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2010 Census Special Tabulation Program

Disclosure Review Board Rules/Requirements


These rules for 2010 Census special tabulations were approved by the Disclosure Review Board (DRB) on October 19, 2011. They will continue to be scrutinized and may possibly be updated as the DRB reviews more requests for special tabulations.  The Census 2000 special tabulations have similar but more extensive rules since tabulations can be requested for more subjects.

  1. All 2010 Census special tabulations must be reviewed by the Disclosure Review Board.
  2. All cells in any 2010 Census special tabulation must be rounded as follows:
    • 0 remains 0
    • 1-7 rounds to 4
    • 8 or greater rounds to nearest multiple of 5 (e.g., 864 rounds to 865, 982 rounds to 980)
    • Any number that already ends in 5 or 0 stays as is.
    Any totals or subtotals needed should be constructed before rounding.  This assures that universes remain the same from table to table, and it is recognized that cells in a table will no longer be additive after rounding.
  1. Medians or other quantiles may be calculated as:
    1. an interpolation from a frequency distribution of unrounded data (these are not subject to additional rounding), or
    2. as a point quantile. These must be rounded to two significant digits: 12,345 would round to 12,000; 167,452 would round to 170,000. There must be at least 5 cases on either side of the quantile point. It is recognized that the interpolated quantile may indeed be some individual’s response, but it is coincidental, not by design.
  2. Thresholds on universes will normally be applied to avoid showing data for very small geographic areas or for very small population groups. Tables may normally not have more than 3 or 4 dimensions, and mean cell size lower limits may be required.
  3. Percents, rates, etc., should be calculated after rounding, but the DRB has granted exceptions to this rule when the numerator and/or denominator of the percent or rate is not shown.
  4. Means and aggregates must be based on at least 3 values.
  5. For user-defined geographic areas (e.g., neighborhoods), all areas must have at least 100 people in them. The user-defined areas will be compared with standard Census Bureau areas to make sure users cannot obtain data for very small geographic areas by subtraction. If such small areas are found, the boundaries of the user-defined areas must be changed.
  6. In general, the finest level of detail shown for the population in group quarters will be institutional and noninstitutional and 7 types: correctional facilities for adults, juvenile facilities, nursing facilities/skilled nursing facilities, other institutional facilities, college/university student housing, military quarters, and other noninstitutional facilities. Other requests for group quarters data may be considered on a case-by-case basis.

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Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division
1-866-758-1060
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