Evaluating Methods for Estimating Foreign-Born Immigration Using the American Community Survey

C. Peter Borsella, U.S. Census Bureau
Eric B. Jensen, U.S. Census Bureau

The Population Estimates Program of the U.S. Census Bureau produces annual estimates of foreign-born immigration using the Residence One Year Ago (ROYA) method. Alternatively, foreign-born immigration can be estimated using the Year of Entry (YOE) method. Both methods use data from the American Community Survey (ACS). Although these methods are similar, they produce different estimates of foreign-born immigration. Furthermore, these differences vary by world region of birth. In this paper, we analyze the demographic, social, and survey-related characteristics of three mutually exclusive groups: the ROYA alone, YOE alone, and Overlap (included in both the ROYA and YOE methods) populations. The findings show that from 2007-2011, immigrants from Latin America were more likely to be in the YOE alone population than the ROYA alone or Overlap populations. Immigrants from Asia were more likely to be in the Overlap population during that same period.

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Presented in Session 180: Migration Data and Methods