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2013 National Census Contact Test (NCCT) Cognitive Testing Report

Michelle Smirnova and Paul Scanlon


In an effort to reduce costs and increase self-response, the Census Bureau is conducting a series of research projects and tests throughout this decade to explore alternative modes of contacting respondents and collecting data. One of the first tests to support this planning effort is the 2013 National Census Contact Test (NCCT). The 2013 NCCT will inform 2020 Census testing and planning. The intent is to research and validate the quality of administrative record files that contain alternative contact data, such as phone numbers and emails, which could help the Census Bureau connect with individuals and households to encourage self-response. This report outlines the results and analysis of twelve in-person cognitive interviews that were conducted in August of 2012 in the Washington DC metropolitan area in order to test these contact methodologies and the associated questionnaire to be used in the test in early 2013. This study sought to verify whether the questionnaire developed for the NCCT would be successful in eliciting phone numbers and email addresses to validate against the Alternate Contact Frame.


Michelle Smirnova and Paul Scanlon . (2013). 2013 National Census Contact Test (NCCT) Cognitive Testing Report. Center for Survey Measurement Study Series (Survey Methodology #2013-19). U.S. Census Bureau. Available online at <>.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Research and Methodology Directorate, Center for Survey Measurement

Published online: July 16, 2013
Last revised: July 16, 2013


Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Research and Methodology Directorate | Center for Survey Measurement | (301) 763-3215 (or |   Last Revised: September 11, 2013