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Tuesday, May 8 • 2:15pm - 2:45pm
PRESENTATION: Hard-to-Survey Populations: Response Outreach Area Mapper (ROAM) by the U.S. Census Bureau

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AUTHORS: Cynthia Hale Gillham, U.S. Census Bureau; James Bogart, U.S. Census Bureau

ABSTRACT: Nationwide, 79.3 percent of households that received a 2010 Census mail questionnaire completed it and mailed it back. The resulting non-response rate of 20.7 percent was not evenly distributed across the country, but rather varied greatly by location. The Census Bureau's Response Outreach Area Mapper (ROAM) application was developed to make it easier to identify hard-to-survey areas and to provide a socioeconomic and demographic characteristic profile of these areas using American Community Survey estimates available in the Census Planning Database. The Planning Database is publicly available, but it is a large comma-delimited file that requires software to open and explore it. Additionally, mapping the Low Response Score (LRS) metric (predicted mail non-response rate) from this data would require an entirely different set of software skills. ROAM is an interactive web mapping application developed to make the Planning Database and the LRS much easier access and visualize. In ROAM, Census tracts are classified and symbolized by their LRS, and users click on a tract to display a subset of socioeconomic and demographic variables to reveal what factors influence an area in being harder to count, eliminating the necessity of user software proficiency. ROAM Users include Census Bureau Field staff, local officials, external stakeholders and partners, and the public. Learning about each hard-to-survey area allows the U.S. Census Bureau to create tailored outreach, marketing, and promotional partnership campaigns, as well as planning for field resources such as hiring specialized staff with appropriate language skills. These and other efforts can improve response rates.

Tuesday May 8, 2018 2:15pm - 2:45pm EDT
Room 202

Attendees (3)