Census Bureau Releases Refinements to Plans for Census 2000 (fwd)
larsson at u.washington.edu
Tue Mar 11 18:35:13 PST 1997
Since the population is used for our denominator in population based
research, it is an important figure. This article discusses how the Bureau
of the Census intends to solve the undercount which seems to occur when we
have a census. As many of you know the political ramifications of an
undercount are very serious for large cities, and small for that matter.
larsson at u.washington.edu
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Tue, 11 Mar 1997 16:58:21 -0600
From: JWALSH at TULIPS.LIB.TUFTS.EDU
Reply-To: Discussion of Government Document Issues <GOVDOC-L at PSUVM.PSU.EDU>
To: GOVDOC-L at PSUVM.PSU.EDU
Subject: Census Bureau Releases Refinements to Plans for Census 2000
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Census Bureau News Release:
Sender: Press-Corps-Owner at Census.Gov
EMBARGOED UNTIL: NOON EST MARCH 11, 1997 (TUESDAY)
Census 2000 Publicity Office CB97-C.01
Commerce Department's Census Bureau Releases
Refinements to Plans for Census 2000
The Commerce Department's Census Bureau, in testimony before
the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, today released
refinements to its plans for Census 2000 that will produce
a more accurate and less expensive census. The refined plan will
be used in the dress rehearsal census in 1998 and ultimately in
"Census 2000 will make an unprecedented effort to count
everyone living in the United States. The Census Bureau will
provide the American people with a census that is accurate,
fair and cost-effective," stated Commerce Secretary William M.
"We've made the key decisions and now have in hand the
details of the design for Census 2000," said Census Bureau
Director Martha Farnsworth Riche.
In Census 2000, the Census Bureau will use statistical
sampling methods to account for those residents it cannot count.
Today, the Census Bureau announced that it will use a more
efficient method called direct sampling to produce scientific
population estimates for the final 10 percent of housing units.
After mailing census questionnaires and reminders to all of the
estimated 120 million housing units in America, the Census Bureau
will then use direct sampling of housing units to achieve a 90
percent response rate in each census tract, a neighborhood of
about 4,000 people. For example, a census tract with a mail
response rate of 60 percent will have the balance of its
households sampled at a rate of 3-in-4 to achieve a 90 percent
response rate. Census tracts with initial mail response rates of
better than 90 percent will have the balance sampled at 1-in-10.
"Going to direct sampling is a winning idea. It is an
innovative way of reducing costs and streamlining the census
process while producing a high quality census count," said
Charles Schultz of the Brookings Institution, and chair of the
National Academy of Sciences' Panel on Census Requirements in the
Year 2000 and Beyond.
The Census Bureau changed its methodology for implementing
nonresponse sampling to assure responses from at least 90 percent
of all addresses. It did this based on new research and new data
that show that direct sampling is superior to other nonresponse
sampling alternatives in operational and accuracy aspects, on
evaluations from the scientific communities and its advisory
committees, and as part of its continuing efforts to be
responsive to Congressional requests for a less costly census.
Robert B. Hill, director of the Institute for Urban Research
at Morgan State University and chair of the Census Advisory
Committee on the African American Population, said, "My committee
supports direct sampling because it will help Census 2000 achieve
a more accurate count of all Americans in a more efficient manner
and in a shorter time period than any other alternative."
"Innovations planned for Census 2000 are all aimed at making
it easy to be counted," said Director Riche. "These run the gamut
from a user friendly questionnaire to multiple mailings to use of
phone interviews to multiple language assistance. Then, as
insurance, we'll use statistical methods to complete the
accounting of everyone to make Census 2000 the most accurate
census ever in the U.S.," continued Riche.
In February 1996, the Census Bureau released its initial plan
for Census 2000 based on years of extensive research, results
from the 1995 Census Test, and consultation with the scientific
communities and the Congress. The refinements to that plan
released today will be utilized in the full census dress
rehearsal to be conducted in 1998 in Sacramento, Calif., 11
counties in the Columbia, S.C. area, and on the Menominee Indian
Reservation in Wisconsin.
For details on refinements to the Census 2000 plan since its
February 1996 release, call PIO's Fax-On-Demand number at
301-457-4178 and request document number 1206.
The Census Bureau--pre-eminent collector and provider of timely,
relevant, and quality data about the people and economy of the
United States. In over 100 surveys annually and 20 censuses a
decade, evolving from the first census in 1790, the Census Bureau
provides official information about America's people, businesses,
industries, and institutions.
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