Examining Patterns of Coverage: A Comparative Analysis of Canadian and U.S. Censuses

Julien BĂ©rard-Chagnon , Statistics Canada
Eric B. Jensen, U.S. Census Bureau

Censuses play a central role in demography by providing profiles of the population, data for research and planning, and weights for household surveys. Although the goal of the census is to fully enumerate the population, there may be errors in coverage where some groups are over or undercounted. Both the United States and Canada evaluate the coverage of their censuses; however, they use different methods. Canada measures coverage using the Reverse Record Check and the Census Overcoverage Study while the United States uses Demographic Analysis and the Post-Enumeration Survey. In this paper, we compare patterns of coverage errors for Canadian and U.S. censuses, focusing on similarities and differences by demographic characteristics. While the two countries share many similarities in terms of overall statistical infrastructure, society, culture and economy, we find many differences in patterns of coverage. This presentation is a joint effort by Statistics Canada and the U.S. Census Bureau.

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 Presented in Session 3. Population, Development, & the Environment; Data & Methods; Applied Demography