The U.S. Census Bureau conducts a count of every person living in the United States every 10 years, mandated by the U.S. Constitution in Article 1, Section 2.  The data collected by the decennial census determines the number of seats Maryland has in the U.S. House of Representatives and is also used to distribute billions in federal funds to its local communities. 
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The law requires the Census Bureau to keep all information confidential and use it only to
produce statistics