How’s the Process of Checking on Vacant And Deleted Addresses Going?

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Written by: Director Robert Groves

We began the initial operations for the penultimate operation to enumerate the US population about July 1. The “vacant/delete check,” in Census Bureau jargon, is small, relative to the full nonresponse followup operation, which visited 47 million addresses. We’re visiting about 8.5 million units in the operation.

Although small, it’s crucial for a good census. There are three types of units we’re visiting.

1. “Vacants” — Some of the 47 million housing units we visited over the past few weeks were documented as vacant on April 1, 2010. We want to make absolutely sure we’ve got that right. So we’re double-checking.

2. “Deletes” — Others among the 47 million posed real problems for our census takers. We couldn’t find a physical housing unit associated with the address, or the address was judged to be a duplicate listing for another listing. In either case, our nonresponse followup workers documented the address listing as “delete.”

3. “Supplementals” — We also are visiting about 3 million addresses that are additions to our list that came to us late. Local officials gave us some to check; the Postal Service gave us some new delivery addresses; and we checking on other sets to make sure we understand their household composition as of April 1, 2010. Many of these we expect might be occupied as of April 1, 2010.

These three types of cases can disproportionately affect the quality of the enumeration. So treating them with extra care is the point of the vacant/delete operation.

For those of the public who are receiving yet another visit to make sure we understand their situations, I ask for their patience. It’s because the stakes of the census are so high that we go to these lengths to make sure we have things right.

The vacant/delete operation is moving along quite smoothly. Enumerators are completing their work on schedule and the computer systems are humming. We have completed already about 80% of the workload.

So far, we’re finding about 52% of the units are vacant and 22% should be deleted from our list. That leaves about 26% as occupied units as of April 1, 2010. That 26% shows how important this step is to capture the right numbers for the April 1, 2010, population.

Please submit any questions pertaining to this post to ask.census.gov

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13 Responses to How’s the Process of Checking on Vacant And Deleted Addresses Going?

  1. John says:

    its okay im getting paid!!

  2. Proud American & Field Enumerator... says:

    Mr. Groves, Thanks for the NRFU-VDC Operation Update. I’m a field Enumerator and just turned in my remaining AA Binders with EQ’s yesterday. I think our LCO must be ahead of others, they were pushing us to be @90% completion by Sunday, July 25th. I’m on stand-by now waiting to see if I can help with anymore work on this operation. Also, I hope to get called for the QA3: Field Verification Operation. I want to let you know that’s it’s been really great helping with the 2010 Census. Thank you for the experience and a chance to help my country and community.

  3. Proud American & Field Enumerator... says:

    Mr. Groves, Thanks for the NRFU-VDC Operation Update. I’m a field Enumerator and just turned in my remaining AA Binders with EQ’s yesterday. I think our LCO must be ahead of others, they were pushing us to be @90% completion by Sunday, July 25th. I’m on stand-by now waiting to see if I can help with anymore work on this operation. Also, I hope to get called for the QA3: Field Verification Operation. I want to let you know that’s it’s been really great helping with the 2010 Census. Thank you for the experience and a chance to help my country and community.

  4. Proud American & Field Enumerator... says:

    Mr. Groves, Thanks for the NRFU-VDC Operation Update. I’m a field Enumerator and just turned in my remaining AA Binders with EQ’s yesterday. I think our LCO must be ahead of others, they were pushing us to be @90% completion by Sunday, July 25th. I’m on stand-by now waiting to see if I can help with anymore work on this operation. Also, I hope to get called for the QA3: Field Verification Operation. I want to let you know that’s it’s been really great helping with the 2010 Census. Thank you for the experience and a chance to help my country and community.

  5. s russell says:

    From my limited view, your product will not read well. My son, who lives on my property, in one of my houses has had 6 census mailings (he completed and returned the first one). We have had 4 visits from 4 different people, none of which knew anyone else had been there. It has become necessary to close and lock the gate on this farm. Census workers have no background checks and may be a threat to my property. This like many areas has a drug problem. Druggies will steal (in case you ain’t heard). Somehow, I think your data is gonna be really skewed.

  6. Annie says:

    All Census workers are fingerprinted and do get background checks.

  7. A happy Florida Enumerator says:

    “Census workers have no background checks and may be a threat to my property.” –this is simply not true, all were required to be fingerprinted and then prints sent to the FBI for clearance.
    Where do you get your info??

  8. Wildrose says:

    I would say your view is limited, s russell. Census workers most certainly do have background checks. During my training someone was pulled from the class because there was a problem with the background check. She was later reinstated because the issue was cleared up, but that shows that the Census is very careful about who they send out to work. BTW, she was also required to complete the training before beginning her work.

  9. Jonny says:

    your wrong s.russell. All Census employees have background checks with fingerpints taken.

  10. Jerry T says:

    S Russell – Census workers do in fact have a background check done. I had to be fingerprinted before I could begin work. I have been involved with this Census operation as well as three others, and people were fingerprinted for each operation I have worked on. As far as receiving so many visits, I can’t help you there. When you refuse the Census worker access to your property or are not cooperative, that person still has to getthe information. That ends up costing more time and money.

  11. wtbyan2 says:

    as Annie and wildrose certainly well know, the background checks were done AFTER hire and people put into the field. If issues came up AFTER THE HIRE, then workers were then pulled out of the field and fired or held out of work till the issue was resolved. It was only late spring of this year that the 5 day waiting period was put into effect, and then it was also changed so there was to be extremely limited, if any new hires so lco and rcc did not have to deal with the issue of fingerprints and new hires, current operations are only using experienced employees.

  12. Pilose says:

    The Director’s request for patience on the part of the public who have gotten multiple visits, numerous NV’s tucked under their door and follow-up phone calls is well meaning but ill-placed. Written here, I’m afraid, it is simply preaching to the choir.
    As a NRFU and VDC enumerator I, of course, have met many of those people. But even those who were somewhat understanding were at least irritated and often much worse. Comments about wasting their time after they have previously cooperated – sometimes more than once – and snipes about the lousy use of their tax dollars were pretty common.
    Yes, we in the field can/have tried to explain “why” when we are already at the door of a P.O.’d resident (assuming we ourselves had a useful explanation from our LCO or CL), but maybe it’s time for another round of TV commercials or newspaper ads that come right from the Director.
    This time skip the clever and slick Madison Avenue style of the past year that did little to explain the project except to those who probably already knew about it, and adopt the recent grass-roots approach of the BP newspaper apologies.
    Skip the formal reasoning about the House of Representatives reapportionment that mostly matters inside the Beltway (and to incumbents) and put it in terms that everyday people really care about: tax dollars flowing BACK from Washington to their communities
    Then conclude with: “We understand what a bother we’re being, but here’s why it’s necessary. Thanks for your patience and continued cooperation. We’re almost done.”

  13. Displeased Tulsa Resident says:

    I understand the reason behind the census and support it. I received my census questionaire in Tulsa. I filled it out and mailed it the next day via the USPS. Several months later I had a gentleman arrive at my door stating he was from the Census Bureau. I explained that I had filled out the form and sent it in the next day. He stated that it must have been lost. Government form mailed via a government agency… and lost? Sadly no surprise. No disrespect to government employees… But as mentioned above by Pilose, I was P.O.’d. Came home today from a long day at work, and found an unknown lady on my front porch. I asked how I could help her. She stated that she was with the census bureau and my home had been selected for additional questioning. I informed her that I had already mailed in the form and then, again, completed the survey manually with the previous gentleman. She stated that we were chosen for the long form survey. Hope I wasn’t too abrupt with her, but now I was really P.O.’d and refused. This is ridiculous.

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