There are many problems with the way the government collects the census. Census-takers going door to door just seems so old-fashioned. Plus, door-to-door Census measurement presents a number of challenges including residents away from their homes working or traveling and others who just don't like opening the door for a stranger. That could all change in 2020 because the Census Bureau is planning to go digital.
Later this year, parts of Georgia and Arizona will serve as testing grounds for the new digital initiative. The Census Bureau will ask people to answer questions about demographic information online instead of in person. Even if an in-person follow-up visit is required, census workers will enter information into Android smartphones instead of on paper.
The Census Bureau also tested out an online response system in Washington, D.C., and Maryland last year and was happy with the initial response rate.
The government is trying to improve census response rates because that rate has stayed at 74% since 1990. Going digital would also allow the Census Bureau to analyze data in real time instead of waiting to enter information from millions of paper documents. Collecting accurate and timely demographic information through the census is important for a number of reasons.
The once-a-decade count is used to draw congressional maps and helps determine how the government spends $400 billion on infrastructure, programs and services each year.
The new census method could also save the government a lot of money, because the Census Bureau spends most of its money every 10 years just on trying to convince people to fill out the forms.
I think this is a good move because it could save money and make it easier than ever to answer the census. With so much technology at its disposal, it's about time the Census Bureau came into the 21st century.