Allocations, or assignments of acceptable codes in place of unacceptable entries, are needed most often when an entry for a given item is lacking or when the information reported for a person or housing unit on that item is inconsistent with other information for the person or housing unit. The usefulness of the data is considered to be enhanced through the assignment of acceptable codes in place of blanks or unacceptable entries.
For housing data, the assignment is based on related information reported for the housing unit or on information reported for a similar unit in the immediate neighborhood. For example, if tenure for an occupied unit is omitted but a rental amount is reported for the unit, the computer edits tenure to rented for "cash rent." On the other hand, if the unit is reported as rented but the amount of rent is missing, the computer assigns the rent from the preceding renter-occupied unit that had a rental amount reported.
The general procedure for changing unacceptable population entries is to assign an entry for a person that is consistent with entries for other persons with similar characteristics. Thus, a person who is reported as a 20-year old son of the householder but for whom marital status is not reported, is assigned the same marital status as that of the last, son processed in the same age group. The allocation technique may be illustrated by the procedure used in the assignment for unknown age. The process is carried out in the following steps:
- The computer stores reported ages of persons by selected characteristics, including sex, relationship, marital Status, and characteristics of other household members.
- Each stored age is retained in the computer only until a person having the same set of characteristics and with age reported is processed through the computer in the edit operation. Then the age of this succeeding person is substituted for the age previously stored.
- When a person processed has no report of age, or the entry is unacceptable, the age assigned to him or her is then stored for the last person who otherwise has the same set of characteristics.