A Comparative Analysis of Small Area Population Estimation Methods

Cartography and Geographic Information Science, Vol. 37, No. 4, 2010, pp. 273-284

12 Pages Posted: 1 Feb 2015

See all articles by Sarah Brinegar

Sarah Brinegar

Government of the United States of America - Civil Rights Division

Stephen Popick

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation

Date Written: October 1, 2010

Abstract

A number of areal interpolation methods have been developed to estimate population for overlapping, discontinuous, or fragmented areas. Previous studies examined the relative accuracy of various methods; this research advances those endeavors by comparing the effectiveness of seven different methods using a national random sample of census block groups and blocks. As the results show, the areal interpolation methods produce good population estimates for nested census blocks except in areas of heterogeneous land use or unusual contexts. In addition, estimation conducted in areas with small populations or low population density was vulnerable to high percentage error.

Amongst the different methods, road network allocation and statistical regression (with area and roads as predictors) produced the best population estimates for the sample blocks.

Keywords: spatial allocation, disaggregation, areal interpolation

JEL Classification: C00

Suggested Citation

Brinegar, Sarah and Popick, Stephen, A Comparative Analysis of Small Area Population Estimation Methods (October 1, 2010). Cartography and Geographic Information Science, Vol. 37, No. 4, 2010, pp. 273-284, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2558492

Sarah Brinegar

Government of the United States of America - Civil Rights Division ( email )

Washington, DC
United States

Stephen Popick (Contact Author)

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation ( email )

550 17th Street NW
Washington, DC 20429
United States

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