Every decade, the Census Bureau fulfills its critical, constitutionally mandated mission to count every person living in the United States. As technology becomes ever more complex and we are drawn closer together through social media, the Census Bureau has adapted to the shifting landscape. In fact, the 2020 Census is engineered to be the most robust and technologically advanced census in history. We will spend well over half a billion dollars on marketing, and, for the first time ever, the census will feature an internet self-response option.
As the Census Bureau deploys new technology, we are also improving our efforts to connect with people and communities on the ground throughout our country. To succeed in 2020, the Census Bureau will need countless organizations, nonprofits, companies, and government agencies at the federal , state and local levels to communicate a simple message to all Americans: The success of your communities depends on an accurate census.
Our decades-old National Partnership Program will be expanded and will operate as a core element of the next census. I personally am lending a hand by talking with CEOs of major corporations, leaders of national advocacy and nonprofit groups, my fellow Cabinet members, as well as state and local leaders to encourage their engagement in the 2020 Census. Just this year, the Census Bureau has contacted more than 200 national organizations seeking their participation. We have partnership pledges from the NAACP, Telemundo, Hispanic 100, the United Way, the YMCA and the American Library Association. However, we are not resting on these laurels. We are actively seeking thousands of organizations and businesses that will act as ambassadors for the Census Bureau’s message.
A few weeks ago, I spoke at an event in Washington to promote the National Partnership Program. I hosted Hector Barreto, chairman of The Latino Coalition; Harry Alford, president and CEO of the National Black Chamber of Commerce, and Chiling Tong, president and CEO of the Asian/Pacific Islander American Chamber of Commerce and Entrepreneurship, to promote the Partnership Program. We are delighted to have the support of leaders like Hector, Harry and Chiling lending us their trusted voices.
In addition, the Census Bureau is hiring more in-house partnership specialists than it has ever enlisted for a decennial census. These individuals are being selected locally for their knowledge and ability to work with hard-to-count populations. Currently, the Census Bureau has hired nearly 200 partnership specialists. At the height of the 2020 Decennial Census, we expect to have more than 1,500 partnership specialists working simultaneously across the country, far more than the 849 who were working during the peak of the 2010 Census.
The Census Bureau will also be providing materials in more languages than ever before. The online response forms will be available in 13 languages. Our enumerators — those individuals who reach out directly to residents — will have access to 59 different language guides.
All these efforts and the work of our national partners will help make the importance of the 2020 Census clear to everyone.
Moreover, they will help us to amplify the message that the data shared with the Census Bureau is safe, strictly confidential, and only used for statistical purposes. This strict confidentiality is enshrined in law; the Census Bureau cannot share personal information with any other government or law enforcement agency, and any employee who breaks this law faces steep fines and jail time. But the Census Bureau can and will make extensive use of administrative records from other agencies to improve the accuracy and completeness of the 2020 Census.
Our recent “dry run” of the 2020 Census, the “2018 End-to-End Census Test” held in Providence, Rhode Island, was a great success. We examined all major operational systems that the Census Bureau will rely on in 2020. The systems performed as designed, and self-response rates beat the Census Bureau’s own initial estimate.
Because of the anticipated popularity of internet self-response, cybersecurity is of the utmost concern to us. We know that we cannot afford to have any type of security breach. As such, we are investing heavily in data-protection systems and collaborating with the Federal government’s top cybersecurity agencies and leading industry cyber experts. We have designed our systems to ensure that respondents’ data is encrypted from the time it is collected through when it is securely stored.
We have spent years preparing for the 2020 Census, from carefully designing our cybersecurity systems to testing our many technological advancements and now enlisting corporate and nonprofit partners. We are on budget and on schedule to deliver every aspect of the 2020 Census. For 2020, our goal is as accurate a count of every person living in the United States as possible.