Definition Master Address File:
The Census Bureau’s official inventory on known living quarters (HUs and GQ facilities) and selected non-residential units (public, private, and commercial) in the United States. The file contains mailing and location address information, geocodes, and other attribute information about each living quarters. The Census Bureau continues to update the MAF using the USPS Delivery Sequence Files and various automated, computer assisted, clerical, and field operations.
The success of the Decennial Census count depends very much on the quality and completeness of the address file. Since addresses are assigned and maintained at the local level, the Census Bureau has several programs to involve the local and state governments in maintaining and reviewing the MAF.
MAF maintainance programs between 2010 and 2020
With information provided by the US Postal Service
Twice a year the Census Bureau receives the Delivery Sequence File from the Postal Servce and integrates the changes in that file into the MAF
In office canvassing
This is one of the innovation areas for this decade. See for example this blog entry
In field canvassing
With information provided by local and state governments.
In past decades the Census Bureau relied mostly on the LUCA program to get address data from local sources, but this decade it developed the Geographic Support System (GSS) that invites local and state governments to share address information. See more in the section on GSS
The New Construction program is an opportunity for governments to submit city style mailing addresses for units that are constructed after other programs end but before Census Day (April 1, 2020). See more in the section on New Construction
Local Update Census Addresses
LUCA is a once–a-decade opportunity for local designated representatives to review the
addresses that will be used to conduct the Decennial Census. See more in the section on LUCA
Count Review is an operation where state representatives from the Federal State Cooperative on Population Estimates (FSCPE) have an opportunity to review the final address frame and later on the preliminary Group Quarters tabulations. See more in the section on Count Review