statistical purposes only. Census information is not shared with any other agency.

The U.S. Constitution requires a population and housing count every 10 years. The effort employs some of the most sophisticated technical and operational tools available, as well as a workforce of 1.4 million temporary employees to count every man, woman and child. Census results are the basis for Congressional representation as well as the distribution of federal, state and local funds totaling more than $400 billion annually. Census Day is April 1, 2010. For more information, visit

Last Updated March 16, 2010