The 2010 Census Race and Hispanic Origin Alternative Questionnaire Experiment (AQE) focused on improving the race and Hispanic origin questions by testing a number of different questionnaire design strategies. The primary research objectives were to design and test questionnaire strategies that would increase reporting in the U.S. Office of Management and Budget race and ethnic categories, lower item nonresponse, increase accuracy and reliability of the results, and elicit reporting of detailed race and ethnic groups.
The first component of the experiment was a Mailout/Mailback questionnaire that respondents received in lieu of the standard 2010 Census questionnaire. The second component of the experiment was a telephone reinterview of the mail respondents to assess the accuracy and the reliability of both the control and the alternative race and Hispanic origin questions. A third component was a series of focus groups, documented in a separate report (Rastogi et al. 2011; Carroll, et al. 2011), conducted to complement the quantitative analyses.
The 2010 Census AQE survey and reinterview is the largest quantitative effort ever to start off the decennial cycle for race and Hispanic origin research, and this important research is leading our efforts as U.S. Census Bureau looks toward the 2020 Census.