U.S. Census Bureau Announces new Online Data Tools and Resources for Teachers and Schools


Interactive map, videos and lesson plans help teachers inform students about the importance of census data


WASHINGTON, D.C. — February 2, 2011 — With data now streaming in from the 2010 Census, the U.S. Census Bureau has released a set of online tools and resources to help teachers and kids make sense of it in the classroom.

A new interactive map, a video showing kids how apportionment works, and downloadable lesson plans are among the tools available to teachers for free at Census.gov. It’s all part of the agency’s effort to help future generations better understand the important concept of apportionment and how the Constitutionally-mandated Census impacts our everyday lives.

Dr Robert Groves, Director of the U.S. Census Bureau, states, "Apportionment is the process of dividing the 435 seats in the House of Representatives among the 50 states based on the population figures collected during the decennial census. It is one of the most important outcomes of each decennial as it determines equal representation of all residents in the House."

Resources now available include:

  • An interactive map widget designed to make understanding and exploring decennial Census data simple. It shows the decade-by-decade history of apportionment and shifts in our country’s population and population density through the last 100 years. The widget can be embedded on websites and blogs.
  • A short, animated video called "The Apportionment Machine" that breaks down in a fun, understandable way how apportionment ensures equal representation for everyone.
  • Lesson plans for teachers to help them incorporate instruction on the Census and apportionment into their social studies and history curriculum.

"The decennial Census is a moment for teachers and parents alike to talk to kids about democracy, civics and responsible citizenship," said Francie Alexander, Chief Academic Officer of Scholastic. "These are valuable tools for teachers who are always looking for ways to bring the real world into the classroom and help kids understand how government works and impacts their lives."

Additional resources available include:

 Scholastic collaborated with the U.S. Census Bureau in 2010 on a set of resources for classrooms and teachers called "Census in Schools: It’s About US."

For more information, visit Scholastic on the web at the Scholastic online media room.


Megan Kindelan
Census Bureau

 Tyler Reed