When Race and Hispanic Origin Reporting Are Discrepant across Administrative Records Sources: Exploring Methods to Assign Responses

Sharon R. Ennis, U.S. Census Bureau
Sonya Rastogi, U.S. Census Bureau
James Noon, U.S. Census Bureau
Ellen Zapata, U.S. Census Bureau

The U.S. Census Bureau is researching uses of administrative records in survey and decennial census operations. One potential use of administrative records is to utilize the data when race and Hispanic origin responses are missing. When federal and third party administrative records are compiled, race and Hispanic origin responses are not always the same for an individual across different administrative records sources. We explore different sets of business rules to assign one race and one Hispanic response when these responses are discrepant across sources. We also describe the characteristics of individuals with matching, non-matching, and missing race and Hispanic origin data across several demographic, household, and contextual variables. We find that minorities, especially Hispanics, are more likely to have non-matching Hispanic origin and race responses in administrative records compared to the 2010 Census. Minority groups are also more likely to have missing race or Hispanic origin data in administrative records.

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Presented in Session 101: Innovations in Applied Demography