The classic headship-rate method for demographic projections of households is not linked to demographic rates, projects a few household types without size, and does not deal with household members other than heads. By comparison, the ProFamy method uses demographic rates as input and projects more detailed household types, sizes, and living arrangements for all members of the population. Tests of projections from 1990 to 2000 using ProFamy and based on observed U.S. demographic rates before 1991 show that discrepancies between our projections and census observations in 2000 are reasonably small, validating the new method. Using data from national surveys and vital statistics, census microfiles, and the ProFamy method, we prepare projections of U.S. households from 2000 to 2050. Medium projections as well as projections based on smaller and larger family scenarios with corresponding combinations of assumptions of marriage/union formation and dissolution, fertility, mortality, and international migration are performed to analyze future trends of U.S. households and their possible higher and lower bounds, as well as enormous racial differentials. To our knowledge, the household projections reported in this article are the first to have found empirical evidence of family household momentum and to have provided informative low and high bounds of various indices of projected future households and living arrangements distributions based on possible changes in demographic parameters.
Population Research and Policy Review – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 31, 2006
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