The Census Bureau reports data for a wide variety of geographic entities ranging in size from the entire United States to a Census Block. Some entities follow recognized boundaries such as counties and cities, while others have been created by the Census Bureau.
The Geography Atlas links to definitions of Census geographic entities.
The Census Bureau is the government agency that is responsible for the U.S. Census. The U.S. Census counts every resident in the United States. It is mandated by the Constitution and takes place every ten years. The data collected determine the number of seats each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives and is also used to distribute federal funds to local communities.
The most recent Census count was taken in 2010. Any counts more recent than 2010 are estimates rather than official numbers.
Use numbers from the 2010 Census to obtain counts of the population and basic characteristics (sex, age, race, Hispanic origin, and homeowner status).
Data from the Census Bureau's Population Estimates Program cover the years between censuses. The Census Bureau's Population Estimates Program produces official population estimates for the nation, states, counties, cities and towns, plus housing unit estimates for states and counties.
Use the U.S. Census Bureau's QuickFacts tool or the online Statistical Abstract of the United States to obtain 2010 Census data for the U.S. See the QuickFacts U.S. page for more information. Notice the blank column to the right of "United States" in the image below. When using QuickFacts, you can add another geographic place to compare data.