The housing unit (HU) method is the most commonly used method for making small-area population estimates in the United States. These estimates are used for a wide variety of budgeting, planning, and analytical purposes. Given their importance, periodic evaluations of their accuracy are essential. In this article, we evaluate the accuracy of a set of HU population estimates for counties and subcounty areas in Florida, as of April 1, 2000. We investigate the influence of differences in population size and growth rate on estimation errors; compare the accuracy of several alternative techniques for estimating each of the major components of the HU method; compare the accuracy of 2000 estimates with that of estimates produced in 1980 and 1990; compare the accuracy of HU population estimates with that of estimates derived from other estimation methods; consider the role of professional judgment and the use of averaging in the construction of population estimates; and explore the impact of controlling one set of estimates to another. Our results confirm a number of findings that have been reported before and provide empirical evidence on several issues that have received little attention in the literature. We conclude with several observations regarding future directions in population estimation research.
Population Research and Policy Review – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 18, 2004
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