About the Census Bureau

The Census Bureau’s mission is to serve as the leading source of quality data about the nation's people and economy. The Nation is constantly changing, and Americans change with it. They grow in number, move, and develop new patterns of living and working. The Census Bureau measures these changes. Policy makers use this information to make decisions which affect our future.

The Consumer Expenditure Survey (CE) data is one of several ongoing surveys collected by the Census Bureau for the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Data the Census Bureau Collects

In addition to collecting data for hundreds of other important surveys each year, the Census Bureau is mainly known for the following:

  • Population Census – The Census Bureau’s first, largest, and most visible demographic program is conducted every 10 years.
  • Economic Census - A profile of American businesses is conducted every 5 years, and covers nearly all of the U.S. economy in its basic collection of establishment statistics.
  • Census of Governments - Collected every 5 years, this survey identifies the scope and nature of the nation's state and local government sector. It provides authoritative benchmark figures of public finance and public employment; classifies local government organizations, powers, and activities; and measures federal, state, and local fiscal relationships.
  • American Community Survey (ACS) - A nationwide survey providing timely detailed demographic, social, economic data about the country’s communities each year. It is designed to provide communities a snapshot at how they are changing.
  • On-Going Surveys – The Census Bureau also collects information for vital demographic surveys which are used by lawmakers and fiscal planners to make important decisions regarding programs and services and across the country. For example, data from the Current Population Survey are used to determine the Nation’s monthly unemployment rate. Other on-going surveys include the Survey of Income and Program Participation, the National Health Interview Survey, the Nation Crime and Victimization Survey, and the American Housing Survey.

You can find additional information about the Census Bureau and its programs on their website.


Last Modified Date: April 7, 2011