Using Big Data to Supplement Official Statistics

Orlando Torres, Florida State University

Big Data has become a very popular term in the past decade, but mostly in the realms of Computer Science and Marketing. This exploratory study looks at how Social Scientists and Demographers are starting to incorporate Big Data into their analyses and the many possibilities that are yet to be exploited. At the same time, I also analyze the potential risks of big data and how these can be mitigated. The study also examines the reasons for the current deficit of these tools in demography and how this could possibly be addressed. In the end, the paper looks at how the Census Bureau is spending too much, compared with other countries, collecting data that could be obtained for a smaller price. Finally, a population register, supplemented by Big Data, seems the most appropriate choice to reduce the cost of enumeration while obtaining more timely and useful results.

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Presented in Poster Session 9: Children and Youth; Data and Methods