Dealing with Inconsistent Race Data in the Production of Population Estimates: Improvements at the Subnational Level

Amy S. Smith, U.S. Census Bureau

Changes in the U.S. racial categories make it necessary to modify the Census Bureau's methodology to produce population estimates by race. This decade a technique for modeling race for the vital statistics birth component data has been needed. This modification ensures consistency across racial categories while the various administrative data systems transition to the new race standards. Currently, the model is based on Census 2000 data for the population under age one and their parents and is implemented at the national level. The purpose of this paper is to explore modeling at lower levels of geography with the aim to improve subnational population estimates. Census 2000 data indicates important regional and state variations in race reporting. This research outlines a statistical model to incorporate such differences and provides a first look at descriptive statistics.

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Presented in Session 112: Innovations in State and Local Population Estimation