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Release Number CB16-64

UPDATE: OCT. 18, 2016 — Today, the U.S. Census Bureau announced that it will stop plans to test field operations in Puerto Rico, the Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota and South Dakota, and the Colville Reservation and Off-Reservation Trust Land in Washington state in 2017. Instead, we will consider including these sites in our 2018 End-to-End Census Test.

Please see the Director’s Blog for more information.


April 12, 2016 — The U.S. Census Bureau announced today that it plans to conduct the 2017 Census Test in selected tribal areas in Washington, North Dakota and South Dakota and in a sample of addresses nationwide.

The 2017 Census Test will allow the Census Bureau to test the feasibility of collecting tribal enrollment information.  It will also refine our methods for enumerating areas with unique location characteristics, where we cannot mail to a street address. In addition to tribal areas, the test will oversample areas with relatively high populations of American Indians and Alaska Natives as a mechanism for testing potential tribal enrollment questions nationwide.

The 2017 Census Test will allow the Census Bureau to test the integration of systems for the Update Enumerate operation. Update Enumerate is a data collection operation where census field staff visit households to update the list of addresses and count the people at each address. This operation typically occurs in areas where we have a low likelihood of mail delivery, American Indian Reservations, and communities with very small populations.

The test will take place on two American Indian areas — the Colville Indian Reservation and Off-Reservation Trust Land in Washington and the Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota and South Dakota. Approximately 3,500 and 2,900 housing units respectively within the areas will participate.

Conducting this test will require hiring temporary census staff. Recruiting for local jobs will begin in September 2016.

The test supports the goal of the 2020 Census, which is to count everyone once, only once and in the right place. As 2020 Census operations move forward, the Census Bureau will continue to improve the use of mobile technology, administrative records, innovations from the geospatial industry and self-response via the internet that will support the 2020 Census. This test will provide insights and guide our planning to ensure an accurate census.

For more information, visit



Public Information Office


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