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This book focuses on the methodology and analysis of state and local population projections. It describes the most commonly used data sources and application techniques within each of three classes of projection methods (cohort-component, trend extrapolation, and structural models) and covers the components of population growth, the formation of assumptions, the development of evaluation criteria, and the determinants of forecast accuracy. It considers the strengths and weaknesses of various projection methods, paying special attention to the unique problems of making projections for small areas, and closes with an examination of technological and methodological changes affecting the production of small-area population projections.
The authors provide practical guidance to demographers, planners, and other analysts called on to construct state and local population projections. They use many examples and illustrations and present suggestions for dealing with special populations, unique circumstances, and inadequate or unreliable data; they also describe techniques for controlling one set of projections to another and for interpolating between two projections. They discuss the role of judgment and the importance of the political context in which projections are made. They emphasize the "utility" of projections, or their usefulness for decision making in a world of competing demands and limited resources.
This comprehensive book will provide readers with an understanding not only of the mechanics of commonly used population projection methods, but also of the many complex issues affecting their construction, interpretation, evaluation, and use.
Posted June 8, 2001
This book by Smith, Tayman and Swanson is the first to compile the major components of small-area population projections(data sources, methodology and evaluation) in one place. The book is particularly good in describing the fundamentals of population analysis, which many articles, chapters and books on projections neglect. Additionally, important advanced elements of population projections that are not commonly touched on, such as special adjustments, are addressed nicely here. The book further instructs the reader how to use projections objectively. Too often, forecasts that are not 100% accurate are dismissed. In fact, as the book describes, imperfect forecasts still provide considerable utility in presenting alternatives, promoting agendas, sounding warnings and providing a base for other projections. To this end, the book provides a unique service in not only describing how to make small-area projections, but what to do with them. In addition to the conventional techniques and concepts described, the authors present the latest developments in the field of projections, including structural models, GIS applications and innovative evaluative techniques. I would strongly recommend this book as both a textbook - particularly for demography, planning, and economics students, as well as a resource for professional planners, administrators and scientists that rely on population projections.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.