Uncertainty in Demographic Small Area Estimates

Stefan Leykand1, Barbara P. Buttenfield1 and Nicholas N. Nagle2
1.Department of Geography, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO, USA
2. Department of Geography, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN, USA
1.{stefan.leyk, babs}@colorado.edu;2. nnagle@utk.edu

Abstract: This paper describes a methodology to model uncertainties underlying the spatial allocation of demographic microdata to small areas such as census tracts or subunits of census tracts. The procedure models probable allocations for each single household to one of the small area units as derived from bootstrap analysis. The method allows evaluation of the uncertainty of the allocation dependent on the constraint variables used for the imputation of population weights which is based on empirical likelihood methods. Dasymetric mapping is demonstrated as an effective tool to spatially refine the allocation of households and shows great potential for more advanced spatial allocation processes.

Keywords: Small area estimates, uncertainty, dasymetric modeling, census data

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