NewsPublic Affairs / August 17, 2016

State Lawmakers Get An Update On 2020 Census

INDIANAPOLIS -- United States Census Bureau officials told state lawmakers Tuesday they hope to introduce more online data collection in the 2020 census. Indiana Public Broadcasting’s Brandon Smith reports on a presentation to the elections study committee:

Census Bureau on 2020    TRT: :57           OUT:SOC
Though the 2020 census may seem far away, the Census Bureau has been at work for years on improving the way it counts the number of people in the U-S. And Census Bureau official Michael Ratcliffe says an issue they’ve been dealing with is a declining response rate – thanks, he says, in no small part to greater levels of distrust of the government. Ratcliffe says one key to improving that is assuring people that their information remains confidential:
RATCLIFFE081616 1    TRT: :08            OUT: “say no”
“We have repeated requests from other federal agencies to hand over the information, to share the information – and we repeatedly say no.”
Ratcliffe says the Bureau is exploring online surveys, with success in several trial runs. But he notes that’s raised other concerns:
RATCLIFFE081616 2    TRT: :06      OUT: “from coming in”
“How do we keep the data safe once it’s inside the house? How do we keep unwanted information from coming in?”
Bureau officials say improvements in planning and technology should reduce the cost of the 2020 census by more than five billion dollars.

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