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Once, Only Once, and in the Right Place: Residence Rules in the Decennial Census
Types of Enumeration Areas (TEAs), 2000 Census
Mailout/mailback In areas with predominantly city-style addresses, U.S. Postal Service carriers delivered an address-labeled advance letter to every housing unit on the MAF the week of March 6. In mid-March the carriers delivered address-labeled questionnaires, followed 2 weeks later by a reminder postcard. Households were instructed to fill out the questionnaire and mail it back.
Update/leave In areas with predominantly rural route and post office box addresses that could not be tied to a specific location, census enumerators dropped off address-labeled questionnaires to housing units in their assignment areas; respondents were instructed to return the completed form by mail. While delivering questionnaires, enumerators updated address entries to include new units not on the list, noting for each its location on a map (map spot), so that follow-up enumerators could find units that did not mail back a questionnaire.
List/enumerate In remote, sparsely populated, and hard-to-visit areas, census enumerators combined address listing and enumeration. There was no MAF for these areas created in advance. The enumerators searched for housing units, listed each unit in an address register (also its map spot), and enumerated the household at the same time.
Remote Alaska The enumeration procedure in remote areas of Alaska was similar to list/enumerate. It was conducted in February, before ice break-up and snow melt.
Rural update/enumerate The Census Bureau determined that some blocks originally planned to be enumerated by update/leave would be better handled by a procedure in which address list updating and enumeration were conducted concurrently. Areas covered by the operation included resort areas (believed to have high concentrations of seasonally vacant housing units), some American Indian reservations, and colonias on the U.S.-Mexico border. “Rural” refers to the source of the address list, which were operations focused on areas with mainly non-city-style addresses.
Military Mailout/mailback procedures were used for all residential blocks on military bases (excluding group quarters). Such blocks in type 2 enumeration areas (but not those in type 1 enumeration areas) were assigned an enumeration area code of 6 because there was no need to update the address list or provide map spots.
“Urban” update/leave It was determined that some blocks originally planned to have questionnaire delivery by the Postal Service would be better handled by having census enumerators follow an update/leave procedure. Such blocks contained older apartment buildings that lacked clear apartment unit designators, or they had many residents, despite having city-style addresses, who received their mail at post office boxes.
“Urban” update/enumerate Some American Indian reservations contained blocks in more than one TEA. In these instances, all blocks in the reservation were enumerated using update/enumerate methods (type 5). However, those blocks for which the mailing list was developed using “urban” procedures and for which no map spotting was required were made type 8.
Mailout/mailback conversion to update/leave Late reexamination of planned TEA 1 areas, conducted in 1999, suggested that some blocks contained a significant number of non-city-style addresses. These were converted to update/leave but treated as a separate type.
SOURCE: Adapted from National Research Council (2004c:Box C.2).