When information is missing or inconsistent, the Census Bureau uses a method called imputation to assign values. Imputation relies on the statistical principle of "homogeneity," or the tendency of households within a small geographic area to be similar in most characteristics. For example, the value of "rented" is likely to be imputed for a housing unit not reporting on owner/renter status in a neighborhood with multiunits or apartments where other respondents reported "rented" on the census questionnaire. In past censuses, when the occupancy status or the number of residents was not known for a housing unit, this information was imputed.
Internet Questionnaire Assistance (IQA)
An operation which allows respondents to use the Census Bureau's Internet site to (1) ask questions and receive answers about the census form, job opportunities, or the purpose of the census and (2) provide responses to the short form.
Interpolation frequently is used in calculating medians or quartiles based on interval data and in approximating standard errors from tables. Linear interpolation is used to estimate values of a function between two known values. Pareto interpolation is an alternative to linear interpolation. In Pareto interpolation, the median is derived by interpolating between the logarithms of the upper and lower income limits of the median category. It is used by the Census Bureau in calculating median income within intervals wider than $2,500.