Estimating the Potential Underrepresentation of the Foreign-Born Population in the American Community Survey

Eric B. Jensen, U.S. Census Bureau
Melissa Scopilliti, U.S. Census Bureau
Renuka Bhaskar, U.S. Census Bureau

The Demographic Analysis (DA) program at the U.S. Census Bureau uses information from vital statistics records and data on international migration to produce estimates of the population on April 1, 2010 by age, sex, and race (Black/non-Black). Foreign-born immigration from 2000 to 2010 is a large component of net international migration, and is estimated primarily using data from the American Community Survey (ACS). The representation of recent foreign-born immigrants in the ACS is unknown, and underrepresentation may result in an underestimate of foreign-born immigration. In this paper we present results from our research examining the sensitivity of estimates of foreign-born immigration to alternative assumptions of representation of the foreign born in the ACS. Our main findings show that while the underrepresentation of the foreign-born population in the ACS can be high for some age groups, overall underrepresentation is fairly low.

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Presented in Poster Session 1