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Abstract Details

Activity Number: 396
Type: Topic Contributed
Date/Time: Tuesday, July 31, 2012 : 2:00 PM to 3:50 PM
Sponsor: Section on Survey Research Methods
Abstract - #304610
Title: 2010 Census Nonresponse Follow-Up Contact Strategy
Author(s): Gianna Dusch*+ and Elizabeth Compton and Michael Bentley
Companies: U.S. Census Bureau and U.S. Census Bureau and U.S. Census Bureau
Address: 15401 Neman Drive, Bowie, MD, 20716, United States
Keywords: Nonresponse followup ; cost savings ; decennial

One of the most expensive operations in the 2010 Census was Nonresponse Followup, for housing units that did not respond by mail. An enumerator collected the census information, using personal visits or phone calls, and sometimes took up to six contact attempts to obtain an interview. The objective of this experiment was to understand the effects of reducing the maximum number of contact attempts in order to save costs in Nonresponse Followup. Two experimental questionnaires, with a maximum of either four or five contact attempts, were systematically distributed in with the standard six-contact forms prior to the start of Nonresponse Followup. All other content on the forms was the same. Results showed that reducing the maximum number of contact attempts enumerators are expected to make appears to have no noticeable negative effects. There was no impact to the rate of successfully completing interviews, no increase in the use of proxy respondents (neighbors or other non-household members), and no increase to item nonresponse or overall form completeness. Further, significant high end cost savings are possible. Though these results are encouraging, an area-level study is recommended before full scale implementation is considered.

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