. "III Improvements for the Future - 6 Residence Principles for the Decennial Census." Once, Only Once, and in the Right Place: Residence Rules in the Decennial Census. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2006.
The following HTML text is provided to enhance online
readability. Many aspects of typography translate only awkwardly to HTML.
Please use the page image
as the authoritative form to ensure accuracy.
Once, Only Once, and in the Right Place: Residence Rules in the Decennial Census
residence principles to various living situations is an important part of that effort.
A good way to meet this need would be with a “frequently asked questions” (FAQ) list, as has become common on Web sites. Residence situations and their treatment under the residence principles should be grouped thematically for easier use. Box 6-1 illustrates a possible mapping of our recommended principles to residence situations. This structure can certainly be improved—particularly for a version to be posted on the Internet—but it provides a basic starting point for development of an FAQ list and other census documents.
The location at which prisoners should be counted has become a major point of contention. Our suggested principles—and our interpretation of them, in Box 6-1—lead us to side with the Census Bureau’s current general procedure of counting them at the location of incarceration. At this time, not enough is known about the exact nature of the alternative of counting prisoners at a place other than the prison, nor about the accuracy and consistency of facility data on inmate residence, to recommend change in counting prisoners in the 2010 census. However, we strongly urge that the 2010 census include a major test on the collection of additional residence information from prisoners and further assessment of the quality of administrative records that could inform future reconsideration of the prisoner counting issue. We discuss these initiatives below and in Chapter 7.
The residence principles should also be used to generate residence-based products in addition to the FAQ list of applications. Key among these are any specific instructions or other cues included on the census questionnaire itself; we discuss this in greater detail in the balance of this chapter.
The residence principles should be thought of as an integral part of the entire census process, not a small, side component. They should be used as a template for the development of related census operations. Chapters 7 and 8 discuss three major operations—techniques for group quarters/nonhousehold enumeration, programs to update the Master Address File, and routines to unduplicate census records—that should be designed with residence principles as a guiding concept.
Other census operations for which residence principles should be kept in the forefront include:
development and implementation of unduplication algorithms, including any revisions to the primary selection algorithm (used to screen and combine duplicate census questionnaires) and plans for “real-time” unduplication during the census process (we discuss this briefly in Section 8–B);
development of the advance letter that precedes the main questionnaire mailout, including instructions for requesting a foreign language ques-