Using data from the A.C.E. P-sample and E-sample, we carried out several analyses of the relationship between mail returns and population coverage for 2000. The analyses are not as comparable as we would have liked to the 1990 analyses summarized above: not only are there differences between the PES and the A.C.E., but also it is difficult a decade later to determine exactly how the 1990 analyses were performed. Nonetheless, the work is sufficiently similar that we are confident that the findings, which largely confirm the 1990 results, are valid. All results presented below are weighted, using the TESFINWT variable4 in the P-Sample or E-Sample Person Dual-System Estimation Output File, as appropriate.

Within-Household Omissions and Erroneous Enumerations by Type of Return

We linked P-sample and E-sample records in the same housing units to provide a basis for calculating rates of within-household omissions for 2000 that could be compared to the 1990 rates from Siegel (1993). We also developed other classifications of linked P-sample and E-sample households.

Table B-1 shows our results: E-sample mail returns received before the cutoff for determining the nonresponse follow-up workload included proportionally fewer cases with one or more omissions or possible omissions (2.8%) than did E-sample returns that were obtained by enumerators in nonresponse follow-up (7%). The difference was in the same direction as in 1990, but it was not as pronounced. Perhaps more striking, enumerator-obtained returns in 2000 included a much higher proportion with one or more erroneous or unresolved enumerations (15.5%) than did mail returns (5.3%) (comparable data are not available for 1990). Such enumerations included duplicates, geocoding errors, people lacking enough reported data for matching, and other erroneous and unresolved enumerations.

By housing tenure, both owner-occupied households and renter households showed the same patterns: mail returns included proportionally fewer cases of within-household omissions or cases with one or more erroneous or unresolved enumerations than enumerator returns. Consistently, renter households had higher proportions of these kinds of households than owner households (comparable data are not available for 1990).


TESFINWT is the final person-level weight assigned to P-sample and E-sample records by the Census Bureau. It is based on each individual’s estimated probability of being included in the sample as well as their inclusion in the targeted extended search operation (see Chapter 7).

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