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Based on the results of the 2018 End-to-End Census Test, prior census tests, and other research, the Decennial Census Programs Directorate has determined its approach to using administrative data in many operations of the 2020 Census. In this context, we are using “administrative data” broadly to include:

  • Microdata records contained in files collected and maintained by federal, state, and local government agencies (traditionally referred to as administrative records).
  • Microdata records contained in files collected and maintained by commercial entities (often referred to as third-party data).

As well as

  • Macro- and microdata from Census Bureau data collections for statistical purposes and address enhancement operations (internal data).
  • Macrodata from publically available sources (public data).

The intended uses of administrative data and the expected sources of data have evolved throughout the research and planning for the 2020 Census. This document reflects information as of May 1, 2020. It does not attempt to fully reconcile information provided in previous documents or presentations, which was current at their release. Given our changing census operations due to the corona virus pandemic, we are exploring whether additional uses are warranted. Should the uses described in this document change, we will be transparent about those changes. Additionally, we will provide final documentation with complete details of the 2020 Census administrative records effort.

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