Decennial census: 1995 test census presents opportunities to evaluate new census-taking methods : statement of William M. Hunt, Director, Federal Management Issues, General Government Division, before the Subcommittee on Census, Statistics, and Postal Personnel, Committee on Post Office and Civil Service, House of Representatives

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Page 3 - At the urging of Congress, the Bureau used the Postal Service during the 1990 Census to help identify the occupancy status of some of the last, most difficult follow-up cases. A Bureau study found that although additional testing was needed, this method appeared to be a very inexpensive and useful way to help complete these final cases. In our 1992 report, we encouraged the Bureau to use the Postal Service to identify vacant and nonexistent units before any census forms were mailed because we believed...
Page 13 - Jan. 26, 1994). Decennial Census; Test Design Proposals Are Promising. But Fundamental Reform Is Still at Risk (GAO/T-GGD-94-12, Oct. 7, 1993) . Decennial Census; Focused Action Needed Soon to Achieve Fundamental Breakthroughs (GAO/T-GGD-93-32, May 27, 1993). Decennial Census; Fundamental Reform Jeopardized by Lack of Progress (GAO/T-GGD-93-6, Mar. 2, 1993).
Page 3 - ... by mail. However, many of those visits were not necessary because a housing unit either was vacant or did not actually exist. Of the approximately 100 million questionnaires delivered in the 1990 Decennial Census, 8.6 million were delivered to units subsequently found to be vacant; and 4.8 million were delivered to nonexistent units, according to Bureau records. These 13.4 million addresses represented about 39 percent of the 34.3 million housing units that required repeated visits from census...
Page 2 - At the end of most 1990 census operations, the Bureau asked local governments to again check the accuracy of their housing unit count by block. We reported that the often redundant, labor-intensive, and costly procedures the Bureau used to develop the address list for the 1990 Decennial Census did not produce a complete and accurate list.3 The Bureau missed or erroneously included millions of housing units in its final count of 102 million units. The Bureau estimated that about 3.7 million, or 3.6...
Page 13 - Element of Census Reform (GAO/T-GGD-91-46, June 15, 1991. Programs of the 1990 Decennial Census; Some Causes for Concern (GAO/T-GGD-90-44, May 21, 1990). Critical Issues for Census Adjustment: Completing Post Enumeration Survey on Time While Protecting Data Quality ( GAO/TGGD-90-15, Jan. 30, 1990). 1990 Census; Comparison of Coverage Improvement Programs for 1980-1990 (GAO/GGD-90-8, Nov. 28, 1989). Status of Census Bureau Plans and Preparations for the 1990 Census (GAC7T-GGD-87-6, Mar.
Page 1 - The results and experiences of the 1990 census demonstrate that the American public has grown too diverse and dynamic to be accurately counted solely by the traditional "headcount" approach and that fundamental changes must be implemented for a successful census in 2000.
Page 10 - Decennial Census, the census continued an upward spiral of higher costs. The census in 1970 cost $221 million; in 1980, $1.1 billion; and in 1990, $2.6 billion. Adjusting for inflation and workload growth, the cost of the 1980 Census doubled that of the prior one, and the cost of the 1990 Census was 25 percent higher than the one in 1980. In constant 1990 dollars, the $25 spent to count each household for the 1990 Census was $5 more per household than was spent in 1980. In 1990, the Bureau estimated...
Page 5 - ICM method presents the Bureau with several operational challenges. For example, completing this statistical method by the end of December 1995 will be difficult. For the 1995 Test Census, the Bureau plans to move up Census Day by about 4 weeks, from April 1 to March 4, to allow more time to complete its tabulation of the data by December 31, 1995.
Page 3 - For the 1995 Test, the Bureau has begun testing the urban local governments' ability to update its address lists and associated geographic maps. In this revised local review program, the Bureau has sent local governments complete lists of housing unit addresses and local area maps for review instead of only block counts. Because of a confidentiality statute,4 this procedure required swearing in, as temporary Bureau employees, all local government officials who may have access to these data. It is...

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