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Change and the 2020 Census: Not Whether But How
into the attributes of MHF addresses that do or do not geocode. Likewise, the year-to-year flux in MHF content—“births” and “deaths” of addresses—remains to be explored.
It is our understanding that the Census Bureau is working on converting the samples for its ongoing demographic surveys to use the MAF as their address source, much like the ACS does now. The status quo for the current surveys is to draw their sample from parts of four different address frames—an address frame (separate from the MAF), an area frame, a GQ inventory, and a listing of new construction addresses. Switching the surveys to use the MAF as a base has the advantage of making the MAF a fuller “corporate resource” within the Census Bureau; it is also useful in that it gives the current surveys a direct stake in the quality of MAF/TIGER, and so could facilitate the use of survey interviewers as part of regular geographic quality assessment (as mentioned above). Our charge is focused on the decennial census and its specific operations, but we think it entirely appropriate to support the use of the MAF in all of the regular current surveys; updates and improvements to MAF/TIGER based on regular use of those systems ultimately accrue to the quality of the census.