The Maryland State Police and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released their annual survey of marine surveyors Tuesday, which found that a third of the surveyors in Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and West Virginia are women.
In the last five years, the average number of surveyors per surveyor was 2.3, the lowest in the country, according to the study.
In West Virginia, the number was 2,000, down from 4,000 the previous year.
In Maryland, the survey is conducted in a closed-door session in a meeting room, where a small staff gathers to collect data.
In New Jersey and Pennsylvania, there are only a few surveyors and their teams.
The surveyors report their results to the Office of Management and Budget.
The Maryland Office of Surveyors said it plans to make the state’s survey data publicly available to the public this spring.
The surveyors, who were paid $15 per hour, said they were encouraged by the state and its leadership to conduct the survey because of the need to identify the most vulnerable members of our society, and to get the best answers possible.
The study, which will be released on Monday, found that the average surveyor has been on the job for 20 years, and that the majority of surveyor work is unpaid.
Only 14 percent of surveyees are married, according the study, and almost all surveyors are single or in their 30s.
The most common job title among surveyors is surveyor assistant, which has the highest rate of female respondents, at 12.7 percent.
The report also said that the survey was not designed to determine how far the survey would go, or to determine the extent to which the state could meet its commitment to reduce the cost of providing health care and other benefits to the population.
The state’s workforce is among the most diverse in the nation, the study said.
About 7 percent of state employees are women, but that is a smaller percentage than the national average of 9.5 percent.
About 11 percent of the state surveyors live in urban areas and 11 percent live in rural areas.
In West Virginia and Pennsylvania the survey found that about 4 percent of respondents live in cities and more than 6 percent live on the rural side of the country.
The National Ocean Institute and the U.S. Census Bureau have been working on improving the state data for the past few years, with the goal of improving data quality and transparency, according and the study noted.