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Stephanie Baumgardner
Component ID: #ti261241506

Unlike the decennial census which uses a "usual residence" rule, the ACS uses a "€žcurrent residence" or two-month rule to determine the population in scope for data collection. A current residence rule is easier to apply in a continuous data collection survey and was chosen to improve survey coverage of persons with tenuous attachments to any one housing unit. While theoretical differences are acknowledged, the practical implications of the rules used in the ACS are not clear.

A question (H25) was included in the 2003 through 2007 ACS that allows us to estimate how often the ACS is interviewing (and thus including as residents) households that may have a "€žusual" residence at an address different from the ACS sample address where they were staying when contacted. It was included to help develop survey controls based on a "€žcurrent residence" rule and for evaluation purposes. The question asked whether there were members of the household who stay at the ACS sample address year round. If no one in the household was staying at the address year round, two additional questions were asked: "žHow many months a year do members of this household stay at this address?" and "What is the main reason members of this household are staying at this address?"

Using the responses to H25, this evaluation was designed to measure the degree to which the ACS current residence rule includes households that a usual residence rule would not include. These households, captured by a current residence rule but not by a usual residence rule, are referred to as "€žcurrent residence only" households. The number and impact of these "current residence only" households in the ACS as well as a summary of the responses to H25 are examined in this report.

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