Assessing the Quality of U.S. Vital Statistics at the County Level Using the Sex Ratio at Birth

Heather King, U.S. Census Bureau
Michele Steinmetz, U.S. Census Bureau
Barbara A. Anderson, University of Michigan

Using the sex ratio at birth, this paper assesses the quality of vital statistics at the county level in the United States. As shown in previous research efforts, the sex ratio at birth varies within a narrow range. However, this expected range can be affected by both demographic characteristics and the noise introduced by examining a small number of births. We propose a method to evaluate birth data quality at the county level by accounting for the effect of examining a small number of births and controlling for the differences in the sex ratio at birth by race and Hispanic origin of mother, as well as live birth order. An alternative Bayesian method will also be explored.

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 Presented in Session P2. Data and Methods/Applied Demography/ Spatial Demography/ Demography of Crime