Evaluating Components of International Migration: Quality of Foreign-born and Hispanic Population Data [open pdf - 1MB]
"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 addressed the question: 'How do edit and imputation procedures affect the consistency of foreign-born and Hispanic populations?' Comparisons were made between the edit and imputation specifications for the 1990 census and Census 2000 for the questions on place of birth and Hispanic origin to determine what impact, if any, such differences might have had on comparisons of numbers between the censuses. There were few significant differences in the specifications for the question on place of birth. The most significant difference - 'hot deck' imputation of specific countries of birth in Census 2000 but not in 1990 - did not affect the overall total of foreign-born people. Regarding the specifications for the Hispanic question, several important differences were noted, the most important of which was the use of surname-assisted 'hot decks' in assigning an origin. Overall, the Census 2000 edit and imputation procedures seemed to be more accurate than the 1990 procedures in assigning an origin. The improvement in assigning an origin was assisted by a substantial decline between 1990 and 2000 in the level of non-response to the question on Hispanic origin."
Population Division Working Paper #65
Census Bureau: http://www.census.gov/