February 20, 2020

Most Adults Aware of 2020 Census and Ready to Respond, but Don’t Know Key Details

Methodology

Most of the analysis in this report is based on a nationally representative online survey conducted by Pew Research Center Jan. 3-13, 2020, among a sample of 3,535 adults 18 years of age or older residing in the United States. This included an oversample of 175 U.S.-born Hispanics and 243 foreign-born Hispanics. The survey was conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs in English and Spanish using KnowledgePanel, its nationally representative online research panel.

KnowledgePanel members are recruited through probability sampling methods and include both those with internet access and those who did not have internet access at the time of their recruitment (KnowledgePanel provides internet access for those who do not have it and, if needed, a device to access the internet when they join the panel). A combination of random-digit dialing (RDD) and address-based sampling (ABS) methodologies have been used to recruit panel members (in 2009 KnowledgePanel switched its sampling methodology for recruiting panel members from RDD to ABS). The panel includes households with landlines and cellular phones, including those only with cell phones, and those without a phone. Both the RDD and ABS samples were provided by Marketing Systems Group.

KnowledgePanel continually recruits new panel members throughout the year to offset panel attrition as people leave the panel. All active adult members of the Ipsos panel were eligible for inclusion in this study. In all, 5,797 panelists were invited to take part in the survey, for a study completion rate of 61.2%. All sampled members received an initial email to notify them of the survey and provide a link to the survey questionnaire. Additional follow-up reminders were sent to those who had not yet responded as needed.

The cumulative response rate accounting for nonresponse to the recruitment surveys and attrition is 4.0%. The break-off rate among panelists who logged onto the survey and completed at least one item is 5.4%.

Weighting dimensionsThe data were weighted in a multistep process that begins with a base weight incorporating the respondents’ original selection probability. The next step in the weighting uses an iterative technique that aligns the sample to population benchmarks on the dimensions listed in the accompanying table.

Sampling errors and test of statistical significance take into account the effect of weighting. Interviews are conducted in both English and Spanish.

In addition to sampling error, one should bear in mind that question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of opinion polls.

The following table shows the unweighted sample sizes and the error attributable to sampling that would be expected at the 95% level of confidence for different groups in the survey:

Sample sizes and sampling errors for other subgroups are available upon request.

Pew Research Center undertakes all polling activity, including calls to mobile telephone numbers, in compliance with the Telephone Consumer Protection Act and other applicable laws.

© Pew Research Center, 2020