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Report of Cognitive Research on the Residence Rules and Seasonality Questions on the American Community Survey (ACS)

Theresa J. DeMaio and Kristen Hughes

KEY WORDS: pretesting, residence rules, multiple residences, seasonality, American Community Survey, cognitive interviewing


Staff conducted cognitive research to evaluate newly-developed residence rules for the American Community Survey, which were designed to more accurately identify and assign seasonal residents to housing units. Cognitive interviews were conducted with five types of residents: 1) people with multiple residences; 2) people with seasonal residences; 3) college students; 4) commuter workers; and 5) people with a single residence

The interviews identified a number of issues that face "seasonal" residents in determining their household rosters and where they live or stay most of the time. In particular, the roster question that asks whether someone is away for a short period of time (2 months or less) was poorly understood by respondents. Also, the question that asks whether any member of the household lives or stays at the sample address year-round even though they do not stay there year-round, if it is their permanent residence. The report makes recommendations about the residence rules and the multiple residence questions, and suggests that more research is needed in this area.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Statistical Research Division

Created: 07-JUL-2003

Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Statistical Research Division | (301) 763-3215 (or |   Last Revised: October 08, 2010