The survey response rate is the ratio of the estimate of units interviewed after data collection is complete to the estimate of all units that should have been interviewed. Separate rates are calculated for housing unit response and GQ person response.
For housing units, this means all interviews after mail, telephone and personal visit follow-up.
For GQ persons, this means all interviews after the personal visit. Interviews include complete and partial interviews with enough information to be processed. All final noninterviews have been grouped into one of the following:
Reasons for Noninterviews:
Refusal: Even though the ACS is a mandatory survey and households whose addresses are selected and GQ persons who are selected for the survey are required to answer the survey questions, a few are reluctant to cooperate and refuse to participate. Unable to Locate: If the interviewer cannot find the sample address after using all possible sources, they consider it "unable to locate."
For GQ persons, the individual could not be located.
No One Home: Interviewers assign this code if they could not find anyone at the housing unit during the entire month's interview period. There is no equivalent rate for GQ persons.
Temporarily Absent: The interviewers confirm that all household members or the GQ person are away during the entire month's interview period on vacation, a business trip, or caring for sick relatives.
Language Problem: The interviewer could not conduct an interview because of language barriers, was not able to get an interpreter who could translate, and the supervisor or regional office could not help complete this case.
Insufficient Data: To be considered an interviewed unit in ACS, a household or GQ person's response needs to have a minimum amount of data. Occupied housing units and GQ persons not meeting this minimum are treated as noninterviews in the estimation process. Responses for vacant housing units are not subject to a minimum data requirement.
Other: Unique situations when the reason for noninterview does not fit into one of the classifications described above. Possible reasons include "death in the family," "household quarantined," or "roads impassable."
Whole GQ Refusal: Some group quarters refuse to allow the ACS to interview any of their residents, citing legal or other reasons.
Whole GQ Other: These account for other situations where no one in the GQ was interviewed due to reasons other than refusals.
There are two kinds of coverage error: under-coverage and over-coverage.
Under-coverage exists when housing units or people do not have a chance of being selected in the sample.
Over-coverage exists when housing units or people have more than one chance of selection in the sample, or are included in the sample when they should not have been. If the characteristics of under-covered or over-covered housing units or individuals differ from those that are selected, the ACS may not provide an accurate picture of the population.
The coverage rates measure coverage error in the ACS. The coverage rate is the ratio of the ACS population or housing estimate of an area or group to the independent estimate for that area or group, times 100.
Coverage rates for the total resident population are calculated by sex at the national, state, and Puerto Rico levels, and at the national level only for total Hispanics, and non-Hispanics crossed by the five major race categories: White, Black, American Indian and Alaska Native, Asian, and Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander. The total resident population includes persons in both housing units and group quarters. In addition, a coverage rate that includes only the group quarters population is calculated at the national level. Coverage rates for housing units are calculated at the national and state level, except for Puerto Rico because independent housing unit estimates are not available. These rates are weighted to reflect the probability of selection into the sample, the subsampling for personal visit follow-up, and non-response adjustment.