Where to Fill it Out

Every New Yorkers should fill out his or her census form at their primary place of residence. But given the incredibly diverse – and incredibly mobile – population in New York, that’s not always so easy to determine.

The paragraphs below will help you determine where to fill out the census whether you or someone you know is in the military, has multiple or no homes, or lives in a group setting – as well as many other possibilities.



The Concept of Usual “Residence”

Planners of the first U.S. decennial census in 1790 established the concept of "usual residence" as the main principle in determining where people were to be counted. This concept has been followed in all subsequent censuses and is the guiding principle for Census 2010. Usual residence has been defined as the place where the person lives and sleeps most of the time. This place is not necessarily the same as the person's voting residence or legal residence. Also, noncitizens who are currently living in the United States are included, regardless of their immigration status.  

Determining usual residence is easy for most people. However, given our nation's wide diversity in types of living arrangements the usual residence for some people is not as apparent. A few examples are people without housing, commuter workers, snowbirds, college students, live-in nannies, military personnel, and migrant workers. For people like those just mentioned applying the usual residence concept means that they may not be counted at the place where they happen to be staying on Census Day (April 1, 2010).

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Residence Rules

The Census Bureau has developed residence rules that provide instructions on where people should be counted in Census 2010. The following sections give the residence rules for people in various living situations.

People Away on Vacation or Business

People temporarily away on vacation or a business trip on Census Day are counted at their usual residence, that is, the place where they live and sleep most of the time.

People without Housing

People without a usual residence are counted where they are staying on Census Day (April 1, 2010).

People with Multiple Residences
  • Commuter workers living away part of the week while working are counted where they stay most of the week.
  • Snowbirds (people who live in one state but spend the winter in another state with a warmer climate) are counted where they live most of the year.
  • Children in joint custody are counted where they live most of the time. If time is equally divided, they are counted where they are staying on Census Day.
  • People who own more than one residence are counted where they live most of the time.

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Students
  • Boarding school students are counted at their parent’s home rather than at the boarding school.
  • College students living away from home while attending college are counted at their college address.
  • College students living at their parental home while attending college are counted at their parent’s home.
Live-ins
  • Live-in nannies are counted where they live most of the week.
  • Foster children are counted where they are living (foster home).
  • Roomers or boarders are counted where they are living.
  • Housemates or roommates are counted where they are living.
Military or Merchant Marine Personnel in the U.S.
  • People in the military residing in the United States are counted at their usual residence (the place where they live and sleep most of the time), whether it is on-base or off-base.
     
  • Crews of military vessels with a U.S. homeport are counted at their usual onshore residence if they report one (the place where they live and sleep most of the time when they are onshore) or otherwise at their vessel's homeport.
     
  • Crews of U.S. flag merchant vessels engaged in inland waterway transportation are counted at their usual onshore residence (the place where they live and sleep most of the time when they are onshore).
     
  • Crews of U.S. flag merchant vessels docked in a U.S. port or sailing from one U.S. port to another U.S. port are counted at their usual onshore residence, if they report one, (the place where they live and sleep most of the time when they are onshore) or otherwise on the vessel.

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Military or Merchant Marine Personnel outside the U.S.
  • People in the military assigned to military installations outside the U.S., including family members with them are counted as part of the U.S. overseas population and not as part of the U.S. resident population.
     
  • Crews of military vessels with a homeport outside the U.S. are counted as part of the U.S. overseas population and not as part of the U.S. resident population.
     
  • Crews of U.S. flag merchant vessels docked in a foreign port, sailing from one foreign port to another foreign port, sailing from a U.S. port to a foreign port, or sailing from a foreign port to a U.S. port are not included in the census.
People in Hospitals, Prisons, or Other Institutions
  • Patients in general hospitals or wards, including newborn babies are counted at their usual residence (the place where they live and sleep most of the time). Newborn babies are counted at the residence in which they will be living.
     
  • Patients in chronic or long-term disease hospitals or wards are counted at the hospital or ward.
     
  • People in nursing or convalescent homes for the aged or dependent are counted at the nursing or convalescent home.
     
  • Patients staying in hospice facilities are counted at the hospice.
     
  • People staying in homes, schools, hospitals, or wards for the physically handicapped, mentally retarded, or mentally ill; or in drug/alcohol recovery facilities are counted at the institution.
     
  • Inmates of correctional institutions, including prisons, jails, detention centers, or halfway houses are counted at the institution.
     
  • Children in juvenile institutions such as residential care facilities for neglected or abused children or orphanages are counted at the institution.
     
  • Staff members living in hospitals, nursing homes, prisons, or other institutions are counted at their usual residence, if they report one, (the place where they live and sleep most of the time) or otherwise at the institution.

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People in Noninstitutional Group Quarters
  • Migrant farm workers are counted at their usual U.S. residence, if they report one, (the place where they live and sleep most of the time) or otherwise at the workers' camp.
     
  • People at hostels, YMCAs/YWCAs, or public or commercial campgrounds are counted at their usual residence, if they report one, (the place where they live and sleep most of the time) or otherwise at the hostel, etc.
     
  • Members of religious orders living in monasteries or convents are counted at their usual residence, if they report one, (the place where they live and sleep most of the time) or otherwise at the monastery, etc.
     
  • People staying at Job Corps or other post-high school residential vocational training facilities are counted at their usual residence, if they report one, (the place where they live and sleep most of the time) or otherwise at the Job Corps Center, etc.
     
  • People at soup kitchens or mobile food vans are counted at their usual residence, if they report one, (the place where they live and sleep most of the time) or otherwise at the soup kitchen, etc.
     
  • Shelters with sleeping facilities for people without housing, for abused women, or for runaway or neglected youth are counted at the shelter.

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Foreign Citizens
  • Citizens of foreign countries who have established a household or are part of an established household in the U.S. while working or studying, including family members with them are counted at their usual residence, that is, the place where they live and sleep most of the time.
     
  • Citizens of foreign countries who are living in the U.S. at embassies, ministries, legations, or consulates are counted at the embassy, etc.
     
  • Citizens of foreign countries (documented and undocumented) who are temporarily traveling or visiting in the U.S. are not included in the census.
U.S. Citizens abroad
  • U.S. citizens employed overseas as civilians by the U.S. government, including family members with them are counted as part of the U.S. overseas population and not as part of the U.S. resident population.
     
  • U.S. citizens not employed by the U.S. government who are working, studying, or living overseas are not included in the census.

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