Community Survey (or the 2010 census if it includes a long-form sample; Recommendation 7.1).
We recommend that the Census Bureau should make users of the 2000 census long-form-sample data products (Summary Files 3 and 4 and the Public Use Microdata Samples) aware of the high missing data rates and measures of inconsistent reporting for many long-form items. The Bureau should also inform users of the need for caution in analyzing and interpreting these data (Recommendation 7.2). Users should note that the Census Bureau has reissued employment status tabulations to provide data for the household population and to exclude group quarters residents because of high missing data rates and imputation errors for them.
We recommend that the Census Bureau’s planning for the 2010 census should include research on the trade-offs in costs and accuracy between imputation and additional field work for missing data (Recommendation 4.2). We also recommend that the Census Bureau publish distributions of characteristics and item imputation rates for the 2010 census and the American Community Survey (when it includes group quarters residents) that distinguish household residents from the group quarters population (at least the institutionalized component). Such separation would make it easier for data users to compare census and ACS estimates with household surveys and would facilitate comparative assessments of data quality for these two populations (Recommendation 7.3).
The Census Bureau planned two major evaluation efforts for 2000: one set of evaluations addressed population coverage, using results from the census, the A.C.E., and demographic analysis; the other set assessed the full range of census processes and examined measures of completeness and consistency of reporting for content items. Under tight time constraints, the Census Bureau staff charged with evaluating coverage conducted comprehensive and insightful research of high quality. Their results for the A.C.E. (and demographic analysis) were timely, well-documented, and provided useful information to stakeholders and the public. However, the evaluation program for census operations and data quality appears to have experienced difficulties in obtaining usable data for analysis,