measures from studies of nonresponse, exact matches with surveys and administrative records, content reinterviews with samples of respondents, and experiments to determine response effects of alternative questionnaire formats and wording (see, e.g., Bureau of the Census, 1964, 1970, 1975a,b, 1982a,b, 1983a,b, 1984). To date, data quality measures are somewhat sparser for the 2000 census.

The panel requested and received detailed tabulations of basic and long-form-sample item imputation rates for the 2000 and 1990 censuses and more limited information on item nonresponse in the Census 2000 Supplementary Survey (C2SS).1 (An analysis commissioned by the Census Bureau used these tabulations; see Schneider, 2003.) The panel also compared the consistency of basic characteristics for people in the census-based E-sample who matched cases in the independent P-sample of the 2000 Accuracy and Coverage Evaluation (A.C.E.) Program.2 A Content Reinterview Survey, conducted primarily by telephone in June–November 2000 of 20,000 long-form recipient households, provided indexes of inconsistency between census and survey responses for most questionnaire items for one randomly chosen member of each household. Unlike previous censuses, the 2000 Content Reinterview Survey did not try to measure systematic response biases by including probing questions to determine the most accurate response (see Singer and Ennis, 2003). A set of questionnaire experiments in 2000 examined forms design, listing of household members, and race and ethnicity questions (see Martin et al., 2003). At a later date, information on response variance and bias will be available from an exact match of long-form census records and the April 2000 Current Population Survey.

In this chapter, we briefly discuss the usefulness of three types of available 2000 census data quality measures: imputation rates, consistency measures, and variability and sample loss for the long-form sample (7-A). We then review available data quality measures


The C2SS surveyed 700,000 households, or 1.8 million people, by mail with computer-assisted telephone and in-person follow-up; it is a precursor to the planned American Community Survey (see Appendix I.3).


The 2000 P-sample surveyed 0.3 million households, or 0.7 million people, in about 11,000 block clusters, using computer-assisted telephone and in-person interviewing; the E-sample contained about the same number of households and people as the P-sample, drawn from the 2000 census records in the same block clusters (see Chapters 5 and 6).

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