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Contact: Public Information Office
The U.S. Census Bureau today announced that it is gearing up for the 2020 Census by conducting its first major field test beginning June 5 in portions of Washington, D.C., and Montgomery County, Md. The Census Bureau will hire about 1,000 temporary workers to conduct the 2014 Census Test to explore modern and cost-effective ways to count the population.
"We are committed to making the 2020 Census as accurate and cost-effective as possible," said Census Bureau Director John H. Thompson, speaking at the local office opening in Silver Spring, Md. "As part of those efforts, we are in the field now to evaluate new survey methods, including the Internet as a data collection source. Washington, D.C., and the Maryland suburbs are an ideal testing ground because of their growing and diverse populations."
Respondents to the 2014 Census Test will have the opportunity to use the Internet to fill out the questionnaire, thus reducing reliance on paper and having the potential to produce savings for taxpayers. Although Internet data collection was not offered for the 2010 Census, the Census Bureau has been using it for the American Community Survey and other surveys for several years now, and will test how to best use it for response to the 2020 Census.
For the test, July 1, 2014, is Census Day, or the reference day for measuring the population of the test area. Respondents should fill out the questionnaire based on the people and circumstances of their household as of July 1, 2014.
"We are pleased the Census Bureau selected this part of Montgomery County to conduct this important test leading up to the 2020 Census," said Silver Spring Regional Center Director Reemberto Rodriguez. "If you are selected, I encourage you to participate. The test's July 1 Census Day is an important day for our community."
The Census Bureau will also test a smartphone app for quicker and more accurate data collection from nonresponding households.
The Census Bureau will use the test to evaluate allowing some respondents to sign up for email or text message notification before responding to the questionnaire. People living at the addresses in the test area may receive information by email, text messages, standard mail or phone with directions on how to pre-register and/or respond to the 2014 Census Test.
A local census office to manage field work associated with the 2014 Census Test is now open in Silver Spring, Md. Work will involve personal visits to conduct interviews at up to 50,000 addresses between July and September.
To conduct the test, the Census Bureau is hiring 1,000 temporary office and field staff. Pay ranges from $14 to $21.50 an hour. Prospective applicants can call 1-888-480-1639 for information on how to apply.
The 2014 Census Test is one of many to make the constitutionally mandated once-a-decade headcount quick, easy and safe. Through the smart use of technology and existing government data, the 2020 Census seeks to provide substantial taxpayer savings while maintaining a commitment to quality, accuracy and confidentiality.
The 2014 Census Test will allow the Census Bureau to test on a small scale a variety of new methods and eventually advance technologies that are under consideration for the 2020 Census.