Documentation: Census 2010
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Publisher: U.S. Census Bureau
Survey: Census 2010
Document: Summary File 1 Technical Documentation
citation:
Social Explorer, U.S. Census Bureau; 2010 Census of Population and Housing, Summary File 1: Technical Documentation, Issued June 2011.
Summary File 1 Technical Documentation
Appendix C. Data Collection and Processing Procedures
2010 Census Mission and Scope
Beginning with the Congressional Act of March 6, 1902, the U.S. Census Bureau was legally established as the official data collector for the United States of America. The Census Bureau routinely conducts multiple national, large-scale household surveys and censuses to provide the Administration; Congress; state, local, and tribal planners; the business community; trade associations; academicians; and other data users with a vast array of essential information. Most notable is the every 10-year (decennial) census of population and housing.
This section provides an overview of operations and systems in the 2010 Census of Population and Housing. To assist in understanding terms in the descriptions of many operations or to learn more about the 2010 Census, please refer to "www.2010census.gov" or the official 2010 Census glossary of acronyms, where detailed definitions of terms and acronyms can be found at www.census.gov/dmd/www/glossary.html. Thumbnail descriptions are found in this section as well as the operational timeline for the operations and the contact information for the 12 regional offices.
The mission, upon which we define the requirements and build the systems, is the 2010 Census will conduct a census of population and housing, and disseminate the data to the President, the States, and to the American people. The scope of the 2010 Census is as follows:
  • The 2010 Census shall cover the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, the Pacific Island Area of American Samoa, and Federally Affiliated Americans overseas.
  • The Census Day for the 2010 Census shall be April 1, 2010; have a boundary reference date of January 1, 2010; and deliver apportionment counts to the President by December 31, 2010, and redistricting counts to the states by April 1, 2011.
  • The 2010 Census concludes upon delivery of all products and the subsequent headquarters closeout activities ending September 30, 2013.
The focus of this section is the 2010 Census. It does not include descriptions of the American Community Survey or the Master Address File/Topographically Integrated Geographic Encoding and Referencing(MAF/TIGER®) database Enhancement Program. It should also be noted that from a strategy and operational perspective, Puerto Rico is treated the same as the 50 States and the District of Columbia, with the exception of language (Spanish) and minor program modifications.
Six Operational Planning Categories
The forty-four 2010 Census operations and operation groups are categorized into 1 of the 6 categories based on the similarity of their missions. High-level descriptions of the operational planning categories are:

  1. Provide Support - This category is concerned with supporting operations of the 2010 Census through the organization and operation of the census business processes that make the census mission possible. Activities include operational support, planning and management support, as well as infrastructure support and system design, development, and testing.
  2. Establish Where to Count - This category is concerned with gathering and compiling the needed inputs to ensure the completeness of the geographic and address data that make up the framework for the census, as well as establishing the respondent data collection universe for the census itself. These activities provide the basis for the work done to collect respondent information.
  3. Collect and Integrate Respondent Information - This category is concerned with the actual collection of census respondent information as derived through processing completed census forms delivered by the U.S. Postal Service or gathered through field enumeration activities.
  4. Provide Census Results - This category is concerned with the refinement of collected census response data and dissemination of census results. Response data collected from census forms processing and field enumeration are refined and edited to produce an accurate count with complete data characteristics. These counts with characteristic data are then summarized, which removes personally identifiable information. A wide array of census products are then produced and disseminated.
  5. Measure Census Coverage - This category includes coverage measurement operations that are separate from and independent of the census operations. They are designed to provide estimates of net coverage error and omissions and erroneous enumerations for persons in housing units and for the housing units themselves. These activities provide the needed inputs, which allow census coverage to be measured.
  6. Analyze and Research the Census-This category includes 2010 Census assessments, evaluations, and experiments. Assessments are used to document final volumes and rates for individual operations or processes, using data from production files and activities; quality control files and activities; and information collected from debriefings and lessons learned. Evaluations analyze the outcomes of pre-specified census operations, such as the effectiveness of integrated communications. Experiments are studies that occur during the census to learn about new or different methodologies which inform the 2020 Census design.

1. Provide Support
The Provide Support operational planning category includes the operations that sustain the 2010 Census through activities that allow the data collection operations to run smoothly and efficiently. These activities include planning and management support, security, public communications, language translation, materials support, infrastructure support, and management of system design, development, and deployment.

  1. 2010 Census Management Operations-Responsible for the planning and implementation of all 2010 Census operations.
  2. Content and Forms Design Operation - Responsible for the design and content of questionnaires and other materials in order to generate high and consistent response rates across all 2010 Census operations.
  3. Security, Privacy, and Confidentiality Operations - Ensures that all 2010 Census operations adhere to the appropriate security, privacy, and confidentiality policies and regulations.
  4. Field Infrastructure Support Operations - Supports all 2010 Census field data collection operations through staffing, office space and computing infrastructure deployment and support, and supply and material distribution.
  5. Language Services Operations - Supports the language needs of the 2010 Census operations by translating materials to the over 40 languages targeted for 2010 Census.
  6. Integrated Communications Services Operation - Responsible for educating, creating awareness and motivating persons to participate by responding to the 2010 Census.


2. Establish Where to Count
The Establish Where to Count operational planning category includes the operations that perform activities to gather and compile the geographic and address data that make up the framework for the 2010 Census. This includes activities that create and manage the respondent data collection universes for the census data collection operations.   7. Geographic Updating and Delineation Operation - Determines, delineates, and updates the geographic area boundaries for data collection.
  1. Administrative Records Updating Operation - Uses administrative records sources from the U.S. Postal Service (USPS), local governments, and independent organizations to ensure the address list is as complete as possible.
  2. Local Update of Census Addresses (LUCA) Operation - Provides the opportunity for tribal, state, and local governments to review and comment on the Census Bureaus address list to ensure an accurate and complete enumeration of their communities.
  3. New Construction Operation - Provides the opportunity for tribal and local governments to report newly constructed living quarters in the enumeration areas where the Census Bureau delivers questionnaires using the USPS.
  4. Address Canvassing Field Operation - Collects updated living quarters addresses, geographic features, and spatial information, including the verified LUCA updates.
  5. Group Quarters Validation Field Operation - Classifies Other Living Quarters as a group quarters or non-group quarters, then assigns a group quarters type code which will be utilized by other operations.
  6. Update/Leave Operation - For geographic areas where mail delivery problems are anticipated, Update/Leave field operations hand deliver questionnaires to housing units and update address lists and maps if inconsistencies are found.
  7. Field Verification Field Operation - Verifies the existence of respondent-provided housing unit addresses that have not been confirmed by a Census Bureau employee and also verifies potential duplicate housing units identified in Response Processing.
  8. Non-ID Processing Operation - Associates census identification numbers with completed respondent-generated questionnaires that do not have a preassigned census identification number but have a respondent-provided address.
  9. Geographic Data Processing Production (GDP) Operation - Maintains the MAF/TIGER® system, which is the repository for spatial and address data, and provides spatial and address products for 2010 Census operations.
  10. Universe Control and Management Production Operation - Creates and manages the respondent data collection universes for census data collection operations using a database of GDP-provided census addresses and related information.


3. Collect and Integrate Respondent Information
The Collect and Integrate Respondent Information operational planning category includes the operations that collect census respondent information through processing completed census forms delivered by the USPS or gathered through field enumeration activities.

  1. Forms Printing and Distribution Operation-Prints all public-use forms and other materials to support the 2010 Census, including the 2010 Census questionnaire mailed to housing units on March 15, 2010.
  2. Update Enumerate Operation-Updates the address list and enumerates the housing units in certain designated geographic areas with special enumeration needs. This group includes the Remote Update Enumeration and Remote Alaska operations.
  3. Enumeration at Transitory Locations Field Operation-Enumerates individuals that do not have a usual home elsewhere (UHE) at housing units at transitory locations.
  4. Be Counted/Questionnaire Assistance Center Operation-Provides community outreach in hard to enumerate (HTE) areas to assist persons in completing their census questionnaire.
  5. Invalid Return Detection Operation-Detects potentially fraudulent returns.
  6. Nonreponse Operation-Enumerates all housing units that did not respond to the mailed out census questionnaire.
  7. Coverage Follow-Up Operation-A telephone operation that resolves erroneous enumerations and omissions detected from other enumeration operations.
  8. Group Quarters Operation-Establishes contacts and enumerates individuals at Group Quarters locations. This operation group includes both Group Quarters Advance Visit and Group Quarters Enumeration (which itself includes Service-Based Enumeration, Military Group Enumeration, and Domestic Military/Maritime Vessels Enumeration operations).
  9. Island Areas Enumeration Operation-Lists all residential and other living quarters and enumerates these units in American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
  10. Federally Affiliated Americans Overseas Count Operation-Obtains counts of U.S. military and federal civilian employees stationed overseas and their dependents living with them that can be allocated to a home state for the purposes of reapportioning seats in the U.S. House of Representatives.
  11. Telephone Questionnaire Assistance and Fulfillment Operation-Provides assistance over the phone to 2010 Census callers.
  12. Data Capture and Integration (DCI) Operation-Provides a means to capture both questionnaire data and geographic data from data collection operations and integrates them into a common set of formats for further processing.


4. Provide Census Results
The Provide Census Results operational planning category is concerned with the refinement of the collected census response data and dissemination of census results. Response data collected from census forms processing and field enumeration are refined and edited to produce an accurate count with complete data characteristics. These counts with characteristic data are then summarized, which removes personally identifiable information. A wide array of census products are then produced and disseminated.

  1. Geographic Boundary and Districting Operation - Determines and updates the geographic area boundaries for districting and tabulation.
  2. Response Processing Production Operation - Processes integrated response data provided by the DCI operation to unduplicate responses, ensure that complete information is collected, conduct statistical methods, and format data files used to produce census results.
  3. Count Review Operation - Designed to enhance the accuracy of the census and provides the Federal-State Cooperative Program for Population Estimates (FSCPE) with the opportunity to review and provide feedback on count tabulations prior to the release of Public Law 94-171 data.
  4. Data Products and Dissemination Production (DPD) Operation - Tabulates and disseminates 2010 Census products, including apportionment counts and Public Law 94-171 redistricting data. The DPD produces many data products, including state and national summary files, tabulated informational files, and data comparison tables. The DPD is responsible for printed and electronic informational products that include population and housing unit tabulations, geographical maps, and a number of data products that specifically pertain to the island areas.   The Data Access and Dissemination System (DADS) program is the primary provider of dissemination services via the Internet through the American FactFinder (AFF) system. This system was redesigned and enhanced for the 2010 Census and for dissemination of other Census Bureau data products. The DADS program is also the provider of tabulation services for the decennial census. Tabulation services refer to the activities related to aggregating data collected on individual responses to a survey or census into summarized statistical data suitable for public release. Dissemination services refer to the activities related to the internal staging and release of approved statistics for posting on the Internet. These services include the provision of interim results or output so that other areas of the Census Bureau can process and release data in different media and formats, (e.g. CD-ROM, DVD, File Transfer Protocol [FTP], Adobe Acrobat Portable Document Format [PDF] for printed publications).
  5. Archiving Operation - Provides 2010 Census records to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).

5. Measure Census Coverage
The Measure Census Coverage operational planning category includes coverage measurement operations that are separate from and independent of the census operations. They are designed to provide estimates of net coverage error and omissions and erroneous enumerations for persons in housing units and for the housing units themselves. These activities provide the needed inputs that allow census coverage to be measured. This planning category consists of the Census Coverage Measurement (CCM) program and the Demographic Analysis operation.
The focus of the CCM program is to measure the coverage error in the 2010 Census with the goal of improving future census operations. CCM produces estimates of net coverage error and estimates of the coverage error components for both housing units and persons living in housing units. Components of coverage error include omissions and erroneous enumerations (including duplicates). Measuring the coverage error of persons in group quarters and of group quarters facilities is not within the scope of the
CCM program. The CCM is a sample survey and, as is typical, is conducted separately and independently of the census operations to ensure that the coverage error estimates are unbiased.

  1. CCM Sample Design Operation - Designs and implements the sample to support the estimation of coverage errors in the 2010 Census for the United States and Puerto Rico, excluding remote Alaska.
  2. CCM Independent Listing Field Operation - Creates the list of CCM addresses by canvassing the selected sample block cluster areas using a paper instrument called the CCM Independent Listing Book (ILB).
  3. CCM Initial Housing Unit Matching and Follow-Up Operation - Determines the reasons for differences between the housing unit addresses in the CCM sample and the initial census address list using automated computer matching, clerical matching, and in-person follow-up techniques.
  4. CCM Person Interview Field Operation - Collects person and housing unit information for selected housing units in each sample block cluster by performing in-person interviews using a computer-assisted data collection instrument.
  5. CCM Person Matching and Follow-Up Operation - Determines the reasons for the differences between the persons in the CCM sample and the persons in the 2010 Census using automated computer matching, clerical matching, telephone and in-person follow-up techniques.
  6. CCM Final Housing Unit Matching and Follow-Up Operation - Determines the reasons for the differences between the housing unit addresses in the CCM sample and the final 2010 Census address list using automated computer matching, clerical matching, and in-person follow-up techniques.
  7. CCM Estimation Operation - Produces estimates of net coverage error and the components of coverage error for housing units and persons living in housing units in the United States and Puerto Rico, excluding remote Alaska.
  8. Demographic Analysis Operation - Produces independent assessments of census coverage using population and housing unit benchmarks in support of the 2010 Census and the evaluation of 2010 Census results.


6. Analyze and Research the Census
The Analyze and Research the Census operational planning category includes 2010 Census assessments, evaluations, and experiments. Assessments are used to document final volumes and rates for individual operations or processes, using data from production files and activities; quality control files and activities; and information collected from debriefings and lessons learned. Evaluations analyze the outcomes of prespecified census operations, such as the effectiveness of integrated communications. Experiments are studies that occur during the census to learn about new or different methodologies, which inform the 2020 Census design.
  1. Evaluations, Experiments, and Assessments Operation - Includes all of the analyses of the design and operations of the 2010 Census, as well as experimental design changes that could inform the 2020 Census. Evaluations and assessments are performed and experiments are conducted to analyze the 2010 Census and to inform early research in the 2020 Census test cycle.
  2. Count Question Resolution Operation - Conducts an administrative review to handle external challenges to official 2010 Census counts of housing units and group quarters and their associated population.


Thumbnail Description of 2010 Census Operations
Address Canvassing - A field operation where census workers systematically canvass all census blocks looking for living quarters and updating the address and map information on a hand-held computer.
Be Counted Program - A program designed for persons who believe they were not counted in the 2010 Census. The Census Bureau will place unaddressed census questionnaires at selected public sites so that individuals that did not receive one in the mail can complete the census.
Census Coverage Follow-Up - A census operation designed to ensure that no person is left out or counted in more than one place in the census and to clarify responses previously collected to improve the accuracy of the census.
Census Coverage Measurement (CCM) Final Housing Unit Follow-Up - A coverage measurement field operation designed to gather additional information to determine reasons for differences between the Independent Listing operation and census records.
Census Coverage Measurement (CCM) Independent Listing Operation - A coverage measurement field operation to construct a list of all housing units, independent of the census, contained within select CCM block clusters.
Census Coverage Measurement (CCM) Initial Housing Unit Follow-Up - A coverage measurement field operation designed to gather information to determine reasons for differences between the Independent Listing operation results and the preliminary census address file.
Census Coverage Measurement (CCM) Person Follow-Up - A coverage measurement field operation designed to collect additional information about persons or households to determine reasons for differences between the CCM Person Interview and the census enumeration.
Census Coverage Measurement (CCM) Person Interview - A coverage measurement field operation designed to collect information about the current resident(s) of each sample housing unit and certain persons who had moved out of the sample address between Census Day and the time of the CCM Person Interview.
Enumeration at Transitory Locations - A census operation where census workers conduct a personal interview with individuals who do not have a usual home elsewhere.
Field Verification - A census operation where census workers verify the existence of units that had been geocoded to a census block but did not match an address in the Master Address File.
Group Quarters Advance Visit - A census operation designed to inform the group quarters contact person of the upcoming enumeration.
Group Quarters Enumeration - A census operation designed to count people living or staying in places such as college residence halls, skilled-nursing facilities, group homes, military barracks, and correctional facilities.
Group Quarters Validation - A census operation designed to determine the correct classification of addresses identified as "other living quarters" during the address canvassing operation.
Mailout/Mailback - A census operation where most households in the United States will be mailed a census questionnaire by the U.S. Postal Service. Household respondents will be asked to fill out the questionnaires and mail them back to data capture centers.
Military Group Quarters Enumeration - A part of the Group Quarters Enumeration operation conducted on military bases and carried out in coordination with the military base point of contact to count military personnel.
Military/Maritime Vessel Enumeration - A part of the Group Quarters operation conducted to enumerate persons on U.S. owned and operated flagged military and maritime vessels. Nonresponse Follow-Up-A census operation where census workers visit housing units that did not return a completed questionnaire by mail to conduct a personal interview to obtain the required information.
Nonresponse Follow-Up Reinterview - A quality check operation designed to ensure that the production enumerator followed field procedures and to identify enumerators who intentionally or unintentionally produced data errors so that work can be redone.
Questionnaire Assistance Center - A center established by a local census office to assist people with completing their questionnaires. The centers were established in community centers, large apartment buildings, childcare and educational centers, and so forth. The centers are staffed by volunteers and Census Bureau employees; also called walk-in questionnaire assistance centers.
Remote Alaska - A method of data collection used to enumerate the most sparsely settled, isolated parts of Alaska - areas accessible only by small plane, boat, snowmobile, 4-wheel-drive vehicle, dog sled, or a combination of these.
Remote Update/Enumerate - A method of data collection conducted with a "team enumeration" method in sparsely inhabited areas of Maine and Alaska, where all enumeration is completed in just one visit.
Service-Based Enumeration - A group quarters operation designed to enumerate persons receiving services at shelters, soup kitchens, regularly scheduled mobile food vans, and those staying at preidentified nonsheltered outdoor locations.
Telephone Questionnaire Assistance - A customer service operation assisting respondents who call in to inquire about census activities going on in their neighborhood or who want to obtain clarification to questions on the census questionnaire or who request to fill out the form through an interview over the phone.
Update/Enumerate - A method of data collection conducted only in communities determined by local census officials where continually low response rates have been established from previous censuses or ongoing survey efforts, and mailing or hand-delivering forms is not cost beneficial. Enumeration is done by census takers who personally interview each household to collect information and update census address lists and maps at the same time.
Update/Leave - A census operation where census workers update paper versions of census address lists and maps and leave questionnaires at housing units in mainly rural areas without street names and/or house numbers. Household respondents are expected to fill out the questionnaires and mail them to data capture centers.
Vacant Delete Check - A census operation where census workers visit addresses that workers recorded in Nonresponse Follow-Up as either vacant or not a housing unit on Census Day, April 1.


Timeline of 2010 Census Operations
Operation
Conducted
Address Canvassing April 6, 2009 - July 19, 2009
CCM Independent Listing Operation August 28, 2009 - December 5, 2009
Group Quarters Validation September 28, 2009 - October 23, 2009
Remote Alaska January 22, 2010 - May 5, 2010
Group Quarters Advance Visit February 1, 2010 - March 19, 2010
Telephone Questionnaire Assistance February 25, 2010 - July 30, 2010
Questionnaire Assistance Centers February 26, 2010 - April 19, 2010
Update/Leave March 1, 2010 - April 2, 2010
CCM Initial Housing Unit Follow-Up March 4, 2010 - April 23, 2010
Mailout/Mailback March 15, 2010 - September 30, 2010
Be Counted Program March 19, 2010 - April 19, 2010
Update/Enumerate March 22, 2010 - May 29, 2010
Enumeration at Transitory Locations March 22, 2010 - April 16, 2010
Remote Update Enumerate March 22, 2010 - May 29, 2010
Service-Based Enumeration March 29, 2010 - March 31, 2010
Military Group Quarters Enumeration March 30, 2010 - May 14, 2010
Group Quarters Enumeration April 1, 2010 - May 14, 2010
Military/Maritime Vessel Enumeration April 1, 2010 - May 14, 2010

Second Questionnaire Mailing in Mailout/Mailback Areas (either targeted or blanket delivery)

April 1, 2010 - April 10, 2010
Coverage Follow-Up April 26, 2010 - August 13, 2010
Nonresponse Follow-Up May 1, 2010 - July 10, 2010
Nonresponse Follow-Up Reinterview May 7, 2010 - July 17, 2010
Vacant Delete Check July 24, 2010 - August 25, 2010
Field Verification August 6, 2010 - September 3, 2010
CCM Person Interview August 14, 2010 - October 2, 2010
CCM Person Follow-Up January 28, 2011 - March 19, 2011
CCM Final Housing Unit Follow-Up May 5, 2011 - June 15, 2011


List of State's Services by Each Regional Office
Atlanta Alabama, Florida, Georgia
Boston Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York (all counties except those covered by the New York regional office listed below), Rhode Island, Maine, Puerto Rico, Vermont,
Charlotte Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia
Chicago Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin
Dallas Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas
Denver Arizona, Colorado, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, Wyoming
Detroit Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia
Kansas City Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Oklahoma
Los Angeles Hawaii, Southern California (counties of Fresno, Imperial, Inyo, Kern, Kings, Los Angeles, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, Monterey, Orange, Riverside, San Benito, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Tulare, and Ventura)
New York New Jersey (counties of Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Morris, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren), New York (counties of Bronx, Kings, Nassau, New York, Queens, Richmond, Rockland, Suffolk, and Westchester)
Philadelphia Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey (all counties except those covered by the New York regional office listed above), Pennsylvania
Seattle Alaska, Idaho, Northern California (all counties except those covered by the Los Angeles regional office listed above), Oregon, Washington