duplicate enumerations could be identified, followed up, and eliminated from the census counts in real time (Smith and Whitford, 2003).22 If these plans reach fruition, then the 2010 census could be expected to have many fewer erroneous enumerations than the 2000 census. Because it is difficult to imagine the development of effective new ways of reducing census omissions, then a reduction in erroneous enumerations could well result in a significant net undercount in the 2010 census and an increase in differential undercoverage among population groups. Without an A.C.E.-type coverage evaluation program, it would not be possible to measure such an undercount or to adjust some or all of the census counts for coverage errors should that be warranted. Demographic analysis, while providing useful information about census coverage at the national level for a few population groups, could not substitute for an A.C.E.

We urge that the 2010 census testing program give priority to research and development for an improved A.C.E.-type coverage evaluation program. We see possibilities for improvements in many areas, such as the estimation of components of gross census error as well as net error, expansion of the search area for erroneous census enumerations and P-sample nonresidents, the inclusion of group quarters residents, better communication to respondents of residence rules (and reasons for them), understanding the effects of IIs on A.C.E. estimation, the treatment of movers, and the development of poststrata. The optimal size of a 2010 A.C.E. is also a consideration. The survey must be large enough to provide estimates of coverage errors with the level of precision that was targeted for the original (March 2001) A.C.E. estimates for population groups and geographic areas.

With regard to the estimates of erroneous enumerations and P-sample nonresidents outside the traditional search area, the nationwide matching technology developed for the 2000 A.C.E. Revision II would make it possible to incorporate the search for such errors

22  

Some observers may be concerned about privacy issues with regard to the capture of names on the computerized census records and their use for matching on such a large scale. The panel did not consider this issue, but we note that the Census Bureau has always been sensitive to such concerns, and Title 13 of the U.S. Code safeguards the data against disclosure.



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