Participation in the Decennial Census: Politics, Privacy, Pressures

Archived Abstract of Former PSC Researcher

Couper, Mick P., E.L. Singer, and R.A. Kulka. 1998. "Participation in the Decennial Census: Politics, Privacy, Pressures." American Politics Quarterly, 26(1): 59-80.

Theoretical perspectives on survey participation suggest that survey participation is a form of community involvement, reflecting a sense of civic obligation that also motivates such behavior as voting, serving on juries, and paying taxes. Using data from the Survey of Census Participation (SCP), we investigate this hypothesis with respect to mail response to the 1990 census. We examine such motivating factors as structural and attitudinal measures of alienation as well as more proximal measures of knowledge of and attitudes toward the census and concerns about privacy and confidentiality. We also examine a variety of constraining factors, including literacy, facility with the English language, and available time to complete the form. Using multivariate analysis, we explore the relative effects of these factors on the likelihood of returning the completed census form by mail and discuss the implications of our findings for participation in the census and political participation more generally.

10.1177/1532673X9802600104

Browse | Search | Next

PSC In The News

RSS Feed icon

Shaefer comments on the Cares Act impact in negating hardship during COVID-19 pandemic

Heller comments on lasting safety benefit of youth employment programs

More News

Highlights

Dean Yang's Combatting COVID-19 in Mozambique study releases Round 1 summary report

Help Establish Standard Data Collection Protocols for COVID-19 Research

More Highlights


Connect with PSC follow PSC on Twitter Like PSC on Facebook