Evaluating Components of International Migration: Legal Temporary Migrants   [open pdf - 222KB]

"On March 1, 2001, the U.S. Census Bureau issued the recommendation of the Executive Steering Committee for A.C.E. Policy (ESCAP) that the Census 2000 Redistricting Data not be adjusted based on the Accuracy and Coverage Evaluation (A.C.E.). By mid-October 2001, the Census Bureau had to recommend whether Census 2000 data should be adjusted for future uses, such as the census long form data products, post-censal population estimates, and demographic survey controls. In order to inform that decision, the ESCAP requested that further research be conducted. Between March and September 2001, the Demographic Analysis-Population Estimates (DAPE) research project addressed the discrepancy between the demographic analysis data and the A.C.E. adjusted estimates of the population. Specifically, the research examined the historical levels of the components of population change to address the possibility that the 1990 Demographic Analysis understated the national population and assessed whether demographic analysis had not captured the full population growth between 1990 and 2000. Assumptions regarding the components of international migration (specifically, emigration, temporary migration, legal migration, and unauthorized migration) contain the largest uncertainty in the demographic analysis estimates. Therefore, evaluating the components of international migration was a critical activity in the DAPE project. This report focuses on the evaluation of the U.S. Census Bureau's estimated stock of legal temporary migrants in 1990 and 2000. Specifically, the review process validated the estimates of temporary migrants in 1990 and created an intermediate estimate for 2000. To produce the estimate of net temporary migrants, the Census Bureau developed criteria, related to visa requirements, to identify people who were likely to be resident temporary migrants in the 1990 census. Because the preliminary data from Census 2000 were unavailable for several necessary variables for the algorithm (e.g., industry and income), data from the Census 2000 Supplementary Survey were used for the 2000 estimate. Our evaluation resulted in a temporary migrant stock estimate of 487,453 in 1990 and 781,507 in 2000. For both dates, temporary migrants included more men than women, were likely to be non-Hispanic, and the largest numbers were between the ages of 18 and 29. Future research will focus on an evaluation of the criteria used for the algorithm, and an adaptation of the algorithm to other surveys, such as the Current Population Survey and the American Community Survey, to facilitate in the production of annual estimates of temporary migrants."

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