Heterogeneity in capture probabilities is known to produce bias in the dual system estimates that have been used to estimate census coverage in U.S. Censuses since 1980. Triple system estimation using an administrative records list as a third source along with the census and coverage measurement survey has the potential to produce estimates with less bias. This is particularly important for hard-to-reach populations.
The article presents potential statistical methods for the estimation of net census undercount using three systems for obtaining population information: (1) a decennial census; (2) an independent enumeration of the population in a sample of block clusters; and (3) administrative records. The 2010 Census Match Study will create census-like files for the entire nation using federal and commercial sources of administrative records. The 2010 Census Coverage Measurement Survey is an enumeration in a sample of block clusters that is independent of the 2010 decennial Census.
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