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Small area demographic estimates - frequently asked questions

Form A FAQ

General information

What is Form A?

Form A, also known as the Housing Unit and Population Estimate Report, is used by OFM to gather the information that we need to make April 1 city and town population determinations.

Form A reporting

The electronic Form A I received will not open. What should be done?

Please download and install the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader. If the form will still not open, please contact OFM.

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Section A: New frame housing

What is the difference between Section A1 and A2?

Sections A1 and A2 separate the most current data collection year from prior years in which permits were reported but not completed.

  • Section A1 is for recording the number of permits issued and the number of units associated with these permits that were completed during the current reporting period from April 2, 2013 through April 1, 2014. These permits and completed units have not previously been reported to OFM.
  • Section A2 is for reporting the number of units completed for permits that were issued prior to April 1, 2013 but have not yet been reported as completed. The units associated with these permits are hereafter referred to as "carryover units".

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Section B: Manufactured/mobile homes

Why does OFM collect data on manufactured/mobile homes separately from frame housing structures?

Based on information from prior censuses, manufactured/mobile homes are associated with different occupancy rates and household sizes compared to single-family, frame housing structures. OFM's population estimation model requires that this information be tracked separately.

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Section C: Special housing

How will OFM track changes in special population and housing since Form A no longer collects data for special units?

OFM is no longer classifying special housing units as a separate housing type because of changes in data collection at the federal level. The 2010 federal census counted permanent residents living in travel trailers, RVs, boats, sheds, tents, etc. as household population. Although special housing is no longer considered a separate housing type, cities may continue to collect information related to populations living in special housing if they so choose and OFM will continue to estimate population living in special housing.

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Section D: Group quarters (GQ) population

Why is the 2013 population for a GQ facility different from what I reported last year?

Section D1: OFM keeps track of reported GQ populations on a per facility basis. If the newly reported number differs significantly from that of prior years, the analyst will give the facility a call. The reason for the difference is sometimes due to the definition of a resident. Some facilities report numbers that include short term stay populations who typically reside elsewhere in the region. At other times, the facilities will report numbers that include persons living in a part of the facility that is not considered a group quarter (e.g., assisted living center/retirement apartments). Definitional issues aside, what is most important is that the GQ population that is counted is consistent with what was counted by the city in the base census year (2010).

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Section E: Annexation and municipal boundary changes

Why do I need to report annexations on Form A?

Section E is for reporting annexation activity between April 2, 2013 and April 1, 2014. This reporting verifies that our annexation information is consistent with city records. It is not unusual to discover annexations that have never been reported to OFM.

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Why does OFM use adjusted counts rather than city-reported counts of mobile homes and GQ populations? How does OFM calculate these adjusted counts?

OFM has determined that cities/towns and the federal census often report manufactured/mobile homes and group quarters populations inconsistently. Residency rules are not always applied, assisted living facilities are sometimes reported incorrectly as group quarters facilities, and mobile homes are sometimes misclassified as single family residences.

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