An evaluation of Hispanic population estimates

Publication Date: 
Wednesday, September 1, 2004

Estimates of the Hispanic population have traditionally been based on historical trends, ratios, or some variant of the cohort-component method. In this article, we describe and test a methodology in which estimates of the Hispanic population are based on symptomatic indicators of population change such as births, deaths, and school enrollments. Methods. Using a variety of techniques, we develop Hispanic population estimates for counties in Florida. We evaluate the accuracy of those estimates by comparing them with 2000 census counts. Hispanic population estimates have larger errors than estimates of total population; errors vary considerably by population size and growth rate; some techniques perform better than others in places with particular population characteristics; and averages often perform better than individual techniques. In many circumstances, symptomatic data series can provide more accurate estimates of the Hispanic population than more commonly used techniques.

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