Of course, these are not the only principles that could be developed for the census, but we believe them to be an adequate set. Other possibilities include something akin to Lowry’s sixth principle, which raises the question of the level of geographic resolution needed for tabulation; that principle would assign people to the smallest possible level of geography (but not necessarily to a specific geographic coordinate). We revisit the question in Chapter 7 and the counting of the group quarters/nonhousehold population. Another possible principle—perhaps useful for handling some ambiguous residence situations but that may be prohibitively difficult operationally—is to specify that children under a certain age must be counted at the home of their parent or guardian. Though it would provide an alternate solution to the current mismatch between the counting of boarding school and college students and could be more consistent with a “family” interpretation of household, the specification of the age cutoff could make enumeration of college students even more difficult.1

Collectively, our four suggested principles imply the exclusion of American citizens (nonmilitary and nongovernment employee) living overseas, consistent with practice in recent censuses. To satisfy the requirements of current law and court precedent, military personnel and federal civilian personnel stationed overseas, and their dependents, would continue to be assigned to their home states of record for purposes of apportionment only.


Articulation of a core set of principles provides a basis from which to work in developing other products, one of which is an explanation of how the principles apply to a variety of living situations. The 2000 census model of trying to craft rules to match all possible living situations is flawed because it lacks a unifying conceptual basis. Yet there is still a definite need for something analogous to the intent of the 31 rules—a list of examples of how ambiguous living situations should be resolved—but one that is grounded in concept and better structured for comprehension.

Such a listing is needed for several reasons and audiences. Though field enumerators should be made familiar with the basic residence principles, it is also useful for them to be aware of concrete examples of the application of the principles to living situations that they are likely to encounter. Similarly, staff who deliver questionnaire assistance by telephone should also have common situations and their treatment as a reference. We suggest in Section 2–F.2 that census residence rules be made more transparent to the public and to decisionmakers, and public posting of examples of the application of chosen


Such an age-based rule would also misplace minors who have won legal emancipation from their parents.

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