As required by the United States Constitution, the U.S. census has been conducted every 10 years since 1790. The 2000 U.S. Census was the previous census completed. Participation in the U.S. Census is required by law in Title 13 of the United States Code.
On January 25, 2010, Census Bureau Director Robert Groves personally inaugurated the 2010 Census enumeration by counting World War II veteran Clifton Jackson, a resident of Noorvik, Alaska. More than 120 million census forms were delivered by the U.S. Post Office beginning March 15, 2010. The number of forms mailed out or hand-delivered by the Census Bureau was approximately 134 million on April 1, 2010. Although the questionnaire used April 1, 2010 as the reference date as to where a person was living, an insert dated March 15, 2010 included the following printed in bold type: "Please complete and mail back the enclosed census form today."
The 2010 Census national mail participation rate was 74%. From April through July 2010, census takers visited households that did not return a form, an operation called "non-response follow-up" (NRFU).
Personally identifiable information will be available in 2082.