PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A new exhibition about the history of the census has opened at the Rhode Island State Archives.

Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea says that with the 2020 Census approaching, she's inviting the public to explore the "why" and the "how" of the decennial census.

The "Count Me In!" exhibition opened Thursday and runs through March. Visitors will learn how both the data collected and the methods for gathering it have changed and see examples of why the data is important.

The 2020 Census will help determine how many congressional seats each state gets, and the allocation of hundreds of billions of dollars in federal spending.

The state archives is free and open to the public from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekdays on Westminster Street in downtown Providence.