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Report says technology kept 2020 census below expected cost – KIRO 7 News Seattle

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The 2020 census is expected to cost $14.2 billion, well below a previous estimate of $15.6 billion, reflecting a slowdown in the price tag for the nation’s head count thanks to technological innovations, according to a new watchdog report released Monday.

The lower cost came even though the Census Bureau spent an extra $1.1 billion responding to the pandemic, whose spread in the U.S. coincided with the start of the nation’s head count for most U.S. residents in March 2020.

Technological innovations allowed most households to answer the census questionnaire online for the first time instead of just by mail or phone, surprising statisticians with a self-response rate that exceeded expectations.

The innovations also permitted census takers to take down answers from households using mobile devices that also created the most efficient routes for census takers to follow when going from home to home, according to a report from the Government Accountability…

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