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What is the Ask U.S. Panel pilot?

The Ask U.S. Panel pilot is a large nationally representative survey panel pilot led by the U.S. Census Bureau.

The purpose of the panel pilot is to collect public opinion on a variety of topics and gather information that can be used to improve and inform future surveys. The pilot will also test feasibility and procedures that may be used to develop and implement future panels. The panel will consist of individuals and households living across the U.S. that have agreed to be contacted and invited to participate in surveys led by the U.S. Census Bureau and other federal agencies.

If you are an active-duty military member or spouse, click to learn about the Ask US Panel for military and spouses.

Frequently Asked Questions

Your address is one of 5,000 addresses across the U.S. that was randomly selected to participate. In order for the Ask U.S. Panel pilot to be successful, it is important to have participants that represent the nation as a whole. Your household was contacted to see if someone who lives there may be eligible to participate in the Ask U.S. Panel pilot.

Participation in the Ask U.S. Panel pilot is voluntary. There are no penalties for refusing to answer any questions. However, your cooperation is important because it will ensure our survey results represent an accurate picture of the entire country. Your answers not only represent your household, but also hundreds of other similar households. The information you provide will help the U.S. Census Bureau and other participating federal agencies better understand public opinion on a variety of different topics and will inform and improve how data are collected in the future. You may choose not to take part in the Ask U.S. Panel pilot, but because our sample is randomly selected, no other household or person can take your place. By taking part in the Ask U.S. Panel pilot, you will represent the views and opinions of many other individuals like yourself.

If someone in your household is selected, we will invite them to join the Ask U.S. Panel pilot. Panel members will first complete a brief survey to confirm their eligibility, followed by a 20-minute enrollment survey to join the pilot panel. Once members are enrolled in the pilot, they will be invited to complete one additional 15-minute survey later in 2022. Surveys will be about a variety of topics, such as food and nutrition, transportation, employment, and education. Panelists will be asked to be a part of the pilot panel for up to 1 year, though participation in individual surveys is voluntary.

Yes. As a token of appreciation, panel members will receive $20 for completing their initial enrollment survey, and an additional $10 for completing a 15-minute survey later in 2022.

The U.S. Census Bureau, partnering federal statistical agencies, and RTI are committed to assuring your privacy. All your information will be kept private. All survey responses will be combined with the answers of many others and reported in a summary form. Our interest is only in the combination of all responses and not anyone’s individual answers. Your name and any other identifying information will never be associated with the answers you provide on surveys – this information is only collected for contact purposes so that we may send you invitations to future surveys. Your privacy is protected to the full extent required by law.

The U.S. Census Bureau is the primary sponsor of the Ask U.S. Panel pilot. Other federal agencies may also contribute funding and sponsor surveys for the Ask U.S. Panel pilot.

Other participating agencies include:

  • Department of Defense
  • Bureau of Labor Statistics
  • Department of Labor-Office of Evaluations
  • Economic Research Service
  • National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics
  • National Center for Health Statistics
  • Social Security Agency
  • National Center for Education Statistics
  • Food and Nutrition Service
  • Bureau of Transportation Statistics
  • Federal Highway Administration

The U.S. Census Bureau has partnered with RTI International (RTI), a not-for-profit research organization, to establish and manage the Ask U.S. Panel pilot. RTI conducts research both in the United States and abroad under agreements with federal, state, and local governments; public service agencies; universities and foundations; and commercial clients. You can learn more about RTI by visiting www.rti.org.

You may contact the U.S. Census Bureau at ADRM.pra@census.gov or the RTI International Ask U.S. Pilot Panel Data Collection Task Leader, Dustin Williams, at askuspanel@rti.org to confirm the legitimacy of the Ask U.S. Panel.

You may also find out more information regarding U.S. Census Bureau survey programs at https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/surveyhelp/faqs.html.

The study has also been approved by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The valid OMB control number for this information collection is 0607-1020. The expiration date is 04/30/2025.