Census Bureau Takes Annual Survey Online, Adds Questions About Internet Use

By Cameron Scott 

Christos Georghiou / Shutterstock.com

Households selected to participate in the 2013 American Community Survey will be the first to have the option to respond to the questionnaire online, using a secure login. The 2013 survey will also include questions about Internet use, the bureau said today.

Each of the roughly 3.5 million households selected to participate will receive a letter with instructions on how to complete the survey online. Those who do not use the online response option will receive a phone call or a paper questionnaire.

“The online response option is part of an ongoing digital transformation at the Census Bureau. The Census Bureau is transforming to make responding to surveys more convenient, conducting surveys more cost-effective and America’s statistics more accessible on digital and mobile devices,” Thomas Mesenbourg, the acting director, said in a statement.

More than 60 Census Bureau surveys already feature online response, but none as major as the American Community Survey, which the bureau conducts every year.

The data gathered through the survey will become available in 2014.