Census Bureau Pushes Online Survey Response Option

Apr 26, 2012

The Census Bureau plans to take a big step into the world of digital data collection starting in January, offering more than 3 million households that receive the American Community Survey each year the option to respond online for the first time.

The agency has proposed that all households sent the American Community Survey (ACS) be asked to respond online, and that they only receive a paper questionnaire if they do not respond within about two weeks. The Census Bureau’s proposal requires approval of the Office of Management and Budget, which already authorized several rounds of testing.

The ACS, which has produced national-level demographic, social, economic and housing data since 2005, has mainly been a mail-back survey, with follow-up interviews of non-responding households conducted over the phone or in person. The Census Bureau has been urged for years by Congress and outside organizations to offer an online option for its major surveys and the decennial census.

Read the full report, Census Bureau Pushes Online Survey Response Option, on the Pew Social & Demographic Trends website.

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