Issue Briefs

December 28, 2000

For Immediate Release
Contact: Robert Cunningham, Presidential Members

Demographic Analysis

Demographic Analysis (DA) uses administrative records on births, deaths, migration, and Medicare to develop an independent estimate of the population. DA is a benchmark to evaluate the national population figure from the decennial census. First developed in 1955, and later improved through continued research at the Census Bureau and elsewhere, DA estimates are considered to be the standard for judging the completeness of the census count. These estimates are reliable at the national level for the black and non-black populations only. The estimates are not reliable for any other racial or ethnic group. They are also not reliable at any sub-national level.

The following demographic projection for the April 2000 population, assumes that the sizes of the Black and non-Black net undercounts are the same in 2000 as they were in 1990. The Census Bureau's population estimate, not incorporating the net undercount, for April 2000 is 274,520,000. Adding the net undercount of 4,720,000 brings the total estimated population to 279,240,000.

Date Total Population Black Population Non-Black Population  
01-APR-90 248,791 30,517 218,274 Census Count
Missed 4,720 1,845 2,875 Difference
  253,511 32,362 221,149 Total
01-APR-00 274,520 35,195 239,325 Estimate
Missed 4,720 1,845 2,875 Difference
  279,240 37,040 242,200 Total

Method assumes sizes of undercount hold constant for Blacks and Non-Blacks. Numbers are in thousands.


For April 1990 all groups and April 2000 Blacks:
Census Bureau website, Population Estimates Program,

For April 2000 total:
Census Bureau website, Population Estimates Program,

For Rates of Undercount:
"Demographic Analysis," by J. Gregory Robinson and Kirsten West, in Margo Anderson (ed.), Encyclopedia of the U.S. Census, CQ Press, Washington, DC.


The U.S. Census Monitoring Board, established by Congress in 1997, is a bipartisan board that monitors the Census Bureau's preparations for the 2000 Census. Its findings are reported periodically to Congress.

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