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Census Bureau Is Conducting 2020 Census Field Test To Explore Innovative, Cost-Effective Survey Methods

WASHINGTON, June 3, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- 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.

The U.S. Census Bureau is conducting its first major field test beginning June 5 in portions of Washington, D.C., and Montgomery County, Md. The map shows the areas where the test will be conducted.

"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.

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