The U.S. Census Bureau is currently conducting research on ways to use administrative records to reduce the cost and improve the quality of the 2020 Census Nonresponse Followup (NRFU) at addresses that do not self-respond electronically or by mail. Previously, when a NRFU enumerator was unable to contact residents at an address, he/she found a knowledgeable person, such as a neighbor or apartment manager, who could provide the census information for the residents. This was called a proxy response. The Census Bureau’s recent advances in merging federal and third-party databases raise the question: Are proxy responses for NRFU addresses more accurate than the administrative records available for the housing unit? Our study attempts to answer this question by comparing the quality of proxy responses and the administrative records for those housing units in the same timeframe using the results of 2010 Census Coverage Measurement (CCM) Program. The assessment of the quality of the proxy responses and the administrative records in the CCM sample of block clusters takes advantage of the extensive fieldwork, processing, and clerical matching conducted for the CCM.
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