tical procedures, especially sampling, in the 2000 census. The second report provided refinements in several areas, including plans and research in the use of sampling for nonresponse follow-up, plans for constructing the master address file, plans and testing of multiple response modes and the use of respondent-friendly questionnaires, and plans for the use of administrative records. The panel also issued a letter report on the problems raised by the use of an untargeted replacement questionnaire (National Research Council, 1997a).

The rest of this chapter provides an overview of census innovations and a description of the 1998 census dress rehearsal and the associated evaluation studies. Chapter 2 reviews key findings of the panel with regard to the six main processes (outlined below) that the Census Bureau plans to implement for the first time in the 2000 census. Chapter 3 reviews in more detail a number of Census Bureau decisions concerning how these activities are to be carried out in 2000 and what might be done differently in the 2010 census. Chapter 4 presents a discussion of three important technical criticisms in the statistical literature against use of integrated coverage measurement. Finally, Chapter 5 comments on current Census Bureau plans for research and experimentation and data collection during the 2000 census, looking forward to the 2010 census. A glossary of census terminology is also provided.

Innovations in Census Methodology

The basic approach to the 2000 census that the Census Bureau proposed in 1996 is either a direct continuation or else closely related to the methods that have been used since 1960:

  • The Census Bureau develops a comprehensive list of residential dwellings in the United States.
  • A census form is mailed to each of those housing units.
  • Households are asked to return the completed forms by mail.
  • Households that do not return the forms are visited by enumerators.

The major problems in quality and cost that arise in the census result from the fact that these four procedures do not work perfectly by themselves and they do not interact perfectly. First, some households are missing from the address list used for mailing forms. In some cases, the Postal Service fails to deliver the form to the household, often because the address is inadequate or the Postal Service erroneously considers the dwelling to be vacant. Second, it is expected that more than 30 percent of American housing units in 2000 will not return the form delivered to



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