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Peter Wobus, Services Division and Manuel de la Puente, Population Division, Bureau of the Census

KEY WORDS: Split-panel experiments, Telephone debriefing interviews, Minority populations


In 1993 the Census Bureau implemented the Spanish Forms Availability Test (SFAT). The SFAT was part of a research and development program by the Census Bureau designed to assist in formulating policy and design options for the Year 2000 Census of Population and Housing. The purpose of the test was to determine the effect of the availability of mailing Spanish forms to targeted areas with high concentrations of persons who speak Spanish and who do not speak English well or at all. Specifically, the test sought to determine whether making Spanish forms available would increase response rates in target areas, assess the reaction of non-Hispanics living in those areas to receiving Spanish forms and determine the effect on item nonresponse. The test consisted of two strata divided into three panels: a control panel in which an English language form was mailed to each household; a dual forms panel that included an English and a Spanish language form and a bilingual panel in which each household received a bilingual booklet questionnaire with English and Spanish questions back-to-back.

This study reports the results from debriefing interviews of a sample of respondents that were used to assess their reactions to receiving a Spanish language census form along with an English language census form in the mail. This information will be used to assist in planning and formulating policy options for the 2000 Census.

Citation: 1995, Proceedings of the Section on Survey Research Methods, Alexandria, VA: American Statistical Association, pp. 1040-1045.

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