The U.S. Census Bureau won’t begin mailing questionnaires until March for next year’s nationwide tally. The Constitution requires the federal government to make an actual count of every person in the United States every 10 years — even the homeless, prisoners and illegal aliens.  The primary purpose is to divvy up the seats in the U.S. House of Representatives based on population, a process that gave Georgia two seats after the 2000 census.

The data is also used in sorting out more than $300 billion in federal aid each year, too, as well as determining the boundaries for every state legislative and local government district.