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Washington State Population Survey

Frequently-Asked Questions

The following are frequently-asked questions regarding the Washington State Population Survey. If your questions are not answered below, please feel free to contact OFM.Forecasting@ofm.wa.gov.

  1. Who is conducting the survey?
    Funding for the survey comes from the Washington State Legislature. Gilmore Research Group is an independent contractor hired to conduct the interviews on behalf of the Office of Financial Management, the governor's budget and policy office.
  2. How was I chosen for the survey?
    Potential participants for the State Population Survey are selected at random from all Washington State residences with telephones. By selecting participants randomly, we will be able to statistically infer what the whole population of Washington State looks like. It's important to participate, so that we have an accurate picture of Washington families.
  3. How will the survey results be used?
    The purpose of the study is to provide up-to-date information on employment, income, health insurance coverage, and demographic characteristics to policy makers, legislators, and other government staff. The results from the study will affect the lives of many people in the state in ways such as improved job opportunities, housing, health care, health insurance coverage, and transportation.
  4. How many people are you calling?
    The survey sample size is 7,715 Washington State households.
  5. How long does the survey take?
    The interview takes between 20 and 30 minutes to complete, depending on the number of people living in your household.
  6. What types of questions are on the survey?
    The survey includes questions about employment, income, education, and health insurance coverage.
  7. Do I have to answer your questions?
    Participation is completely voluntary. You can refuse to answer any question. More complete information provides a better picture of Washington residents, however.
  8. Why do you ask about income?
    Eligibility for many programs is dependent upon a person's income. In order to develop an understanding about who needs services, we need to know how many people have certain levels of income. The state also tracks the percent of persons in Washington living below the federal poverty level.
  9. Will my answers affect my Social Security benefits or public assistance grant?
    No. The information collected in the survey is strictly confidential and will not be released to the Social Security Administration, the Department of Social and Health Services, or any one else.
  10. How do I know you'll keep my information confidential?
    We are required by law to keep your information confidential. After all the interviews are completed, the identifying information - your name, address, and phone number - are removed from the data file and destroyed.
  11. Why do the interviewers ask for the names of household members?
    The interviewer will ask for names of household members only to make it easier to talk about each person. If you are more comfortable using initials or made-up names, please do so. The interviewer will not ask for last names.
  12. Can I get a copy of the results?
    The results of the 2010 State Population Survey are now available on our website.

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Last updated: December 6, 2010
E-mail: OFM.Forecasting@ofm.wa.gov