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Global Population Mapping and Spatial Analysis

The U.S. Census Bureau has a unique program to develop global, subnational population data and maps for use in international humanitarian relief and crisis planning, to serve the needs of other federal agencies, and to provide a free, publicly accessible international data resource.

Our products provide current data on global population patterns according to both administrative areas and grid cells. Administrative areas include the equivalents of U.S. states, counties, and townships in each country and territory in the world. We divide countries into arrays of grid cells (similar to graph paper) and assign population estimates to each cell. Data inputs include census data from every country and territory that conduct a census, administrative boundary maps from national and international mapping agencies, and high- and medium-resolution satellite imagery. Population data are projected forward to the present and linked to administrative boundary maps to allow mapping of population density and other variables.

The administrative area data described above are provided for the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief and in response to other agency requirements. Gridded products created as part of our Demobase project include maps of Haiti and Pakistan with population distributed to 100-meter grid cells. The Demobase products are accessible via online viewers that allow users to obtain estimates for any custom area, such as a city neighborhood. Administrative area data are accessible via this website and links included in these pages.

The Census Bureau has supplied global subnational data for five decades. The essential role of population data in humanitarian relief and disaster planning was described in a 2007 National Research Council report  Link to a non-federal Web site. Our most recent efforts have sought to fulfill the needs described in this report.

We also share our expertise internationally, via technical assistance in census mapping and related topics to other national statistical agencies.


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Source: U.S. Census Bureau | International Programs |  Last Revised: 2013-12-04T16:24:16.544-05:00