New Approaches to Measuring Emergent U.S. Demographic Trends
John F. Long, U.S. Census Bureau
In recent years, a number of emergent demographic trends have challenged the traditional methods of taking censuses, asking surveys, and estimating demographic change in the United States. As these trends have emerged and grown in importance, the U. S. statistical system has developed new methods and approaches to measure the new phenomena. Growing mobility and family instability have led to increasing ambiguity in residency and a re-examination of the definition and measurement of place of residence. Increasing international migration (both documented and undocumented) has led to new approaches to measuring or estimating international migration. Increased racial and ethnic diversity and intermarriage has led to new methods of measuring the variety of single and multiple racial and ethnic identifications of the population. The paper outlines these and other trends and points out the importance of a flexible statistical system that can react to rapid social and demographic changes.