Population Estimates

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Population Estimates Challenge Program

The Population Estimates Challenge Program was reinstated on February 4, 2013 following a break in activities during the 2010 Census. As part of its authorization, the U.S. Census Bureau offers an opportunity for general-purpose governmental units to challenge their official estimates through the Population Estimates Challenge Program. Under this program, a governmental unit may challenge their population estimate by submitting additional data to the Census Bureau for evaluation.

A challenge may result in a revised estimate if either of the following errors are found:

  1. Technical error in processing input data or producing the estimates
  2. Incorrect input data used in the process of generating the estimates

In cases where the Census Bureau processed the information correctly but was provided incorrect input data, we will make reasonable efforts to provide corrected estimates.

A request for a challenge to the population estimates must be received within 90 days after the release of the estimate by the Census Bureau. This request includes a letter and supporting evidence. The challenge period for the July 1, 2014 county-level estimates began on March 27 and ends June 24, 2015. The challenge period for the July 1, 2014 cities and towns estimates began on May 22 and ends August 19, 2015.

If you have any concerns about the population estimates, the governmental unit can request information from the Census Bureau about how to challenge the population estimates. The procedures to follow to challenge the population estimates are described in the Challenge Review Guide.

For more information, please view the Challenge Review Guide, Appendices, and Results.

Handling Legal Boundary Issues

If you believe that the recording of legal boundaries for your government is incorrect, please contact the Boundary and Annexation Survey (BAS) unit of the Census Bureau's Geography Division on 301-763-1099 or e-mail them at GEO.BAS@census.gov. The Census Bureau updates the geographic boundaries of governmental units through the BAS. The boundary information collected in the BAS is used to tabulate data for the decennial and economic censuses, and annual estimates and surveys such as the Population Estimates Program.

Reporting of Building Permits

Population estimates for cities and towns are produced using building permit data gathered from a survey conducted by the Census Bureau's Residential Construction Branch in the Manufacturing and Construction Division (MCD). If your government is not being contacted by this survey or you disagree with the collected data, please contact the Residential Construction Branch on 301-763-5160. In the event that you decide to submit updated building permit data through the challenge process, the data may be subject to review by the staff in MCD.

For assistance, please contact the Population Estimates Program on 301-763-2461 or send an email to pop.challenge@census.gov. Please include your name, mailing address, telephone number and organization name.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Population Estimates |  Last Revised: May 26, 2015