. "III Improvements for the Future - 6 Residence Principles for the Decennial Census." Once, Only Once, and in the Right Place: Residence Rules in the Decennial Census. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2006.
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Once, Only Once, and in the Right Place: Residence Rules in the Decennial Census
Residence Question and Instructions in the 2000 Census and the 2000 Alternative Questionnaire Experiment
Compared with the residence question on the 2000 short form, the 2000 AQE represented a package of numerous design changes, each (or any) of which could affect the outcomes (responses):
Order of answer space: whether the question (and response box) appear before or after the instructions
Order of other components, including structure of include/exclude lists
Space allocated to questions: whether the question block is formatted to appear larger, vertically
Dominant graphic element: replacement of an illustration of a pen as a major visual element with the flow-promoting orange “Start Here” triangle
Summary categories in instructions: whether the instructions include a general summary category (“people who live here most of the time, even if they have somewhere else to live”), and in what order in the include/exclude lists it falls
Stronger instruction language: whether an imperative statement (to count people “using our guidelines”) is included
Typographical emphasis: whether having the entire phrases INCLUDE and DO NOT INCLUDE capitalized (and hence accorded equal weight) differs from only capitalizing NOT (as in the AQE)
Formatting of lists: whether the list of include/exclude instructions are in a single column or double-banked
Label placement: whether the “number of people” label is placed before or after the response box
Size of answer box
Location of “1”, a numerical language indicator
In addition, the two questions differ slightly in the exact wording of the bulleted instructions.