Recent Innovations in the U.S. Census Bureau’s Method of Estimating Foreign-Born Emigration
Mark A. Leach, U.S. Census Bureau
This paper will present results from U.S. Census Bureau research to improve estimates of foreign-born emigration from the United States using the residual method. From the 1970s to the late 2000s, the Census Bureau estimated emigration by measuring change in the U.S. foreign-born population between two subsequent decennial censuses. More recently, the Census Bureau uses data from Census 2000 and the American Community Survey to estimate population change since 2000. Recent etimates based on other data sources and methods reveal that the residual method tends to underestimate emigration flows, however. To address this, we research ways to maintain the strengths of the residual method while addressing its shortcomings. We expect that our results will show that emigration estimates are improved both by shortening the time period in which foreign-born population change is observed and by estimating emigration separately for foreign-born subgroups known to exhibit different patterns of migration.