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The 2000 Census: Counting Under Adversity
as part of the 2010 A.C.E. production process, not waiting for subsequent evaluation. Such cases could be identified and followed up in real time, similar to what is planned for the census itself. Such a procedure could not only significantly reduce errors in the A.C.E., it could also provide valuable information about types of gross errors that has not previously been available.
The nationwide matching technology together with the possible increased use of administrative records for group quarters enumeration, could make it possible to include group quarters residents in the 2010 A.C.E. with an acceptable level of data quality. Administrative records for such group quarters as college dormitories, prisons, nursing homes, and other institutions could provide home addresses for use in the matching to identify duplicate enumerations. With this information, the follow-up to verify a duplicate enumeration of a college student, for example, would simply need to establish that the student was in fact the same person, and the census residence rules would then be applied to designate the group quarters enumeration as correct and the home enumeration as erroneous. There would be no need to make the family choose the student’s “usual residence.”
With regard to communication of residence rules, cognitive research on the A.C.E. questionnaires and interviewer prompts could lead to interviewing procedures that better help respondents understand the Bureau’s rules and reasons for them. The 2000 A.C.E. demonstrated that it is not enough to rely on respondents’ willingness to follow the rules (e.g., when parents report a college student at home), which is a major reason for incorporating nationwide matching technology into the 2010 A.C.E. process. However, cognitive research could probably improve the interview process in ways that would improve the quality of residence information reported to the A.C.E. (Such research is also likely to improve the census enumeration.)
Furthermore, if plans to use mobile computing devices and global positioning system (GPS) technology for address listing and nonresponse follow-up in 2010 come to fruition, then there is the opportunity to reduce geocoding errors in the E-sample. Such technology could also be used to minimize geocoding errors in the listing operations conducted to build the independent P-sample address list.