An evaluation of Persons Per Household (PPH) data generated by the American Community Survey: the demographic perspective

David A. Swanson, University of California, Riverside
George C. Hough, Portland State University

The American Community Survey (ACS) is a US Census Bureau product from which annual estimates of persons per household (PPH) can be obtained. Demographers view PPH as a population attribute that has demographic determinants, which implies that PPH changes systematically over time (the “Demographic Perspective”), not randomly (the “Statistical Perspective”). Applied demographers need PPH in making population estimates with the housing unit method (HUM). We examine the question: Do PPH values generated by the ACS values fit sufficiently into the demographic perspective that they are likely to be used by applied local demographers in conjunction with the HUM? To answer this question we compared PPH values generated analytically to ACS PPH data for 19 counties that were in the 1999 ACS test sites. Specifically, we compare the analytically generated PPH estimates against ACS Single Year Estimates, 2001 to 2006 and ACS Three-Year Estimates, 1999-2001 to 2003-2005.

Presented in Poster Session 3