The U.S. Census Bureau released today the 2010 Demographic Analysis estimates, a set of data independent of the 2010 Census counts that provides a way of measuring the nation's population. These figures provide national-level estimates of the population by age, sex, two race groups — black and non-black — and for the first time, the Hispanic population under age 20.
Demographic analysis estimates provide an independent gauge of the U.S. population using a very different technique than is used for the 2010 Census. These estimates use data on births and deaths, international migration and Medicare enrollment to construct estimates of the population that do not depend upon the results of the 2010 Census.
New this year, the U.S. Census Bureau is producing five series of estimates to reflect different assumptions about each of the data sources. The differences among the five series reflect the impact of varying assumptions in the components of the demographic analysis estimates. This is also the first time these data are being provided prior to the release of the decennial counts, underscoring their independence from the 2010 Census effort.
“The Census Bureau wants to be completely transparent about the process of demographic analysis,” said U.S. Census Bureau Director Robert Groves. “For the first time, we are providing a series of demographic analysis estimates to more clearly demonstrate the uncertainty in these figures. The 2010 Census provides the official population count, but demographic analysis provides an honest presentation of alternative estimates.”
2010 Demographic Analysis Resident Population Estimates for April 1, 2010 (in thousands)
Low – Middle Low – Middle – High Middle – High
305,684 – 307,415 – 308,475 – 310,038 – 312,713
One way to evaluate the quality of a decennial census is to compare it to an alternative population estimate, and demographic analysis offers that alternative by using methods independent of the 2010 Census to arrive at a national population estimate. It also is a cost-effective alternative, since it relies on administrative and survey data that already exist. The U.S. Census Bureau has been conducting demographic analyses since the 1970 Census.
Demographic analysis, however, has various limitations that preclude it from being used to estimate net undercounts or overcounts from the 2010 Census. For example, the nation lacks a system for keeping track of international migration, so the Census Bureau uses survey data and other techniques to obtain these estimates. In addition, an individual's race classification on a birth or death record can differ from how that person reported it on a decennial census form.
Estimates of 2010 Census net undercounts and overcounts will be delivered in 2012 from the Census Coverage Measurement program, which relies on a post-enumeration sample survey.
The complete demographic analysis tables can be found at census.gov/.
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