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Envisioning the 2020 Census ENVISIONING THE 2020 CENSUS Panel on the Design of the 2010 Census Program of Evaluations and Experiments Lawrence D. Brown, Michael L. Cohen, Daniel L. Cork, and Constance F. Citro, Editors Committee on National Statistics Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS Washington, DC www.nap.edu
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Envisioning the 2020 Census THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. The project that is the subject of this report was supported by contract no. YA1323-06-CN-0031 between the U.S. Census Bureau and the National Academy of Sciences. Support of the work of the Committee on National Statistics is provided by a consortium of federal agencies through a grant from the National Science Foundation (No. SES-0453930). Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project. International Standard Book Number 13: 978-0-309-15115-3 International Standard Book Number 10: 0-309-15115-5 Additional copies of this report are available from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, NW, Lockbox 285, Washington, DC 20055; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area); Internet, http://www.nap.edu. Copyright 2010 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America Suggested citation: National Research Council. (2010). Envisioning the 2020 Census. Panel on the Design of the 2010 Census Program of Evaluations and Experiments. Lawrence D. Brown, Michael L. Cohen, Daniel L. Cork, and Constance F. Citro, eds. Committee on National Statistics, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.
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Envisioning the 2020 Census THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Charles M. Vest is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Charles M. Vest are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. www.national-academies.org
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Envisioning the 2020 Census PANEL ON THE DESIGN OF THE 2010 CENSUS PROGRAM OF EVALUATIONS AND EXPERIMENTS LAWRENCE D. BROWN (Chair), Department of Statistics, Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania RICHARD A. BERK, Department of Criminology, University of Pennsylvania ERIC T. BRADLOW, Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania IVAN P. FELLEGI, Statistics Canada (retired), Ottawa LINDA GAGE, California Department of Finance, Sacramento VIJAY NAIR, Department of Statistics, University of Michigan JESSE H. POORE, JR., Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, University of Tennessee, Knoxville NORA CATE SCHAEFFER, Department of Sociology, University of Wisconsin–Madison ALLEN L. SCHIRM, Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., Washington, DC JUDITH A. SELTZER, Department of Sociology, University of California, Los Angeles STANLEY K. SMITH, Department of Economics, University of Florida, Gainesville JOHN H. THOMPSON, National Opinion Research Center, University of Chicago ROGER TOURANGEAU, Survey Research Center, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and Joint Program in Survey Methodology, University of Maryland, College Park KIRK WOLTER, National Opinion Research Center, University of Chicago MICHAEL L. COHEN, Co-Study Director DANIEL L. CORK, Co-Study Director AGNES E. GASKIN, Administrative Assistant MEYER ZITTER, Consultant
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Envisioning the 2020 Census COMMITTEE ON NATIONAL STATISTICS 2008–2009 WILLIAM F. EDDY (Chair), Department of Statistics, Carnegie Mellon University KATHARINE G. ABRAHAM, Department of Economics and Joint Program in Survey Methodology, University of Maryland ALICIA CARRIQUIRY, Department of Statistics, Iowa State University WILLIAM DUMOUCHEL, Phase Forward, Inc., Waltham, Massachusetts JOHN C. HALTIWANGER, Department of Economics, University of Maryland V. JOSEPH HOTZ, Department of Economics, Duke University KAREN KAFADAR, Department of Statistics, Indiana University, Bloomington DOUGLAS S. MASSEY, Department of Sociology, Princeton University SALLY MORTON, Statistics and Epidemiology, RTI International, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina JOSEPH NEWHOUSE, Division of Health Policy Research and Education, Harvard University SAMUEL H. PRESTON, Population Studies Center, University of Pennsylvania HAL STERN, Department of Statistics, University of California, Irvine ROGER TOURANGEAU, Joint Program in Survey Methodology, University of Maryland, and Survey Research Center, University of Michigan ALAN ZASLAVSKY, Department of Health Care Policy, Harvard Medical School CONSTANCE F. CITRO, Director
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Envisioning the 2020 Census Acknowledgments The Panel on the Design of the 2010 Census Program of Evaluations and Experiments (CPEX) wishes to thank the many people who have contributed to our work. The panel is indebted to former Deputy Director Preston Jay Waite’s support during the developmental stage of the study and to the continued support from Daniel Weinberg, assistant director for decennial census and American Community Survey. Deborah Bolton and Randall Neugebauer ably served as principal liaisons between the Census Bureau and the panel, assisted by Gary Chappell, Joyce Price, Jennifer Reichert, and Donna Souders. All of these Census Bureau staff were responsive to requests from the panel for help in the development of agendas, the collection of supporting materials, and assistance with other logistical details. They have been a pleasure to work with. Also, a number of Census Bureau personnel provided extremely useful presentations and supporting materials during the panel’s meetings in April 2007, July 2007, April 2008, July 2008, November 2008, and February 2009. In this regard, we would like to thank Teresa Angueira, Michael Bentley, Larry Cahoon, Joan Hill, Elizabeth Martin, Mary Mulry, Manuel de la Puente, Jennifer Reichert, Courtney Reiser, Annetta Clark Smith, and Frank Vitrano. Many of these individuals, along with others, also contributed to three very productive small group meetings of the panel (held in July 2007), and here we would like to mention interactions with Nancy Bates, William Bell, Sharon Boyer, Mary Destasio, Donna Kostanich, Laurel Schwede, Jennifer Tancreto, and Jim Treat. We would like to single out Jim Treat to thank him for his help in learning about a number of disparate areas of census planning, experimentation, and evaluation. Our panel also benefited from the contributions of a number of outside speakers at our plenary meetings who gave generously of their talents. We thank Mick Couper, University of Michigan, and John Czajka, Mathe-
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Envisioning the 2020 Census matica Policy Research, Inc., for their thoughtful presentations on Internet data collection and administrative records, respectively. Rosemary Bender of Statistics Canada provided useful insight on census research in Canada, contributing to a discussion organized by panel member Ivan Fellegi. Finally, Marios Hadjieleftheriou of AT&T spoke about the possible structure of a master trace system and the use of such systems in industry. We would like to thank Constance Citro, along with Jay Waite, for developing the study. In addition, Connie participated actively in our panel meetings and helped with writing and editing this report, providing her usual insightful comments and suggestions. Her knowledge and experience of census history and procedures proved to be an essential and invaluable addition to our deliberations. We would also like to thank Meyer Zitter, consultant to the panel, for also providing important, experienced perspectives on the census and in particular for his advice on the potential use of administrative records in census taking. We express our gratitude to Agnes Gaskin, who has seen to it that the meetings of the panel run as smoothly as possible, facilitating the travel and other needs of the panel members, and formatting this report. The panel is also indebted to Christine McShane, who provided expert technical editing of the draft report. Michael Cohen and Daniel Cork served as extraordinarily effective and essential co-directors for the work of the panel. They admirably fulfilled their responsibility for compiling, organizing and presenting most of the background material and basic research appearing in the report, and for skillfully organizing and drafting the report so as to integrate the panel’s opinions and concerns along with our individual contributions. They were responsible from the side of the panel in arranging our cooperative interactions with the Census Bureau, which have been essential in our deliberations. And their experience and common sense helped keep us on track and focused as a panel during meetings and during the process of writing our interim and final reports. Finally, it has been a pleasure interacting with a very talented, energetic, and collaborative panel as we considered plans for evaluation of the 2010 census and for research and development to be carried out in the next decade to achieve as cost effective as possible a census in 2020. This final report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the Report Review Committee of the National Research Council. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making the published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We thank the
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Envisioning the 2020 Census following individuals for their participation in the review of this report: Betsy Ancker-Johnson, vice president (retired), General Motors Corporation; John L. Czajka, Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., Washington, DC; Shoreh Elhami, GIS director, Delaware County Auditor’s Office, Delaware, OH; Benjamin King, statistical consultant, Durham, NC; Daniel B. Levine, Statistics, Westat, Inc., Rockville, MD; Betsy Martin, consultant, Alexandria, VA; C. Matthew Snipp, Department of Sociology, Stanford University; and Alan M. Zaslavsky, Department of Health Care Policy, Harvard Medical School. In addition, we thank the following individuals who served as reviewers for Experimentation and Evaluation Plans for the 2010 Census: Interim Report, which is reprinted in Part II of this volume: C.A. (Al) Irvine, consultant, San Diego, CA; Benjamin King, statistical consultant, Durham, NC; J. Michael Oakes, Division of Epidemiology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis; Joseph Salvo, Population Division, New York City Department of City Planning, New York City, NY; Robert Scardamalia, Center for Research and Information Analysis, Department of Economic Development, Albany, NY; Frederick J. Scheuren, consultant, Alexandria, VA; and Judith M. Tanur, Department of Sociology and Behavior, State University of New York, Stony Brook. Finally, we thank the reviewers of the panel’s February 2009 letter report, which is reprinted as Part III of this volume: Barbara A. Bailar, independent consultant, Washington, DC; John L. Czajka, Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., Washington, DC; C.A. (Al) Irvine, consultant, San Diego, CA; Benjamin King, statistical consultant, Durham, NC; and Colm A. O’Muircheartaigh, Harris Graduate School of Public Policy Studies, The University of Chicago. Although the reviewers listed above provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Samuel H. Preston, Population Studies Center, University of Pennsylvania, and William F. Eddy, Department of Statistics, Carnegie Mellon University. Appointed by the National Research Council, they were responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution. Lawrence D. Brown, Chair Panel on the Design of the 2010 Census Program of Evaluations and Experiments
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Envisioning the 2020 Census Contents I Final Report 1 Summary 3 1 Introduction 15 1–A The Panel, Its Charge, and Previous Reports 17 1–B Overview of This Report 19 2 Planning the 2020 Census: Cost and Quality 21 2–A Development of the Modern Census 22 2–A.1 1940 and 1950: Sampling and R&D 22 2–A.2 1960: Mailout and the “Long Form” 23 2–A.3 1970–1980: Mailout-Mailback, Computerized Address List, Coverage Improvement, Dual-System Estimation 23 2–A.4 1990–2000: Controversy Over Adjustment; Incremental Change 25 2–A.5 2010: Recovery from Near Disaster? 26 2–B Census Quality 28 2–B.1 Definition and Measures 28 2–B.2 Net Coverage Error, 1940–2000 29 2–B.3 Another Metric: Gross Coverage Errors 30 2–C Census Costs 31 2–C.1 Census Costs Over Time 32 2–C.2 Life-Cycle Cost of the 2010 Census 34 2–C.3 Comparison with Other Censuses 38 2–C.4 Coverage and Costs 39
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Envisioning the 2020 Census 2–D Assessment: Time to Rethink the Census and Census Research 40 3 Census Bureau Research, Past and Present 59 3–A Current Research: Unfocused and Ineffective 60 3–A.1 Legacy of Research 61 3–A.2 Flaws in Current Census Research and the 2010 CPEX 63 3–B Key Steps in Rethinking the Census by Rethinking Research 75 3–B.1 Identify Visions for Next Census and Focus on a Limited Set of Goals 75 3–B.2 Build Capacity to Evaluate Costs of Alternative Visions 78 3–B.3 Build from 2010 Experience and Data (If Not the 2010 CPEX) 79 3–B.4 Examples of Research Directions: Strategic Issues for the 2020 Census 80 4 Revitalizing Census Research and Development 95 4–A In-House R&D—Why and What 97 4–B Properties of a Successful R&D Program 98 4–C Structuring a Successful R&D Program 103 4–C.1 Leadership 103 4–C.2 Organization 104 4–C.3 Project Teams 107 4–C.4 Funding 108 4–C.5 Training 108 4–C.6 Advisory Committees 109 4–C.7 Opportunities to Participate in Research 109 4–D A New Census Research and Development Program 109 4–D.1 Organization and Leadership 109 4–D.2 Integration 112 4–D.3 Fostering Outside Collaboration 113 4–D.4 Budgeting for Research 113 A Past Census Research Programs 115 A–1 1950 Census 115 A–1.a Principal Pretests and Experiments Conducted Prior to the Census 115 A–1.b Research, Experimentation, and Evaluation Program 118 A–2 1960 Census 118 A–2.a Principal Pretests and Experiments Conducted Prior to the Census 118
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Envisioning the 2020 Census A–2.b Research, Experimentation, and Evaluation Program 122 A–3 1970 Census 124 A–3.a Principal Pretests and Experiments Conducted Prior to the Census 124 A–3.b Research, Experimentation, and Evaluation Program 128 A–4 1980 Census 133 A–4.a Principal Pretests and Experiments Conducted Prior to the Census 133 A–4.b Research, Experimentation, and Evaluation Program 138 A–5 1990 Census 148 A–5.a Principal Pretests and Experiments Conducted Prior to the Census 148 A–5.b Research, Experimentation, and Evaluation Program 153 A–6 2000 Census 157 A–6.a Principal Pretests and Experiments Conducted Prior to the Census 157 A–6.b Research, Experimentation, and Evaluation Program 160 A–7 Principal Pretests and Experiments Conducted Prior to the 2010 Census 173 A–7.a Pretests of Census Operations and Questionnaires 173 A–7.b Dress Rehearsal 178 B 2010 Census Program of Evaluations and Experiments 181 B–1 Experiments 182 B–1.a Alternative Questionnaire Experiment 182 B–1.b Nonresponse Follow-Up Contact Strategy Experiment 190 B–1.c Deadline Messaging/Compressed Schedule Experiment 191 B–1.d Confidentiality/Privacy Notification Experiment 194 B–1.e Heavy-Up Publicity Experiment 194 B–2 Evaluations 194 B–2.a Alternative Questionnaire Experiment Reinterview 197 B–2.b Content Reinterview 197 B–2.c Alternative Group Quarters Questionnaire 198 B–2.d Interactive Voice Response Customer Satisfaction Survey 199 B–3 Assessments 200 II Interim Report: Experimentation and Evaluation in the 2010 Census (December 7, 2007) 203 Executive Summary 205
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Envisioning the 2020 Census 1 Introduction 213 1–A Charge to the Panel 214 1–B Background: Experiments and Evaluations in the 2000 Census 215 1–B.1 Experiments 215 1–B.2 Evaluations 218 1–C Post Hoc Assessment of the 2000 Experiments and Evaluations 218 1–D Overview of the 2010 Census 221 1–E The CPEX Planning Document 222 1–F Guide to the Report 223 2 Initial Views on 2010 Census Experiments 225 2–A A General Approach to the Selection of Census Experiments 225 2–B Priority Topics for Experimentation in 2010 227 2–B.1 Internet Data Collection 228 2–B.2 Use of Administrative Records to Assist in Component Census Operations 230 2–B.3 Alternative Questionnaire Experiment 234 2–B.4 Race/Ethnicity as a Single Question 235 2–B.5 Representation of Residence Concepts 239 2–B.6 Other Content Issues 241 2–B.7 Deadline Messaging and Other Presentation Issues 243 2–B.8 A Possible Additional Experiment: Comparison of Telephone to Personal Interview for Coverage Follow-Up Interview 244 2–C Conclusion 245 3 Initial Views on 2010 Census Evaluations 247 3–A Suggestions for the 2010 Census Evaluations 247 3–A.1 Address List Improvement 247 3–A.2 Master Trace Sample 249 3–A.3 Reverse Record Check 251 3–A.4 Edit Protocols 252 3–A.5 Coverage Assessment of Group Quarters 253 3–A.6 Training of Field Enumerators 254 3–B A General Approach to Census Evaluation 254 3–C Initial Considerations Regarding a General Approach to Census Research 256 4 Considerations for the 2010 Census 259 4–A Technology 259 4–B Data Retention by Census Contractors 261
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Envisioning the 2020 Census 4–C Census Enumeration as Part of Telephone Questionnaire Assistance 262 A The Census Bureau’s Suggested Topics for Research 265 B Internet Response Options in Selected Population Censuses 283 B–1 The Internet and the U.S. Census 283 B–2 Use of the Internet in Foreign Censuses 290 III Letter Report (February 19, 2009) 303 References 319 Biographical Sketches of Panel Members and Staff 333
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Envisioning the 2020 Census List of Figures Part I: Final Report B-1 2010 Alternative Questionnaire Experiment, control questionnaires 183 B-2 2010 Alternative Questionnaire Experiment, structures of combined race and Hispanic origin question 184 B-3 2010 Alternative Questionnaire Experiment, variations on race question 185 B-4 2010 Alternative Questionnaire Experiment, variations on Hispanic question and hybrid approaches 186 B-5 2010 Alternative Questionnaire Experiment, other residence panel 187 B-6 2010 nonresponse follow-up enumerator questionnaire, record of contact box 190 B-7 2010 Confidentiality/Privacy Notification Experiment, control and experimental treatments 195 Part II: Interim Report 2-1 First page (Person 1), draft 2008 dress rehearsal questionnaire 236 2-2 Person 2 panel, draft 2008 dress rehearsal questionnaire 237 B-1 Housing Unit ID log-in screen and race response screen, Internet questionnaire, 2005 census test 287
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Envisioning the 2020 Census List of Tables Part I: Final Report 2-1 Estimates of Percentage Net Undercount, by Race, from Demographic Analysis, 1940–2000 (in Percent) 30 2-2 Per Housing Unit Costs, 1960–2010 U.S. Censuses 33 2-3 Census Bureau Life-Cycle Cost Estimates for the 2010 Census (covering fiscal years 2002–2013) 36 2-4 Coverage Improvement Programs and Procedures, 1970–2010 Censuses—Address List Development 44 2-5 Coverage Improvement Programs and Procedures, 1970–2010 Censuses—Publicity/Outreach 47 2-6 Coverage Improvement Programs and Procedures, 1970–2010 Censuses—Initial Enumeration Methods 51 2-7 Coverage Improvement Programs and Procedures, 1970–2010 Censuses—Follow-Up of Mail Returns 55 2-8 Coverage Improvement Programs and Procedures, 1970–2010 Censuses—NRFU (Nonresponse Follow-Up) and Post-NRFU 56 B-1 2010 Deadline Messaging/Compressed Schedule Experiment, deadline message treatments by form type 193 Part II: Interim Report 1-1 Topic Headings, 2010 CPEX Research Proposals and 2000 Census Evaluation Program 219
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Envisioning the 2020 Census List of Boxes Part I: Final Report 3-1 Census Bureau’s Tentative Goals and Objectives for the 2020 Census 76 4-1 Historical Overview of the Census Bureau’s Organization of R&D 105 B-1 Experiments in the 2010 CPEX 182 B-2 Evaluations in the 2010 CPEX 196 B-3 Assessments in the 2010 CPEX 201 Part II: Interim Report 2-1 Situations Generating a Coverage Follow-Up Interview 245 B-1 United Nations Economic Commission for Europe Comments on Internet Data Collection in the 2010 Round of Censuses 291
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