Census Reform:

Questionnaire Test Shows Simplification Holds Promise

T-GGD-92-59: Published: Jul 1, 1992. Publicly Released: Jul 1, 1992.

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

GAO discussed proposed steps in improving the Census Bureau's questionnaires to improve completion and responsiveness. GAO noted that: (1) there is a continued downward trend in public willingness to respond to census questionnaires; (2) improvements in mail response reduce the costs of hiring staff for follow-up visits; (3) changes in the short form's content, design, and method of contact yield significant improvements in public cooperation; (4) asking fewer questions improves the return rate, but lowers data quality; (5) a test user-friendly booklet increased response by 7.5 percent over the 1990 short form; (6) multiple mail contacts, prenotice letters, and reminder cards improve response; (7) urban minority areas represent the lowest response areas and continue to pose special problems in obtaining data; and (8) a streamlined questionnaire could generate a $480-million saving in operational costs.

Sep 28, 2018

Sep 20, 2018

Sep 17, 2018

Sep 12, 2018

Sep 5, 2018

Aug 30, 2018

Aug 27, 2018

Aug 15, 2018

Jul 30, 2018

Jul 26, 2018

Looking for more? Browse all our products here