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The 2000 Census: Interim Assessment
Important aspects of census operations that we have identified for timely evaluation include:12
Group quarters: The completeness of coverage of the group quarters population and the effects of address list development and enumeration procedures on coverage should be assessed.
MAF and LUCA: The quality of the MAF and the part played by LUCA and other sources of addresses in identifying good addresses, as well as in adding erroneous addresses, should be examined. In particular, the sources of addresses of people deleted from and reinstated in the census from the special MAF unduplication operation should be determined. It could be useful to conduct field work to estimate the extent of duplicate enumerations remaining among the reinstated people (see Chapter 8).
Whole person imputations: Reasons for larger numbers of people requiring imputation to complete their census records should be sought, such as possible problems with the coverage edit and telephone follow-up and coverage improvement follow-up operations. Evaluations of the computerized routines used for imputation should be conducted (see Chapter 8).
In addition, early completion of the Master Trace Sample should be a priority to permit tracing through the effects of each step of the census operations for a sample of addresses. Finally, as soon as practicable, the demographic and socioeconomic information collected in the long form should be thoroughly evaluated.
Looking ahead to the 2010 census, the Census Bureau has made an early start on design and preparation. Its current plans include a major effort to reengineer MAF and the associated TIGER system of assigning addresses to geographic areas;13 the use of a new American Community Survey (ACS) to provide long-form information on an annual basis;14 and the implementation of a simplified short-form-only census in 2010 that makes maximum use of improved technology for enumeration and data capture (see Miskura et al., 2001; Waite et al., 2001). Our sister Panel on Research on Future Census Methods is charged to review the 2000 census evaluation results and the Bureau’s evolv-ing plans for 2010 to recommend appropriate research and testing that will lead to a successful 2010 design (see National Research Council, 2000a). That
Some of these topics will be covered in the evaluations to be released in mid-October; however, additional studies may be required. Priorities for research on demographic analysis and the A.C.E. are addressed in Chapters 5 and 7, respectively.
TIGER stands for Topologically Integrated Geographic Encoding and Referencing System.
When fully implemented in 2003, the ACS will survey 250,000 households each month, or 3 million households per year, using a mailout questionnaire similar to the 2000 long form, a targeted second questionnaire mailing to encourage response, telephone follow-up for nonresponse, and field follow-up of one-third of remaining nonrespondents. As a separate sample-based survey with a permanent staff, the ACS is expected to provide better quality long-form-type information than it appears possible to obtain in the census (see National Research Council, 2000c:Ch.4).