tion specifications with respect to the universe and geographic areas for which various estimates are provided, and data quality review.

In each section, descriptive information precedes a discussion of issues and the panel’s assessment. Weighting procedures are discussed tangentially; for a detailed discussion, see Chapter 5, which reviews the construction and interpretation of the ACS estimates for 12 months (1-year period estimates), and Chapter 6, which reviews the construction and interpretation of the ACS estimates for 36 months (3-year period estimates) and 60 months (5-year period estimates). A report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office (2004) discusses some of the same ACS issues as this report, including residence rules, methods for deriving independent population and housing controls, inflation adjustments for dollar amounts, and understanding the ACS multiyear period estimates.

Chapters 4, 5, and 6 necessarily emphasize aspects of the ACS that appear to be or may be problematic and hence require continued research and evaluation. Readers should keep in mind the substantial benefits of the ACS in comparison with the 2000 long-form sample that are spelled out in Chapters 2 and 3. These benefits include timeliness, frequency of updating, improved data quality in terms of completeness of response, and consistency of measurement with the long-form sample for most items.


This section briefly describes the development of the initial ACS sample of housing units from the MAF (4-A.1), sampling rates for the initial sample (4-A.2), and subsampling rates for nonresponse follow-up (4-A.3). It then outlines the panel’s concerns and recommendations for the MAF (4-A.4) and the ACS sample size and design (4-A.5).

Developing the Initial Sample

The initial ACS sample of housing unit addresses in the 50 states and the District of Columbia for 2005 and subsequent years consists of approximately 250,000 housing units per month and approximately 3 million housing unit addresses for the year (about 2.3 percent of 129.5 million housing units on the MAF in 2005).1 The initial sample—that is, the sample before subsampling for nonresponse follow-up by computer-assisted per-


Refer back to Box 2-1 for a brief description of sampling and other procedures in the Puerto Rico Community Survey; for further information about the housing unit sampling procedures in the United States and Puerto Rico, see Asiala (2004, 2005); Hefter (2005a); U.S. Census Bureau (2006:Ch. 4).

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