Don't Take Yearly Census Estimates Too Seriously

MLewyn's picture

Every year, the Census comes out with estimates of county population.  Because the 2011-12 estimates showed big gains for most urban counties, urbanists were happy to declare victory, and to claim that these estimates showed a movement of population back to cities.  In other years, Census estimates showed that older cities were declining, and defenders of the sprawl status quo similarly crowed about those statistics.

Aaron Renn's recent blog post notes that Census estimates tend to be far different than the population figures shown by the decennial Census; many cities that showed huge population gains in the yearly estimates showed much weaker gains (or even losses) in the "real" Census.  So yearly Census estimates should be treated as guesses rather than gospel.  (I blogged about this in 2011). 


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