Federal Census Law and Legal Definition

Federal census refers to the census of a state or a territory or a portion of either taken by the Census Bureau of the U.S. Generally, all persons in each household are listed by name. Each family is also assigned an identification number. Some of the common questions asked in the federal census are sex, age, color or race, place of birth and occupation.

Generally, the Census Bureau does not provide genealogical information. Similarly, the Census Bureau does not locate missing persons, or provide recent information on individuals. The Census Bureau information collected in the Decennial Census of Population and Housing on individuals will not be available to the public until after 72 years due to the confidential nature of Census Bureau.