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Small Populations, Large Effects Improving the Measurement of the Group Quarters Population in the American Community Survey Panel on Statistical Methods for Measuring the Group Quarters Population in the American Community Survey Paul R. Voss and Krisztina Marton, Editors Committee on National Statistics Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education
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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. This study was supported by Contract No. YA132309CN0089 between the National Academy of Sciences and the U.S. Census Bureau. Support for the work of the Committee on National Statistics is provided by a consortium of federal agencies through a grant from the National Science Foundation (award number 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: 978-0-309-25560-8 International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-25560-0 Additional copies of this report are available from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, NW, Keck 360, Washington, DC 20001; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313; http:// www.nap.edu. Copyright 2012 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America Suggested citation: National Research Council. (2012). Small Populations, Large Effects: Improving the Measurement of the Group Quarters Population in the American Community Survey. Panel on Statistical Methods for Measuring the Group Quarters Population in the American Community Survey, Paul R. Voss and Krisztina Marton, Editors. Committee on National Statistics, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.
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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 examina - tion 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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PANEL ON STATISTICAL METHODS FOR MEASURING THE GROUP QUARTERS POPULATION IN THE AMERICAN COMMUNITY SURVEY PAUL R. VOSS (Chair), Carolina Population Center and Odum Institute for Research in Social Science, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill WILLIAM A.V. CLARK, Department of Geography, University of California, Los Angeles SUSAN COPELLA, Pennsylvania State Data Center, Pennsylvania State University DAVID DOLSON, Statistics Canada, Ottawa RALPH FOLSOM, RTI International, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina RACHEL HARTER, RTI International, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina (formerly with National Opinion Research Center, University of Chicago) STEVEN HEERINGA, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan JOSEPH SALVO, New York City Department of City Planning RICHARD VALLIANT, Joint Program for Survey Methodology, University of Maryland, and Survey Research Center, University of Michigan KRISZTINA MARTON, Study Director AGNES E. GASKIN, Administrative Assistant v
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COMMITTEE ON NATIONAL STATISTICS 2011-2012 LAWRENCE D. BROWN (Chair), Department of Statistics, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania JOHN M. ABOWD, School of Industrial and Labor Relations, Cornell University ALICIA CARRIQUIRY, Department of Statistics, Iowa State University WILLIAM DuMOUCHEL, Oracle Health Sciences, Waltham, Massachusetts V. JOSEPH HOTZ, Department of Economics, Duke University MICHAEL HOUT, Survey Research Center, University of California, Berkeley KAREN KAFADAR, Department of Statistics, Indiana University SALLIE KELLER, Provost, University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada LISA LYNCH, Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University SALLY C. MORTON, Department of Biostatistics, University of Pittsburgh JOSEPH NEWHOUSE, Division of Health Policy Research and Education, Harvard University RUTH D. PETERSON, Department of Sociology (emeritus), The Ohio State University HAL S. STERN, Donald Bren School of Computer and Information Sciences, University of California, Irvine JOHN H. THOMPSON, National Opinion Research Center, University of Chicago ROGER TOURANGEAU, Westat, Rockville, MD ALAN ZASLAVSKY, Department of Health Care Policy, Harvard University Medical School CONSTANCE F. CITRO, Director vi
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Acknowledgments The Panel on Statistical Methods for Measuring the Group Quarters Population in the American Community Survey (ACS) of the Committee on National Statistics (CNSTAT) is pleased to submit this final report. The col- lection of data from the relatively small number of individuals living in group quarters (GQ) facilities has always been more challenging than collecting data from those living in housing units. However, since a group quarters sample was added to the ACS for the first time in 2006, there remain a number of sam- pling and statistical issues yet to be satisfactorily worked out. Examining these issues and making recommendations to the Census Bureau’s ACS Office was the charge of our panel. The Census Bureau was conducting its own research on these issues in parallel with the panel’s work, and as a result, the panel was receiving new updates and data to consider in its deliberations throughout the course of the study. The ACS staff of the Census Bureau and the staff in the Population Estimates Program of the Census Bureau’s Population Division were gener- ous with their time throughout our work and responded to panel questions and requests for information with good humor and alacrity. Communication between the panel and the Census Bureau was greatly facilitated by lead technical liaison, Alfredo Navarro, who was a pleasure to work with. Philip Gbur served as contracting officer, and he was always accessible. Many Census Bureau staff members made informative presentations to the panel, including Mark Asiala, Michael Beaghen, Scott Boggess, Edward Castro, Annetta Smith Clark, Sandy Clark, Chandra Erdman, Steven Hefter, Todd Hughes, Susan Schechter, Amy Symens Smith, Sharon Stern, Victoria Velkoff, Lynn Weidman, vii
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viii ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Daniel Weinberg, and David Whitford. These are all busy people, and their contributions to the work of the panel are greatly appreciated. The panel also sought input on data collected about major segments of the GQ population from experts in other agencies in the federal statistical system. In particular, William Sabol from the Bureau of Justice Statistics presented a valuable overview of that agency’s portfolio of data series on the correctional population. We also benefited from a discussion with Lauren Harris-Kojetin from the National Center for Health Statistics about data collections from health care facilities. To assess the importance of GQ data from the ACS, the panel reached out to the data user community, and we are grateful to everyone who provided input. As part of this outreach effort, the panel sponsored a one-day data user meet- ing in Washington, DC, in December 2010. This well-attended meeting proved crucial in demonstrating the importance of these data for many users. We thank those individuals who gave their time to assist the panel at this meeting; the list of participants appears in Appendix A. The panel also engaged two teams of consultants to assist in understanding how data on GQ populations are used in the wide variety of program administration, eligibility determination, and funding at the federal, state and local levels of government. For helpful data gathering and insights in this regard, we express our appreciation to Cynthia M. Taeuber of CM Taueber & Associates, Rachel Blanchard Carpenter, survey specialist with the National Opinion Research Center, and Robert Scardamalia of RLS Demographics, Inc. We also express our appreciation to Colm O’Muircheartaigh, at the National Opinion Research Center at the Univrersity of Chicago, for his special insights regarding surveying and data reporting on those who live in GQ facilities. We thank Joel Alvarez and Adam Attar from the New York City Department of City Planning and Melissa Stringfellow from the University of Maryland for their valuable assistance with analysis and visual presentation of the ACS and census data. At our first meeting in March 2010, the panel formed two working groups on statistical issues and data user considerations to pursue specific tasks between meetings, and the work of the subgroups and of the panel as a whole proceeded with few disagreements, as well as a keen sense of remaining within the bound - aries of our charge from the Census Bureau. As chair of the panel, I want to express my deep appreciation to each of the panelists for providing insightful input from their respective areas of expertise. We could not have accomplished our mission without the steady guidance, keen attention to detail, and excellent writing talents of our study director, Krisztina Marton. In addition, we had the strong support of other CNSTAT staff. We extend our appreciation to Constance Citro, CNSTAT director, for her always deeply knowledgeable guidance when questions of procedure arose or when advice was requested. We thank CNSTAT senior program officer Michael Cohen for taking time to attend the panel’s meetings and providing occasional
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ix ACKNOWLEDGMENTS counsel. We are especially grateful to CNSTAT senior program officer Daniel Cork and associate program officer Esha Sinha for their input and help with data analysis. We thank Kirsten Sampson Snyder for her expert oversight of the report review process, Christine McShane for skilled technical editing of the draft report, and Agnes Gaskin for handling so capably the variety of logistical matters relating to our meetings. This 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 (NRC). The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and criti- cal comments that will assist the institution in making its 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 wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report: Warren Brown, Cornell Institute for Social and Economic Research, Cornell University; Alicia Carriquiry, Department of Statistics, Iowa State University; John Czajka, Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.; Charlene Harrington, School of Nursing, University of California, San Francisco; Ken Hodges, Nielsen; David Hubble, Westat, Inc.; Colm O’Muircheartaigh, Harris School, University of Chicago; David Plane, School of Geography and Devel - opment, University of Arizona; and Bruce Spencer, Department of Statistics, Northwestern University. Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive com - ments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or rec - ommendations nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Richard Kulka, consultant, Statistical Survey and Social Research, and Charles Manski, Department of Economics, Northwestern University. Appointed by the NRC, 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 panel and the institution. Finally, we recognize the many federal agencies that support the Committee on National Statistics directly and through a grant from the National Science Foundation. Without their support and their commitment to improving the national statistical system, the committee work that is the basis of this report would not have been possible. Paul R. Voss, Chair Panel on Statistical Methods for Measuring the Group Quarters Population in the American Community Survey
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Contents Summary 1 1 Introduction 11 2 The Group Quarters Population and the American Community Survey 19 3 American Community Survey Data Products, Data Uses, and Data Needs 33 4 Sampling Frame Development and Maintenance 45 5 Sample Allocation and Selection 63 6 Weighting and Estimation 71 References 95 Appendixes A Participants in the Panel’s Meeting with Data Users December 13, 2010 99 B 2011 American Community Survey: Housing Unit Questionnaire 101 C 2011 American Community Survey: Group Quarters Questionnaire 117 D 2005-2009 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates Data Tables That Highlight the Group Quarters Population in Virginia 125 E 2005-2009 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates Data Tables That Highlight the Group Quarters Population in Goochland County, Virginia 135 xi
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xii CONTENTS F The 10 Largest Federal Assistance Programs That Relied on ACS Total Population Estimates, Fiscal Year 2008 139 G The 10 Largest Federal Assistance Programs with Funds Sent Directly to Substate Areas Based on ACS Total Population Estimates, Fiscal Year 2008 141 H Plots of Relative Differences, ACS Estimates from 2005-2009, 2007-2009, and 2009 with Expected Estimates of the Group Quarters Population in U.S. States 143 I Plots of Relative Differences, 2005-2009 ACS Estimates and 2007 Expected Estimates of the Group Quarters Population in Selected Counties by Region 147 J Plots of Relative Differences, 2005-2009 ACS Estimates and 2007 Expected Estimates of the Group Quarters Population in Selected Areas with Populations Under 20,000 153 K Biographical Sketches of Panel Members and Staff 159