2000 Census: Preparations for Dress Rehearsal Leave Many Unanswered Questions - GAO Report
|Date:||March 26, 1998|
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Census Integrated Coverage Measurement
Lessons from the 1990 Census, which produced data less reliable than in 1980 despite being the costliest in history, led the Census Bureau to redesign key features for the 2000 Census. These changes included developing procedures for compiling a complete and accurate address list, increasing the mail response rate through outreach efforts, staffing census operations with a more capable workforce, and reducing costs and improving accuracy through sampling and statistical estimation. Congress, however, has not endorsed the overall design because of concerns about sampling and estimation. Although the dress rehearsal, now underway in three localities around the country, should be testing the operations and procedures planned for use in 2000, it will leave several design questions unresolved and some procedures untested. The longer the impasse continues between the Administration and Congress, the greater the risk that the 2000 Census will fail. GAO summarized this report in testimony before Congress; see: Decennial Census: Preparations for Dress Rehearsal Underscore the Challenges for 2000, by L. Nye Stevens, Director of Federal Management and Workforce Issues, before the Subcommittee on the Census, House Committee on Government Reform and Oversight. GAO/T-GGD-98-84, Mar. 26 (17 pages).