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Quality Assurance And The 2010 Census

Wed Jun 09 2010
Robert Groves
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After the mailout-mailback phase, we contact households for several different reasons. Each of the reasons singly don’t affect large proportions of the households, but they do ask for some time of the American public. All of them are attempts to make the 2010 Census as good as it can be.

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It might be good to review them.

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In the “coverage followup” operation, we call households to clarify answers about the number of people living at an address, based on answers they provided on the form.

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In the “vacant delete check” operation, we make sure that a housing unit classified as vacant (or nonexistent) in fact fits that profile for April 1, 2010. If a unit was incorrectly classified, we complete an interview. We also visit housing units that were added to the census after the non-response follow up workload was initially identified.

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In the “field verification” phase, we send out census workers to make sure a unit from which we have a completed form is indeed locatable, if it does not match an address in our file. For example, a household may have submitted a “Be Counted” form that did not contain an identification number linked back to our address file. We also use this operation to resolve suspected duplicate addresses contained within the same block.

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These three initiatives are supplemented by numerous other processes to maximize the accuracy of the census.

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As survey researchers, we know human error is possible, and we work hard to eliminate detectable errors. Please, if you are one of the small percent of homes visited during our quality assurance process for re-interview or verification, take a few minutes to help us ensure the quality of the 2010 Census.

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We are charged with counting everyone, once, and only once, and in the right place. We check and double check to make sure we get it right.

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