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â¢ PREPUBLICATION COPYâUncorrected Proofs â¢ Understanding the Quality of the 2020 Census Interim Report Panel to Evaluate the Quality of the 2020 Census Teresa A. Sullivan and Daniel L. Cork, Editors Committee on National Statistics Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education A Consensus Study Report of
â¢ PREPUBLICATION COPYâUncorrected Proofs â¢ THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001 The project that is the subject of this report was supported by the U.S. Census Bureau through a task order under Contract No. 1333LB21D00000003. Support of the work of the Committee on National Statistics is provided by a consortium of federal agencies through a grant from the National Science Foundation (No. SES-1024012). Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project. International Standard Book Number-13: XXX-X-XXX-XXXXX-S International Standard Book Number-10: S-XXX-XXXXX-X Digital Object Identifier: https://doi.org/10.17226/26529 Additional copies of this publication are available from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, NW, Keck 360, Washington, DC 20001; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334- 3313; http://www.nap.edu. Copyright 2022 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America Suggested citation: National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. (2022). Understanding the Quality of the 2020 Census: Interim Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/26529.
â¢ PREPUBLICATION COPYâUncorrected Proofs â¢ The National Academy of Sciences was established in 1863 by an Act of Congress, signed by President Lincoln, as a private, nongovernmental institution to advise the nation on issues related to science and technology. Members are elected by their peers for outstanding contributions to research. Dr. Marcia McNutt is president. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964 under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences to bring the practices of engineering to advising the nation. Members are elected by their peers for extraordinary contributions to engineering. Dr. John L. Anderson is president. The National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine) was established in 1970 under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences to advise the nation on medical and health issues. Members are elected by their peers for distinguished contributions to medicine and health. Dr. Victor J. Dzau is president. The three Academies work together as the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to provide independent, objective analysis and advice to the nation and conduct other activities to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions. The National Academies also encourage education and research, recognize outstanding contributions to knowledge, and increase public understanding in matters of science, engineering, and medicine. Learn more about the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine at www.nationalacademies.org.
â¢ PREPUBLICATION COPYâUncorrected Proofs â¢ Consensus Study Reports published by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine document the evidence-based consensus on the studyâs statement of task by an authoring committee of experts. Reports typically include findings, conclusions, and recommendations based on information gathered by the committee and the committeeâs deliberations. Each report has been subjected to a rigorous and independent peer-review process and it represents the position of the National Academies on the statement of task. Proceedings published by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine chronicle the presentations and discussions at a workshop, symposium, or other event convened by the National Academies. The statements and opinions contained in proceedings are those of the participants and are not endorsed by other participants, the planning committee, or the National Academies. For information about other products and activities of the National Academies, please visit nationalacademies.org/whatwedo.
â¢ PREPUBLICATION COPYâUncorrected Proofs â¢ PANEL TO EVALUATE THE QUALITY OF THE 2020 CENSUS Teresa A. Sullivan (Chair), Department of Sociology, University of Virginia Margo Anderson, Department of History, University of WisconsinâMilwaukee (emerita) Robert M. Bell,â Google and AT&T Labs (retired) Kathryn Edin, Department of Sociology, Princeton University Marc Hamel, Statistics Canada (retired) George T. Ligler, GTL Associates, Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina Thomas A. Louis,â Department of Biostatistics, Johns Hopkins University (emeritus) Lloyd B. Potter,â Texas Demographic Center, University of Texas at San Antonio Joseph J. Salvo,â University of Virginia Biocomplexity Institute and National Conference on Citizenship Regina Shih, Social and Behavioral Policy, RAND, Arlington, Virginia C. Matthew Snipp, School of the Humanities and Sciences, Stanford University Edward Telles, Department of Sociology, University of California, Irvine Wendy Underhill, National Conference of State Legislatures, Denver David Van Riper,â Minnesota Population Center, University of Minnesota Daniel Cork, Study Director Constance F. Citro, Senior Scholar Michael L. Cohen, Senior Program Officer Anthony Mann, Senior Program Associate Katrina Baum Stone, Senior Program Officer â Denotes member of panelâs designated data analysis subgroup. v
â¢ PREPUBLICATION COPYâUncorrected Proofs â¢ COMMITTEE ON NATIONAL STATISTICS Robert M. Groves (Chair), Office of the Provost, Georgetown University Lawrence D. Bobo, Department of Sociology, Harvard University Anne C. Case, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University, Emeritus Mick P. Couper, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan Janet M. Currie, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University Diana Farrell, JPMorgan Chase Institute, Washington, D.C. Robert Goerge, Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago Erica L. Groshen, School of Industrial and Labor Relations, Cornell University Hilary Hoynes, Goldman School of Public Policy and Department of Economics, University of California, Berkeley Daniel Kifer, Department of Computer Science, Pennsylvania State University Sharon Lohr, School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences, Arizona State University, Emeritus Jerome P. Reiter, Department of Statistical Science, Duke University Judith A. Seltzer, Department of Sociology, University of California, Los Angeles, Emeritus C. Matthew Snipp, School of the Humanities and Sciences, Stanford University Elizabeth A. Stuart, Department of Mental Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Jeannette Wing, Data Science Institute and Computer Science Department, Columbia University Brian Harris-Kojetin, Director Melissa Chiu, Deputy Director Constance F. Citro, Senior Scholar vi
â¢ PREPUBLICATION COPYâUncorrected Proofs â¢ Acknowledgments The Panel to Evaluate the 2020 Census wishes to thank the many people who have contributed to its work during its first year of operation and to this first report. We appreciate the support of the Census Bureau, under the acting di- rectorship of Ron Jarmin, and its encouragement of independent, external review of the 2020 Census. Karen Deaver has been a fine collaborator as primary information conduit between the panel and the Census Bureau, and the panel has benefited from the interest and actions of Albert Fontenot and Deborah Stempowski as heads of the decennial census directorate. We have also benefited greatly from interactions with key Census Bureau staff in John Abowd, Maryann Chapin, Jennifer Ortman, and Victoria Velkoff. Beyond those already named, we appreciate the contributions of Census Bureau staff who presented and discussed material with the panel during its open meetings, including: Tamara Adams, Willette Allen, Robin Bachman, Dominic Beamer, Judy Belton, Christine Flanagan Borman, Patrick Cantwell, Richard Denby, Jason Devine, Daniel Donello, Dora Durante, Monique Eleby, Christine Hartley, Michael Hawes, Kristen Hearns, Joan Hill, Cynthia Davis Hollingsworth, Eric Jensen, Andrea Johnson, Timothy Kennel, Sarah Konya, Julia Lopez, Barbara LoPresti, Nicholas Jones, Frank McPhillips, Rachel Marks, RJ Marquette, Leanna Mayo, Thomas Mule, Roberto Ramirez, Jennifer Reichert, Rita Schuler, Kathleen Styles, Ben Taylor, Kevin Zajac, and Mary Frances Zelenak. At our August 30, 2021, meeting, we benefited from a roundtable discussion with several members of the 2020 Census field staff. Though identified and selected by the Census Bureauâs Field Divisionâthe group was not intended to constitute a completely representative sample of the 2020 Census field experienceâthe staffers were nonetheless candid and informative in describing their experiences. The five participants in this session (with at least one of the vii
â¢ PREPUBLICATION COPYâUncorrected Proofs â¢ viii ACKNOWLEDGMENTS titles they held during the conduct of the 2020 Census) were: Diana Harris Cannon, area census office manager (ACOM) in DeKalb County, Georgia; Jon Hallingstad, ACOM in Allentown, Pennsylvania; Robert Lee, census field manager and area manager in Queens, New York; Robert Leibowitz, area manager for nonresponse follow-up in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont; and Robert Toth, also ACOM in Allentown before becoming area manager in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, area. We are grateful for their insights. We join our Census Bureau colleagues in mourning the untimely passing of James Treat, most recently the senior advisor for decennial affairs at the Census Bureau, in October 2021. He was a stalwart contributor to and facilitator of numerous census-related activities of the Committee on National Statistics (CNSTAT), andâthough he did not have extensive interaction with our panelâ it was inevitable that we would have been in frequent touch regarding his work on initial visions and planning for the 2030 Census. It is a great loss that this is no longer possible. We also benefited greatly from a briefing and discussion with Nancy Potok and John Thompson after the release of the American Statistical Associationâs Task Force on Census Quality Indicators at the panelâs third meeting. In particular, we appreciate conversations with Paul Biemer, RTI International, who was engaged along with our colleague Joseph Salvo as primary data analyst for the task force. At our fourth meeting, we invited a small group of select census stakeholders to share their initial impressions on the conduct and quality of the 2020 Census, and very much appreciate their contributions to our work: Clark Bensen, POLIDATA Political Data Analysis; Kimball Brace, Election Data Services, Inc.; Susan Brower, Minnesota State Demographer; Gwynne Evans-Lomayesva, National Congress of American Indians; Eric Guthrie, Minnesota State Demographic Center and formerly Michigan State Demographer; and Bill OâHare, OâHare Data and Demographic Services. The COVID-19 pandemic affected not only the careful planning of the Census Bureau, but the timeline and working conditions for this panel as well. We could not have done this work without a helpful and dedicated staff. Many members of the CNSTAT and National Academies staff facilitated our work. Constance Citro, senior scholar, offered us wise counsel at every point and participated in all our sessions. Her knowledge and experience with the census proved invaluable to us. Michael Cohenâs assistance to the data analysis subgroup has been critical to their progress. Katrina Baum Stone is bringing her experience with several federal statistical agencies to bear on our work on the census. Anthony Mann handles panel logistics, not a simple task given the need for all meetings to be virtual, with various members and interviewees having connectivity issues and time zone constraints. Brian Harris-Kojetin, as the CNSTAT director, has served as the lead contact on the Census Bureau contract and has offered us helpful information at timely moments.
â¢ PREPUBLICATION COPYâUncorrected Proofs â¢ ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ix Our heartiest thank-you goes to Daniel Cork, the study director, who has had to deal with the minutiae of multiple subtopics, shifting data points, and often conflicting suggestions from the panelists and others. His candor, objectivity, and perseverance made this interim report possible. This Consensus Study Report was reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in making each published report as sound as possible and to ensure that it meets the institutional standards for quality, objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We thank the following individuals for their review of this report: Russel E. Caflisch, Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, New York University; Dowell Myers, Population Dynamics Research Group, Sol Price School of Public Policy, University of Southern California; Barbara Entwisle, Carolina Population Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Ivan P. Fellegi, retired, Statistics Canada; Sunshine Hillygus, Duke Initiative on Survey Methodology, Duke University; Mario Marazzi, former executive director, Puerto Rico Institute of Statistics; Nicholas N. Nagle, Department of Geography, University of Tennessee, Knoxville; Christine Pierce, U.S. Media Operations, Nielsen; Allison Plyer, Office of Chief Demographer, The Data Center, New Orleans, Louisiana; and Lance Waller, Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University. Although the reviewers listed above provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recom- mendations of this report nor did they see the final draft before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Susan Hanson, Department of Geography, Clark University, and Susan A. Murphy, Department of Statistics, Harvard University. They were responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with the standards of the National Academies and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content rests entirely with the authoring committee and the National Academies. Teresa A. Sullivan, Chair Panel to Evaluate the Quality of the 2020 Census
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â¢ PREPUBLICATION COPYâUncorrected Proofs â¢ Contents Summary 1 1 Introduction 11 1.1 The Panel, Its Charge, and Its Operations 15 1.2 Data Analysis Subgroup 20 1.3 Overview of This Report 20 2 Frameworks for Understanding the Decennial Census and Its Quality 23 2.1 Types of Error in a Decennial Census 23 2.2 What Is The Decennial Census? Census Quality in the Context of Census Data Uses and Purposes 27 2.3 How Census Error and Census Data Quality May Be Assessed 32 3 Other Evaluations of the 2020 Census 37 3.1 JASON Review of 2020 Census Data Quality Processes 38 3.2 American Statistical Association Task Force on 2020 Census Quality Indicators 40 3.3 Census Bureauâs Operational Quality Metric Releases 44 3.4 Panelâs Assessment 51 4 Initial Conclusions and the Path Ahead 53 4.1 Initial Conclusions on the 2020 Census 53 4.2 The Path Ahead for Assessing the 2020 Census 58 References 63 Appendixes 67 xi
â¢ PREPUBLICATION COPYâUncorrected Proofs â¢ xii CONTENTS A Glossary and Abbreviations 69 B Public Meeting Agendas 77 C Biographical Sketches of Panel Members and Staff 89
â¢ PREPUBLICATION COPYâUncorrected Proofs â¢ Boxes, Figure, and Tables BOXES 1.1 The Shifting End Date for 2020 Census Field Data Collection 17 2.1 Principles and Practices for a Federal Statistical Agency, 2021 31 3.1 JASON (2021) Recommendations 39 3.2 American Statistical Association 2020 Census Quality Indicators Task Force (2020) Recommendations, First Report 43 3.3 American Statistical Association 2020 Census Quality Indicators Task Force (2021) Conclusions and Recommendations, Final Report 45 FIGURE 2.1 Component operations of the 2020 Census, by major functional categories 30 TABLES 1.1 Original, Initial Replanned, and Final Milestone and Operational Dates in the 2020 Census 16 3.1 American Statistical Association Task Force Data Analysis, Process Statistics by Major Census Phase 42 3.2 Final Status of Addresses in the 2010 and 2020 Censuses 47 3.3 Resolution of Housing Unit Enumeration in the 2010 and 2020 Censuses 48 3.4 Item Nonresponse Rates in the 2010 and 2020 Censuses 50 xiii
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