Population Research and Policy Review

, Volume 32, Issue 6, pp 919–942 | Cite as

A Comparative Evaluation of Error and Bias in Census Tract-Level Age/Sex-Specific Population Estimates: Component I (Net-Migration) vs Component III (Hamilton–Perry)

  • Jack Baker
  • Adelamar Alcantara
  • Xiaomin Ruan
  • Kendra Watkins
  • Srini Vasan


While the housing-unit method continues to be the preferred method nationwide for producing small-area population estimates, this procedures lacks a method for making age/sex-specific estimates. This paper reports evaluation research on implementation of component-based methods for estimating census tract populations with age/sex detail. Two alternatives are explored: (1) the Component I method relying upon estimates of births, deaths, and net-migration and (2) the Component III method relying solely upon 1990 and 2000 Census counts. From an April 1, 2000 base, each method is used to make estimates moving forward to an April 1, 2010 estimate that is compared to the results of the 2010 Census. The two methods are compared in terms of accuracy and bias using both absolute and algebraic mean and median percentage errors. Results are reviewed and discussed in light of their implications for applied demographers tasked with making small-area demographic estimates.


Small-area population estimates Component I Component III Hamilton–Perry Census tracts Applied demography 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jack Baker
    • 1
  • Adelamar Alcantara
    • 1
    • 2
  • Xiaomin Ruan
    • 1
  • Kendra Watkins
    • 3
  • Srini Vasan
    • 1
  1. 1.Geospatial and Population Studies, University of New MexicoAlbuquerqueUSA
  2. 2.Department of GeographyUniversity of New MexicoAlbuquerqueUSA
  3. 3.Mid-Region Council of GovernmentsAlbuquerqueUSA

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