virtually the entire U.S. population, but without having to actively maintain a sampling frame for some of the group quarters that are particularly difficult to update. The new design and the closer integration between the procedures for the two samples could improve the coverage rate for both households and group quarters, because cases that are in the wrong sample based on the information on the sampling frame will no longer have to be removed as ineligible. Once the logistical details are worked out and a few years’ worth of data collection are completed, the more integrated approach should start showing real benefits that could ultimately be the key to a better inventory of all GQ types, which is also necessary for the population controls for small geographic areas.
Recommendation 4-3: To increase effective sample size by more efficiently targeting resources, the Census Bureau should consider combining the American Community Survey (ACS) sampling frame for some types of group quarters (GQ) with the housing unit sampling frame and, in tandem, modifying its data collection procedures to enable field representatives to collect data from all cases—housing unit and group quarters—in the combined sample. Additional research will be needed to determine which GQ types are best suited for integration with the housing unit sample, but the GQ types that are especially difficult to update and that are most similar to housing units may be the best candidates. These group quarters could continue to be included in the ACS GQ universe for purposes of weighting and estimation.
Recommendation 4-4: For group quarters (GQ) types that are not integrated into the housing unit sampling frame, the Census Bureau should develop improved and expanded procedures that enable more efficient, real-time use of status updates received from field representatives. An operations plan needs to be constructed that allows new GQ facilities to be added to the Master Address File and changes in the status of existing addresses to be reported. The Census Bureau should also continue to pursue the development of procedures that will allow for more efficient updating of the housing unit sample with cases that have been converted from group quarters to housing units.