Attached FYI are responses I've been getting off the list to my
"long form" question. I'll just respond to the second one and say that
sure that the folks at the Census Bureau are quite aware of how well the
citizenry responds to surveys, and that they are also under alot of pressure
from various interest groups -- including transportation planners -- to
provide what has been succinctly described as "mo' data."
recieved the long form at my house and it is a bugger
to fill out. Will
probably take 3 or 4 days to complete. Real difficult stuff.
I received the long form in 1990 and this year. The
2000 long form is
more detailed and much longer than the 1990 form. I can understand why
people may refuse to complete it. This year's from goes way beyond
journey-to-work data and asks for information, such as annual utility
that many people do not track. It will take more than a couple of hours
research for me to provide accurate answers. The Census Bureau must have
forgotten that the average American head of household is not a bureaucrat.
there is a report on the subject. As I recall the
decline in response
was slight and not the basis for concern about non-response from
It is strange that CTPP people would be complaining
about the long form.
That whole program is dependent on it.
All census data is confidential for 72 years. Then it is released for
historical research. In WWII the military asked the Census Bureau for the
location of Japanese. They were denied access. I have participated in
LUCA (Local Update Census Addresses). I have had to sign numerous
confidentiality agreements in order to receive the data files. These
contain nothing but addresses, no names or any other data. Yet it took an
act of congress to allow the Bureau to make these lists available to local
governments for review. I am expected to destroy all files and maps when
the review is finished.
The long form may be a pain, but it provides much valuable information.
This may be the last census with a long form. If so, it is the end of
detailed data for small geography.
Our local weekly newspaper - with big circulation -
pushing the invasion of privacy button with respect to
filling out the long form. Particularly on the income
questions. I received the long form and have to admit
that they have a point. I'll bet that 2000 returns will hit
an all time low response rate.
My understanding was that in 1990 the long-form
response rate was not that
different from the short-form rate. I've had an earfull too. I'm sure
some of response results from an increased sensativity to privacy issues
over the past decade. My only response has been to gently encourage
people to fill out what they can.