Evaluation of the U.S. Census Bureau's Population Estimates for Counties Affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita

Victoria A. Velkoff, U.S. Census Bureau
Jonathan Takeuchi, U.S. Census Bureau
Rodger V. Johnson, U.S. Census Bureau

The rapid, large-scale migration from parts of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas due to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita were unparalleled in U.S. history. The U.S. Census Bureau had to incorporate this migration into its annual population estimates. The Census Bureau supplemented the Internal Revenue Service data typically used to measure domestic migration with data from the United States Postal Service’s National Change of Address file. This paper will evaluate the Census Bureau’s vintage 2006 population estimates for the hurricane-affected counties with a focus on these special processing efforts. Several other organizations also produced population estimates for the hurricane-affected counties (e.g., Claritas, the Louisiana Recovery Authority, and RAND). These independently compiled population estimates were developed using a variety of demographic techniques and data. In this paper, we plan to compare the methodologies for the different sets of population estimates and the data sources used in these estimates.

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Presented in Session 34: Impacts of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita on the Populations of the Affected Areas