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Final Report on an Observational Study of Census Non-Response Follow-up Interviews During the 2006 Census Test in Travis County, Texas Spring and Summer 2006

Margaret Rappaport, Diana Davis, and Samuel Allen

KEY WORDS: use of Flashcards, observational study, non-response follow-up (NRFU), English versus Spanish interviews


Under contract with the U.S. Census Bureau, Development Associates conducted an observational study of Non-Response Follow-Up (NRFU) interviews conducted during the 2006 Census Test in select tracts of Travis County, Texas. The primary focus of these observations was flashcard use, which cannot be adequately assessed through other means like audio-taped behavior coding and interviewer debriefings, which rely heavily on the subjective assessments and honesty of interviewers. Secondary foci of this project included language use (interviews were conducted in English and Spanish), nonverbal behaviors by respondents, and respondent cooperation. Development Associates observed 99 in-person English and Spanish interviews. In these, they found that there was at least one flashcard used in 45 percent of interviews. The residence rules card was used in 25 percent of interviews, the relationship card was used in 28 percent and the ancestry card was used in 37 percent. This report speculates why flashcards were used at unacceptably low rates. Additionally, this report describes similarities and differences in the English and Spanish interviews.


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

Created: January 30, 2007
Last revised: January 30, 2007

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