Alternative Method for Projecting Foreign-Born Emigration
David M. Armstrong, U.S. Census Bureau
Mark A. Leach, U.S. Census Bureau
Foreign-born emigration rates calculated using a residual method based on data for the period 2000 to 2010 were used to project emigrants from 2012 to 2060 in the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2012 National Projections. This method is limited in that it produces average annual levels of emigration by the average age over the period. This paper examines an alternative method that estimates emigration using consecutive American Community Survey (ACS) files from 2006 to 2012. Because estimates produced this way are rough due to sampling and non-sampling error in the ACS, we smooth the estimates with the penalized least squares method on two dimensions: time (year of estimate) and age. This method will improve our ability to examine annual variation in foreign-born emigration levels as well as making them more precise by age.