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Activity Number: 331
Type: Topic Contributed
Date/Time: Tuesday, July 31, 2012 : 10:30 AM to 12:20 PM
Sponsor: Section on Survey Research Methods
Abstract - #304451
Title: Understanding the Causes of the Differences Between the 2010 American Community Survey and the 2010 Decennial Census Vacancy Rates
Author(s): Steven Hefter*+ and Omolola Anderson
Companies: U.S. Census Bureau and Federal Housing Finance Agency and Federal Housing Finance Agency
Address: Office of the Inspector General, Washington, DC, , United States
Keywords: ACS ; Census ; Vacancy rate

There is a common perception that the 2010 American Community Survey (ACS) estimates, in general, should be consistent with the Decennial Census. While it may seem counter-intuitive that 2010 ACS estimates and the 2010 Census might disagree, there are several reasons why this may be the case. Exploring the differences in data collection methods, reference periods, and objectives allows us to understand the inherent differences between the ACS and Census methodologies. Of particular interest is the difference in the vacancy rates. The gross vacancy rate estimated by the 2010 ACS was 13.1 percent. This proportion is statistically higher than 2010 Decennial Census rate of 11.4 percent. For the first time, we are presented with the unique opportunity to match full ACS data collected to the decennial census. Our paper describes the different components of the occupancy status classification. Using the matched file, we produced a variety of cross tabulations of weighted proportions, comparing the ACS and Census occupancy status across several housing characteristics. We discuss the results of the match to better understand the outcomes influencing the difference in the vacancy rate.

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