Participant observation research was vital to the design of the 1980 Census of Population and Housing as it was carried out in the Outlying Areas of the Pacific. These areas include American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Marianas and the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands. The traditions, languages, and environment of these islands are so different from those of the United States that the Census Bureau contracted for an anthropologist to serve as a consultant in the design of the questionnaire and the procedures for the 1980 census of the Pacific Islands.

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