It's arguably one of the most important "counts" taken here, and it's only done every 10 years. The 2020 census of the island's population took a big step forward today with the opening of a spacious, new headquarters in Tamuning. 

Federal census bureau representatives joined local officials and staff to cut the ribbon on the new 200-thousand square foot facility at the former Docomo Pacific offices at the Century Plaza in Tamuning.

"One of the first major milestones for the 2020 Census of Guam was the selection of this site and to make sure it would be open in Oct. 2019 and so I'm very excited today to announce that we've made that very important milestone and I'm happy to share that with you guys today," Terrina Long , Census advisor assigned to Guam said.

The census will count the number of people who live here, which in turn helps determine how much in various federal funding programs Guam will be eligible for. But James Treat, senior adviser for the Census Bureau's Office of the director says the information gathered will be valuable in many other ways.

"While the population count of Guam is important, census is much more than the count of people," he said. "It will provide the wealth of information on social, economic, demographic and housing characteristics of Guam and its people. This information will help improve the quality of life for years to come."

And Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero says she's excited to learn about all of the wide variety of data that comes out.

"We'll be able to know are we a young community, or are we an older community, and we'll able to know employment status also, just data like that that I as governor need to know so that we can make good policy decisions," she said.

Now that the Guam census office is set up, they will begin training some 800 enumerators, the workers that will go out into the villages to conduct the interviews. The counting won't begin until the first quarter of next year.