Measuring A Changing Nation

Modern Methods for the 2000 Census

Michael L. Cohen, Andrew A. White, and Keith F. Rust, Editors

Panel on Alternative Census Methodologies

Committee on National Statistics

Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education

National Research Council

NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS
Washington, D.C.
1999



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--> Measuring A Changing Nation Modern Methods for the 2000 Census Michael L. Cohen, Andrew A. White, and Keith F. Rust, Editors Panel on Alternative Census Methodologies Committee on National Statistics Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education National Research Council NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, D.C. 1999

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--> 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 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. Bruce Alberts 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. William A. Wulf 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. Kenneth I. Shine 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. Bruce Alberts and Dr. William A. Wulf are chairman and vice-chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council. This project is supported by funds provided by the Bureau of the Census, U.S. Department of Commerce, under contract number 50-YABC-5-66005. 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 (Number SBR-9709489). 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 this project. International Standard Book Number 0-309-06444-9 Additional copies of this report are available from National Academy Press , 2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Box 285, Washington, D.C. 20055. Call (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area). This report is also available online at http://www.nap.edu Printed in the United States of America Copyright 1999 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.

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--> Panel on Alternative Census Methodologies KEITH F. RUST (Chair), Westat, Inc., Rockville, Maryland RONALD F. ABLER, Association of American Geographers, Washington, D.C. ROBERT M. BELL, RAND, Santa Monica, California GORDON J. BRACKSTONE, Statistics Canada, Ottawa, Ontario JOHN L. CZAJKA, Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., Washington, D.C. MICHEL A. LETTRE, Maryland Office of Planning, Baltimore D. BRUCE PETRIE, Statistics Canada, Ottawa, Ontario NATHANIEL SCHENKER, Department of Biostatistics, School of Public Health, University of California, Los Angeles STANLEY K. SMITH, Bureau of Economic and Business Research, College of Business, University of Florida, Gainesville LYNNE STOKES, Department of Management Science and Information Systems, University of Texas, Austin JAMES TRUSSELL, Office of Population Research, Princeton University ALAN M. ZASLAVSKY, Department of Health Care Policy, Harvard Medical School MICHAEL L. COHEN, Senior Program Officer ANDREW A. WHITE, Study Director AGNES E. GASKIN, Senior Project Assistant

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--> Committee on National Statistics JOHN E. ROLPH (Chair), Marshall School of Business,University of Southern California JOSEPH G. ALTONJI, Department of Economics, Northwestern University JULIE DAVANZO, RAND, Santa Monica, California WILLIAM F. EDDY, Department of Statistics, Carnegie Mellon University WILLIAM KALSBEEK, Department of Biostatistics, University of North Carolina RODERICK J.A. LITTLE, School of Public Health, University of Michigan THOMAS A. LOUIS, Division of Biostatistics, University of Minnesota School of Public Health CHARLES F. MANSKI, Department of Economics, Northwestern University WILLIAM NORDHAUS, Department of Economics, Yale University JANET L. NORWOOD, The Urban Institute, Washington, D.C. EDWARD B. PERRIN, Department of Health Services, University of Washington PAUL ROSENBAUM, Department of Statistics, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania FRANCISCO J. SAMANIEGO, Division of Statistics, University of California, Davis RICHARD L. SCHMALENSEE, Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology MIRON L. STRAF, Director ANDREW A. WHITE, Deputy Director

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--> Acknowledgments The Panel on Alternative Census Methodologies thanks the many people who contributed to the preparation of this, the panel's final report. We thank, first, the staff of our sponsor, the Bureau of the Census, who provided detailed and informative presentations on the wide variety of aspects of decennial census processes relevant to the panel's charge. We are especially indebted to Ruth Ann Killion, who was always available to panel members and staff to answer the large number of technical questions that came up, who worked hard to make materials available to the panel as soon as possible, and who provided the panel with superb presentations on a variety of issues. We also thank the many other staff who played a role in the preparation or presentation of material to the panel: Florence Abramson, William Bell, Deborah Bolton, Geraldine Burt, Jon Clark, Cynthia Z.F. Clark, Mary Davis, Howard Dennis, James Farber, Robert Fay, Linda Franz, Edison Gore, Richard Griffin, Joan Hill, Howard Hogan, David Hubble, Cary Isaki, Jay Keller, Edward Kobilarcik, Donna Kostanich, Charlene Leggieri, Robert Marx, Carol Miller, William Mockovak, Joel Morrison, Mary Mulry, Alfredo Navarro, Arona Pistiner, Ronald Prevost, David Raglin, Marvin Raines, Magda Ramos, Martha Riche, Harry Scarr, Eric Schindler, Paula Schneider, Rajendra Singh, Dennis Stoudt, John Thompson, Elizabeth Ann Vacca, Frank Vitrano, Preston J. Waite, Judith Waldrop, Kirsten West, David Whitford, Henry Woltman, and Tommy Wright. The panel also is indebted to several experts who were invited to contribute to the public discussions: Wayne Fuller, Iowa State University; Benjamin King, National Opinion Research Center (retired); Janet

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--> Norwood, Urban Institute; and Nora Cate Schaeffer, University of Wisconsin. The panel was guided and assisted by very capable and dedicated staff of the Committee on National Statistics (CNSTAT). Andrew White directed the study initially, and he remained very active in the panel's activities after Michael Cohen took over as study director during the final stage of the panel. Both worked skillfully and tirelessly at coordinating panel activities, interacting with Census Bureau staff and others, and guiding and assisting in the preparation of our reports. Miron Straf, CNSTAT director, took great interest in the panel's activities from the outset and provided us with much insight and guidance. Constance Citro also gave us the great benefit of her considerable experience with census issues, as did CNSTAT consultant Meyer Zitter, who attended all of the panel's meetings and was a great source of wisdom on census processes. Agnes Gaskin was enormously helpful in making all of the detailed arrangements concerning the meetings, distribution of panel materials, and myriad details. In addition, she assisted greatly in preparing the draft manuscripts of the interim and final reports, and she was always someone that could be relied on to boost staff morale. Finally, Jamie Casey was excellent at summarizing meetings in notes that the panel found extremely useful. Eugenia Grohman, associate director for reports of the Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education, enormously improved the report through her superlative technical editing. The presentation of the report is substantially improved due to her expertise and hard work. In addition, Genie ably shepherded the panel through report review and report production. 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 NRC's Report Review Committee. 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 following individuals for their participation in the review of this report: Barbara Bailar, National Opinion Research Center, Chicago, Ill.; Norman Bradburn, Vice President for Research, University of Chicago; Lawrence Brown, Department of Statistics, University of Pennsylvania; Eugene Ericksen, Department of Statistics, Temple University; Stephen Fienberg, Department of Statistics, Carnegie Mellon University; Louis Gordon, Palo Alto, Calif.; Stephen Heeringa, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan; Roderick

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--> J.A. Little, School of Public Health, University of Michigan; James Morgan, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan (emeritus); and Samuel Preston, Dean of Arts and Sciences, University of Pennsylvania. While the individuals listed above have provided constructive comments and suggestions, it must be emphasized that responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring panel and the institution. Finally, I have the pleasure of thanking my fellow panel colleagues. Over the 3 years of the panel's duration, they have remained committed and enthusiastic in ensuring that the panel met its charge to the full. Panel members were willing to devote considerable time between meetings to deliberating over issues for which they had special expertise, to reviewing the information that we were provided, and in drafting and reviewing material for our reports. It has been a pleasure working with them and to have enjoyed their support throughout. KEITH RUST, CHAIR PANEL ON ALTERNATIVE CENSUS METHODOLOGIES

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--> Contents PREFACE   xi EXECUTIVE SUMMARY   1 1 INTRODUCTION   7 2 CENSUS METHODOLOGY   24 3 RECONSIDERATION OF IMPORTANT CENSUS BUREAU DECISIONS   37 4 EVALUATION OF SOME COMMON ARGUMENTS AGAINST ICM-BASED ADJUSTMENT OF THE CENSUS   68 5 RESEARCH AND EXPERIMENTATION AND DATA COLLECTION DURING THE CENSUS   86 GLOSSARY OF RELEVANT CENSUS TERMS   97 REFERENCES   103 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF PANEL MEMBERS AND STAFF   108

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--> Preface In April 1995 the Bureau of the Census of the U.S. Department of Commerce asked the National Research Council's Committee on National Statistics to form a study panel to review plans and research and make recommendations regarding the design of the 2000 census. The Panel on Alternative Census Methodologies was set up to carry out the study, building on the work of the predecessor Committee on National Statistics Panel to Evaluate Alternative Census Methods. The charge to our panel was to review the Census Bureau's plans for the 2000 census and to make recommendations regarding the census design. Specifically, we were asked to review results of the 1995 and 1996 census tests, particularly with respect to the sample design for nonresponse follow-up and the planned integrated coverage measurement sample design and estimation procedures for the 2000 census, to recommend additional field tests and research to carry out in the near term and in the 2000 census, and, finally, to review the use of administrative records in the 2000 census. In response to our charge, we have issued two interim reports (National Research Council, 1996, 1997b) and a letter report (National Research Council, 1997a). We last met in June 1998, preparatory to drafting this, our final report. Our report was in the final stages of report review, editing, and production when the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision on January 25, 1999, which finds that, according to federal law (Title 13 of the U.S. Code), sampling may not be used to obtain census counts for purposes of congressional apportionment. The report contains language (Chapter 2, pages 34–35) that anticipated the possibility that the court would reach the

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--> conclusion it did. Barring a change to Title 13, the panel's recommendations pertaining to sampling for the purpose of apportionment are moot for the 2000 census. The only changes that have been made in the report as a result of the decision are the addition of portions of this preface and three footnotes that refer the reader to the preface. Decisions about the best methodology for such an important and complex operation as the decennial census require extensive research and careful deliberation. All of the members of our panel are grateful to have had the opportunity to consider methodological issues for the census in the year 2000 and beyond. KEITH RUST, CHAIR PANEL ON ALTERNATIVE CENSUS METHODOLOGIES

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Measuring A Changing Nation

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