If You Were Selected for 2016 U.s. Census Survey and Did Not Complete It, Expect Knock on Door


Only Selected Households in Pasadena Asked to Participate as Test Throughout Los Angeles County

PASADENA, Calif.—OK, so your household was randomly selected to participate in the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2016 Census Test, but, well, you didn’t fill out the form.  Now what?

If you were selected—not all Pasadena households were included—and you did not fill out the form online or return by mail, you can expect a knock of the door sometime during the next six to eight weeks.

Technically, the forms were due by May 13, 2016, but you can still go online at https://survey.census.gov/ and follow the instructions to complete your test survey.

The U.S. Census Bureau considers participation mandatory.  If you were selected, your participation is appreciated to help ensure that the population count numbers and process for the 2020 Census are done correctly and efficiently.

Establishing an accurate count for the full U.S. Census done every 10 years is absolutely critical for determining how many representatives a state should have in the U.S. Congress.  And population counts are factored into the distribution of hundreds of billions of dollars in taxpayer money from more than 100 federal programs.

You want fair and accurate representation and the right share of your tax dollars coming back to Pasadena?  Fill out the Census forms.

Households throughout Los Angeles County, including areas of Pasadena, were selected to participate in this 2016 testing program, all of which is in preparation for the 2020 Census.  The other area picked was portions of Harris County, Texas.  Each site contains approximately 225,000 housing units.

Why Los Angeles County and Harris County?  The Census Bureau selected these two areas as 2016 Census Test sites in part to help test and validate new methods for non-response follow-up (contacting people who did not fill out the forms) for large, demographically diverse metropolitan areas with a significant level of language diversity, varying levels of Internet usage and high vacancy rates.

The Census Bureau is using these two sites to learn more about managing new systems and technology in multiple locations for the 2020 Census.

Want to know more?  Here’s a list of FAQs below the flyers that comes from the Census Bureau to explain what they are doing and why.  Want to know what actual questions are being asked?  Scroll down past the FAQs to see.

LA Region Fact Sheet - English
LA Region Fact Sheet - English
LA Region Fact Sheet - Spanish
LA Region Fact Sheet - Spanish
LA Region Fact Sheet - Chinese
LA Region Fact Sheet - Chinese


Q. What is the 2016 Census Test?

The 2016 Census Test is a survey that the U.S. Census Bureau is conducting in preparation for the 2020 Census. The goal of this survey is to develop new methods that will make the next census easier, more convenient, and less costly for taxpayers.

Q. Do I have to complete this survey?

This survey is mandatory, but will only take about 10 minutes to complete. We are conducting this survey under the authority of Title 13 United States Code Section 193. This survey has been approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). For this survey, the OMB approval number is 0607-0989.

Q. Why was I selected for this survey?

The U.S. Census Bureau chose your address, not you personally, as part of a randomly selected sample. Your address was selected to represent a cross section of households in your community.

Q. Who should complete the survey?

This survey should be completed by the person who owns or rents the living quarters or any other person who is at least 15 years of age with knowledge of the household.

Q. How do I change my answers?

For questions where you must choose a single response from a list, clicking another response will change your answer to that response.

If it is a "check all that apply" question, you may click on a selected check box to unselect the box and remove it as one of your answers.

Q. How long will it take to complete this survey?

The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that, for the average household, this survey will take about 10 minutes to complete, including the time for reviewing the instructions and answers.

Send comments regarding this burden estimate or any other aspect of this burden to: Paperwork Reduction Project 0607-0989, U.S. Census Bureau, DCMD-2H174, 4600 Silver Hill Road, Washington, DC 20233.  You may e-mail comments to 2020.census.paperwork@census.gov; use "Paperwork Project 0607-0989" as the subject.

Respondents are not required to respond to any information collection unless it displays a valid approval number from the Office of Management and Budget.  The OMB approval number for this survey is 0607-0989.

Q. What types of questions will I be asked?

In this survey, you will be asked if the housing unit is rented or owned and for the names of everyone living in the household.  For each person living in the household, you will be asked for the name, relationship to householder, sex, age/date of birth, race or origin and whether or not the person sometimes lives or stays somewhere else.

Q. Do you share my data with other agencies such as Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Federal Bureau of Investigations, the Internal Revenue Service, courts, or the police?

No, individual responses are not shared with anyone, including these government agencies or private organizations.  It is against the law to disclose or publish any private information (names, telephone numbers, etc.) that identifies an individual or business. We use your information to produce statistics.  The personal information you provide here cannot be used against you by any government agency or court.

Q. How does the Census Bureau protect my survey data?

Federal law protects your information, and we have developed policies and statistical safeguards to help us follow the law and further ensure the confidentiality of your information.

Federal Law: Title 13 of the United States Code protects the confidentiality of all your information. Violating this law is a crime with severe penalties.

Privacy Principles: Our Privacy Principles are guidelines that cover all of our activities. These principles encompass both our responsibilities to protect your information and your rights as a respondent.  They apply to the information we collect and the statistics we publish.

Statistical Safeguards: Statistical methods ensure that the statistics we release do not identify individuals or businesses.  These methods include extensive review and analysis of all our data products, as well as disclosure avoidance methodologies such as data suppression and modification.

Your information is confidential and we will never identify you individually.  For more information, visit the Census Bureau’s Data Protection and Privacy Policy webpage http://www.census.gov/privacy/.

Q. Is it safe to complete this survey online?

Yes, for more information, please refer to the FAQ question link, "How does the Census Bureau protect my survey data?" for guidelines on Federal Law, Privacy Principles, and Statistical Safeguards.  Additionally, the following policies apply to personally identifiable information provided in an online survey. More information on this topic can be found on the Data Protection and Privacy Policy webpage http://www.census.gov/privacy/.

For each online survey, we are required to provide an explanation to respondents about the confidentiality of the data and the laws that protect those data (e.g., Title 13, United States Code Section 9 (a)).

All web data submissions are encrypted in order to protect your privacy, even in the remote chance that your survey responses are intercepted.

Q. Will the results be published?

The Census Bureau plans to make results of this study available to the general public. Results will be presented in aggregate form and no personally identifiable information will be published. Information quality is an integral part of the pre-dissemination review of the information disseminated by the Census Bureau—fully described in the Census Bureau’s Information Quality Guidelines at http://www.census.gov/quality/guidelines/index.html.

Information quality is also integral to the information collection conducted by the Census Bureau and is incorporated into the clearance process by the Paperwork Reduction Act.

Test Census Questions Explained: What They Are and Why They Are Asked

The U.S. Census Bureau is testing modern and cost-efficient methods to determine the most accurate ways to count everyone living in the United States.  This 2016 Census Test will take place March 21 through June 20, 2016, when residents in areas of Harris County, TX, and Los Angeles County, CA, will be asked to complete the questionnaire.

The questions are generally the same as the ones used for the official decennial census, which occurs next in 2020.  The point of the 2016 Census Test, however, is to learn how to improve the ways in which the census is conducted.  The results of this exercise will have national impact in 2020.

Here are the questions you will be asked, and why the Census Bureau asks them:

1. How many people were living or staying in this house, apartment, or mobile home on April 1, 2016? Every respondent is asked about the same date — in this case, Census Day is April 1, 2016 — so the results are consistent.

Establishing an accurate count is critical for determining how many representatives a state should have in Congress.  And population counts are factored into the distribution of hundreds of billions of dollars from more than 100 federal programs.

2. Were there any additional people staying here April 1, 2016, that you did not include in Question 1?  The Census Bureau uses this question to make sure no one has been inadvertently excluded from the answer given to the first question, such as a relative, foster child, or live-in babysitter.

3. Is this house, apartment, or mobile home: owned with mortgage, owned without mortgage, rented, occupied without rent?  The answer to this question helps local, state, tribal, and federal governments make decisions about housing programs and planning. In addition, homeownership rates are an indicator of the state of the nation’s economy.

4. What is your telephone number?  The Census Bureau asks for a phone number to contact you only if needed for official business.

5. Please provide information for each person living here. If there is someone living here who pays rent or owns this residence, start by listing him or her as Person 1.  If the owner or the person who pays the rent does not live here, start by listing an adult living here as Person 1.  Using the name of each person is a good way to keep track of whom you have listed, so that you remember to include everyone in the household.  It is also helpful as an identifier when the Census Bureau needs to ask about information missing from the form for one or more of the people listed.  You should be assured, however, that it is against the law for the Census Bureau to disclose or publish any private information that identifies an individual, and that includes your name.

6. What is Person 1’s sex?  Many federal programs must differentiate between males and females for funding, implementing, and evaluating their programs.  Laws promoting equal employment opportunity for women are one example.  This information also can be important for analyzing social and economic trends.

7. What is Person 1’s age and date of birth?  Many funding and planning decisions are based on age-related statistics and trends.  For example, the federal government uses them to decide how to allocate education funds and to project the health care needs of the elderly and veterans.  State and local governments use them to determine age-related needs, such as whether there will be a spike in the number of school-aged children.

8. Which category describes Person 1?  This question relates to race and Hispanic origin.  It is needed to monitor compliance with the Voting Rights and Civil Rights acts, as well as to help decide boundaries of voting districts.  Race data are also used to assess the fairness of employment practices and monitor racial disparities in health and education.

9. Does Person 1 sometimes live or stay somewhere else? This is another question the Census Bureau asks to ensure accuracy and completeness.

U.S. Department of Commerce

Economics and Statistics Administration

U.S. Census Bureau

www.census.gov  OR  www.census.gov/2016censustest


NEWS MEDIA CONTACT:  William H. Boyer, Pasadena Public Information Officer, City Manager’s Office, (626) 744-4755, wboyer@cityofpasadena.net

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