Bringing ACS to Bear on Local Estimate Methodologies

David A. Egan-Robertson, State of Wisconsin
Charles Palit, University of Wisconsin at Madison

To form a base view of communities’ relationships between population and change indicators, many estimation methods employ censal ratios. With a census occurring only every ten years, the base ratios may become “stale.” Legal or social changes during a decade may also cause the original assumptions of the base ratio to falter. Finally, the vagaries of small numbers can vex annual small-area estimates. The American Community Survey offers an opportunity to review the efficacy of censal ratios. Could the ACS estimates allow demographers to develop rolling base ratios? And could ACS offer a cure for the ups-and-downs in symptoms that bedevil the production of sensible estimates? Our research will test these new modeling ideas against ones based on standard censal ratios, with the goal of producing better quality estimates. Using Wisconsin’s estimates and symptomatic data, as well as ACS estimates, we will examine these proposed solutions.

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Presented in Session 75: Using the American Community Survey