Editing of Unacceptable Data
The objective of the processing operation is to produce a set of data that describes the population as accurately and clearly as possible. To meet this objective, questionnaires were edited during field data collection operations for consistency, completeness, and acceptability. Questionnaires were also reviewed by census clerks for omissions, certain inconsistencies, and population coverage. For example, write-in entries such as "Don't know" or "NA" were considered unacceptable. For some district offices, the initial edit was automated; however, for the majority of the district offices, it was performed by clerks. As a result of this operation, a telephone or personal visit follow-up was made to obtain missing information. Potential coverage errors were included in the follow-up, as well as a sample of questionnaires with omissions or inconsistencies.
Subsequent to field operations, remaining incomplete or inconsistent information on the questionnaires was assigned using imputation procedures during the final automated edit of the collected data. Allocations, or computer assignments of acceptable codes in place of unacceptable entries or blanks, 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 that same person or housing unit. As in previous censuses, the general procedure for changing unacceptable entries was to assign an entry for a person or housing unit that was consistent with entries for persons or housing units with similar characteristics. The assignment of acceptable codes in place of blanks or unacceptable entries enhances the usefulness of the data.
Another way in which corrections were made during the computer editing process was through substitution; that is, the assignment of a full set of characteristics for a person or housing unit. When there was an indication that a housing unit was occupied, but the questionnaire contained no information for the people within the household, or the occupants were not listed on the questionnaire, a previously accepted household was selected as a substitute, and the full set of characteristics for the substitute was duplicated. The assignment of the full set of housing characteristics occurred when there was no housing information available. If the housing unit was determined to be occupied, the housing characteristics were assigned from a previously processed occupied unit. If the housing unit was vacant, the housing characteristics were assigned from a previously processed vacant unit.