Purpose: The purpose of this standard is to ensure that statistically sound practices are used for producing direct estimates from samples for information products.
Scope: The Census Bureau’s statistical quality standards apply to all information products released by the Census Bureau and the activities that generate those products, including products released to the public, sponsors, joint partners, or other customers. All Census Bureau employees and Special Sworn Status individuals must comply with these standards; this includes contractors and other individuals who receive Census Bureau funding to develop and release Census Bureau information products.
In particular, this standard applies to the production of direct estimates from samples and estimates of their variances for Census Bureau information products. The standard applies to estimates derived from:
In addition to the global exclusions listed in the Preface, this standard does not apply to:
Key Terms: Calibration, coefficient of variation (CV), coverage error, cross-sectional studies, direct estimates, estimation, generalized variance function, imputation, longitudinal studies, post-stratification, raking, ratio estimation, replication methods, sanitized data, and Taylor series method for variance estimation.
Requirement D1-1: Throughout all processes associated with estimation, unauthorized release of protected information or administratively restricted information must be prevented by following federal laws (e.g., Title 13, Title 15, and Title 26), Census Bureau policies (e.g., Data Stewardship Policies), and additional provisions governing the use of the data (e.g., as may be specified in a memorandum of understanding or data-use agreement). (See Statistical Quality Standard S1, Protecting Confidentiality.)
Requirement D1-2: A plan must be developed that addresses:
Note: Statistical Quality Standard A1, Planning a Data Program, addresses overall planning requirements and development of schedules and costs.
Requirement D1-3: Estimates and their variances must be produced using statistically sound practices that account for the sample design and reduce the effects of nonresponse and coverage error.
Examples of statistically sound practices include:
Note: Statistical Quality Standard A3, Developing and Implementing a Sample Design, specifies requirements for the design and selection of probability samples used to produce estimates or make inferences.
Sub-Requirement D1-3.1: Specifications for the estimation systems must be developed and implemented.
Examples of issues that specifications might address include:
Sub-Requirement D1-3.2: Estimation systems must be verified and tested to ensure that all components function as intended.
Examples of verification and testing activities include:
Sub-Requirement D1-3.3: Methods and systems must be developed and implemented to verify the estimates and evaluate their quality.
Examples of verification and evaluation activities include:
Note: Statistical Quality Standard D3, Producing Measures and Indicators of Nonsampling Error, provides requirements for measuring and evaluating nonsampling error.
Requirement D1-4: Documentation needed to replicate and evaluate the estimation operations must be produced. The documentation must be retained, consistent with applicable policies and data-use agreements, and must be made available to Census Bureau employees who need it to carry out their work. (See Statistical Quality Standard S2, Managing Data and Documents.)
Examples of documentation include: