Status:Closed    Asked:Jul 24, 2015 - 05:17 PM

Should I use weights for a 1970-2007 subnational analysis?

This is related to this question.

I understand that the recommendation in this question was to use the ACS weights even when dealing with a subnational analysis. However, I would like some precision on the weighting design of the 1990 and 2000 censuses. We are constructing a panel of MSA-level statistics using the 1970, 1980, 1990, and 2000 censuses, and the ACS of 2007. What we are most concerned about is representativeness at the MSA-level and comparability across time.

According to the Sample Design page, "The [weighted] sample is not only more cumbersome to use than those previously produced by the Census Bureau, but precision is actually reduced for the general population."

Therefore, should I use the 1% unweighted samples of the 1990 and 2000 censuses instead of the 5% and not care about the weights, or should I use the weights in the 5% samples?

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Staff Answer




For small localities, the weighted versions of the 1990 and 2000 samples provide the most precise results. Therefore, it is recommended that you do use weights for any analyses at the metro area. Also, since you are comparing metro areas across samples, I recommend that you read the Comparability section for METAREA and the Users' Note on Incompletely Identified Metropolitan Areas.

Hope this helps.


Jul 27, 2015 - 02:41 PM

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