Each person whose usual residence was in the United States was to be included in the census, without regard to the person's legal status or citizenship. In a departure from earlier censuses, foreign diplomatic personnel participated voluntarily in the census, regardless of their residence on or off the premises of an embassy. As in previous censuses, persons in the United States specifically excluded from the census were foreign travelers who had not established a residence.
Americans with a usual residence outside the United States were not enumerated in the 1990 census. United States military and Federal civilian employees, and their dependents overseas, are included in the population counts for States for purposes of Congressional apportionment, but are excluded from all other tabulations for States and their subdivisions. The counts of United States military and Federal civilian employees, and their dependents, were obtained from administrative records maintained by Federal departments and agencies. Other Americans living overseas, such as employees of international agencies and private businesses and students, were not enumerated, nor were their counts obtained from administrative sources. On the other hand, Americans temporarily overseas were to be enumerated at their usual residence in the United States.