Journal Article

Population Aging, Disability, and Housing Accessibility: Implications for Sub-national Areas in the United States

The older population in many countries is large and growing rapidly, raising the number of people with disabilities and driving up the need for accessible housing. In a previous
study, we projected the number of households in the United States with at least one disabled resident and estimated the probability that a newly built single-family detached
unit will house at least one disabled resident during its expected lifetime. In this study, we extend our analysis to the subnational level by constructing similar estimates and

Population Projections by Age for Florida and its Counties: Assessing Accuracy and the Impact of Adjustments

Projections of total population have been evaluated extensively, but few studies have
investigated the performance of projections by age. Of those that did, most focused on
projections for countries or other large areas. In this article, we evaluate projections by age for
Florida and its counties, as produced and published between 1996 and 2010 by the Bureau of
Economic and Business Research (BEBR) at the University of Florida. We first compare the
precision and bias of projections of total population with the precision and bias of projections by

Factors Affecting the Accuracy of Subcounty Population Forecasts

Small area population forecasts are used for a wide variety of planning and budgeting purposes.
Using 1970–2005 data for incorporated places and unincorporated areas in Florida, we evaluate
the accuracy of forecasts made with several extrapolation techniques, averages, and composite
methods, and assess the effects of differences in population size, growth rate, and length of
forecast horizon on forecast errors. We further investigate the impact of adjusting forecasts to

Making the Housing Unit Method Work: An Evaluation of 2010 Population Estimates in Florida

The housing unit (HU) method—in which population estimates are derived
fromestimates of occupiedHUs—is themost commonly usedmethod formaking smallarea
population estimates in the United States. It is widely used because it is conceptually
simple, can utilize a wide variety of data sources, can be applied at virtually any
level of geography, and often produces reliable estimates. Yet the HU method is more
nearly a general approach to population estimation than it is a specific methodology. In

Empirical prediction intervals for county population forecasts

Population forecasts entail a significant amount of uncertainty, especially for long-range horizons and for places with small or rapidly changing populations. This uncertainty can be dealt with by presenting a range of projections or by developing statistical prediction intervals. The latter can be based on models that incorporate the stochastic nature of the forecasting process, on empirical analyses of past forecast errors, or on a combination of the two.

Population forecast accuracy: Does the choice of summary measure of error matter?

Population projections are judged primarily by their accuracy. The most commonly used measure for the precision component of accuracy is the mean absolute percent error (MAPE). Recently, the MAPE has been criticized for overstating forecast error and other error measures have been proposed. This study compares the MAPE with two alternative measures of forecast error, the Median APE and an M-estimator. In addition, the paper also investigates forecast bias.

Using Medicare data for short-run projections of the elderly population

As the elderly population of the United States grows in absolute number and as a proportion of total population, accurate projections of that population become increasingly important for sound policy decisions. Cohort component techniques are typically used for state and local projections of the elderly population, but are often outdated or even nonexistent for many local areas. This paper suggests an altemative approach, based on Medicare data and simple projection techniques.

An evaluation of population projection errors for census tracts

Population projections are widely used in both the public and private sectors for planning, budgeting, and analysis. For these purposes, projections are often needed for small areas such as census tracts, zip code areas or traffic analysis zones. Population size, growth constraints, shifting boundaries, and data availability create special problems for small-area projections, however, and very little is known about their forecasting performance.

The relationship between the length of the base period and population forecast errors

The base period of a population forecast is the time period from which historical data are collected for the purpose of forecasting future population values. The length of the base period is one of the fundamental decisions made in preparing population forecasts, yet very few studies have investigated the effects of this decision on population forecast errors. In this article the relationship between the length of the base period and population forecast errors is analyzed, using three simple forecasting techniques and data from 1900 to 1980 for states in the United States.

Toward a methodology for estimating temporary residents

Most population statistics for states, counties, and cities refer to permanent residents, or persons who spend most of their time in an area. At certain times, however, many states and local areas have large numbers of temporary residents who exert a significant impact on the area's economy, physical environment, and quality of life. Typically, very little is known about the number, timing, and characteristics of these residents.


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