Extrapolation Methods

  • David A. Swanson
  • Jeff Tayman
Part of the The Springer Series on Demographic Methods and Population Analysis book series (PSDE, volume 31)


Extrapolation techniques rely solely on the pattern of past population changes to estimate the post-censal population, and they assume trends in the post-censal period will be similar to historical trends. This method involves fitting mathematical models to historical data and using these models to estimate population. Relatively low costs and small data requirements make extrapolation methods useful, not only in demography, but in other fields as well (e.g., Armstrong 2001: 217; Granger 1989: Chapters 2, 3, and 4; Mahmoud 1984; Makridakis, Wheelwright, and Hyndman 1989: Chapters 4 and 7; Schnaars 1986). Although trend extrapolation methods are associated more frequently with population projections, they are useful for post-censal estimates relatively close to the last census, for completing estimates when resources are limited, or for estimating small areas and demographic subgroups (e.g. Murdock and Ellis 1991: 184; Baker, et al. 2008).


Population Estimate Calibration Factor Base Period Extrapolation Method ARIMA Model 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • David A. Swanson
    • 1
  • Jeff Tayman
    • 2
  1. 1.University of California RiversideRiversideUSA
  2. 2.Department of EconomicsUniversity of California San DiegoLa JollaUSA

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