• 23 Jul 2021 12:41 PM | Julia Wolf (Administrator)

    (Click "Read more" below for July 23, 2021 update and link to Part I)

    Articles and resources provided May 20, 2021 by Beth Jarosz and SDA Board

    • The Census Bureau's resources: (link)
    • You can find easy-to access data for your own analyses at NHGIS (link). We encourage you to conduct analyses in May 2021, as the deadline for feedback on redistricting data products is May 28, 2021.
    • The Census2020Now page offers a variety of resources and perspectives: (link)
    • CNSTAT held a workshop on the initial demonstration data. You can find CNSTAT workshop materials (presentations and recordings) (linkand report (link).

    (Notes: These resources will remain at top of this thread for context. We changed the news series title to "disclosure avoidance" rather than "differential privacy" since DP is just one step in the DAS framework.)

    • Click here for a link to Part I of Articles on Disclosure Avoidance

    (Updated July 23, 2021)

    Article provided by Richelle L. Winkler, Jaclyn L. Butler, Katherine J. Curtis, and David Egan-Robertson 

    • Click here for an online link or click here for a PDF of their article "Differential Privacy and the Accuracy of County-Level Net Migration Estimates" published in Population Research and Policy Review
      • This paper analyzes the impact of DP on the accuracy of county level net migration estimates by five-year age group and Hispanic origin. Constructing net migration estimates for the 2010-2020 period would extend a popular dataset that goes back to the 1950s ( Based on demonstration data released in spring 2020, net migration estimates by five-year age groups would only be accurate enough for use in about half of U.S. counties. Inaccuracies are larger in counties with populations less than 50,000, among age groups 65 and over, and among Hispanics. The higher epsilon the Census Bureau decided on in June 2021, should improve accuracy, but ultimately, the ability to generate accurate net migration estimates at the same level of detail as in the past (age-sex-race-Hispanic origin) will depend on the allocation of the privacy loss budget in the Demographic and Housing Characteristics (DHC) file.

  • 14 Jul 2021 5:40 PM | Julia Wolf (Administrator)

    (Click "Read more" below for a July 14, 2021 update and link to Part II)

    Articles and resources provided May 20, 2021 by Beth Jarosz and SDA Board

    • The Census Bureau's resources: (link)
    • You can find easy-to access data for your own analyses at NHGIS (link). We encourage you to conduct analyses in May 2021, as the deadline for feedback on redistricting data products is May 28, 2021.
    • The Census2020Now page offers a variety of resources and perspectives: (link)
    • CNSTAT held a workshop on the initial demonstration data. You can find CNSTAT workshop materials (presentations and recordings) (linkand report (link).

    (Notes: These resources will remain at top of this thread for context. We changed the news series title to "disclosure avoidance" rather than "differential privacy" since DP is just one step in the DAS framework.)

    (Updated July 14, 2021)

    Click here for a link to Part II of Articles on Disclosure Avoidance


    (Updated June 27, 2021)

    Working paper contributed by Steven Ruggles and David Van Riper

    • Click here for a link to the working paper "The Role of Chance in the Census Bureau Database Reconstruction Experiment"

    (Updated June 22, 2021)

    Articles contributed by Alexis R. Santos

    1. How differential privacy will impact our understanding of health disparities in the United States (

    Using the 2010 decennial counts produced with proposed differential privacy and traditional techniques, we evaluate how the implementation of differential privacy can affect understandings of mortality rates by obscuring accurate denominators. We find that the implementation of differential privacy will produce dramatic changes in population counts for racial/ethnic minorities in small areas and less urban settings, significantly altering knowledge about health disparities in mortality. 

    1b. Census differential privacy products — implications for health disparities research (

    I replicate the analysis published in Santos, Howard and Verdery (2020) using a second specification of the demonstration product. The revised demonstration products continue to perform well for the total population and non-Hispanic whites. The results continue to show substantial variation in artificial changes in population counts and mortality rate estimates for non-Hispanic Blacks and Hispanics. Since the main conclusions of the article published in PNAS remain with the revised demonstration product I think we need more time to evaluate the implementation of DP and the implications of its implementation in Census 2020 tabulation and subsequent census products.

    2. Differential Privacy in the 2020 Census Will Distort COVID-19 Rates

    Using empirical COVID-19 mortality curves, the authors show that differential privacy will introduce substantial distortion in COVID-19 mortality rates, sometimes causing mortality rates to exceed 100 percent, hindering our ability to understand the pandemic. This distortion is particularly large for population groupings with fewer than 1,000 persons: 40 percent of all county-level age-sex groupings and 60 percent of race groupings. The U.S. Census Bureau should consider a larger privacy budget, and data users should consider pooling data to minimize differential privacy’s distortion.

    3. How differential privacy will affect our understanding of population growth in the United States

    We test the potential impact of this change in disclosure avoidance systems to the tracking of population growth and distribution using county-level population counts. We ask how population counts produced under the differential privacy algorithm might lead to different conclusions regarding population growth for the total population and three major racial/ethnic groups in comparison to counts produced using the traditional methods. Our results suggest that the implementation of differential privacy, as proposed, will impact our understanding of population changes in the US. We find potential for overstating and understating growth and decline, with these effects being more pronounced for non-Hispanic blacks and Hispanics, as well as for non-metropolitan counties

    4. Proposed U.S. Census Bureau Differential Privacy Method is Biased Against Rural and Non-white Populations (Tom Mueller and Alexis R. Santos) (

    We investigate how the proposed differential privacy method alters population counts for the total population and ethnoracial groups with emphasis in rural-urban continuum codes and regional divisions of the United States. We found, with both levels of epsilon (4.5 and 12.2), substantial variation for ethnoracial population counts by levels of rurality and regional subdivisions. For Hispanics, non-Hispanic blacks, and non-Hispanic American Indians we find that the proposed disclosure avoidance system, at both epsilon levels, results in highly variable estimates of population growth.

    5. Changes in Census Data Will Affect Our Understanding of Infant Health (Alexis R. Santos)

    This data visualization illustrates how the implementation of the proposed disclosure avoidance system, which relies on differential privacy, affects infant mortality rate estimation. Results indicate that infant mortality rates produced using the proposed DAS are different from those produced using the traditional methods, with higher variation observed for nonmetropolitan counties and areas with smaller populations. The results add on to my two previous studies (items 1 and 2) that illustrate how the implementation obscures our understanding of health disparities in the United States.

    (Updated June 9, 2021)

    Articles and resources provided by David A. Swanson

    • Click here for a link to "The Fundamental Flaw in Synthetic Microdata: A Simple Example." The US Census Bureau is examining the possibility of creating “synthetic microdata sets” to be used by researchers in place of the “PUMS” (Public Use Microdata Sample) files now being made available.  Along with others, I believe that this is a mistake. These synthetic data sets will be created from “real” data by modeling the relationships in the latter and then using the models to generate values in the former. There is a fundamental flaw in this approach: Those attempting to use a synthetic microdata set will have no idea of the relationships in the “real” data underlying the synthetic microdata and the form(s) of the model(s) applied to former to create the latter.
    • Click here for a link to "Census Bureau Sets Key Parameters to Protect Privacy in 2020 Census Results" on the United States Census Bureau website.
    • Click here for a link to "Census Releases Guidelines for Controversial Privacy Tool" by Mike Schneider, Associated Press.

    (Updated June 7, 2021)

    Article provided by Teresa A. Sullivan and Qian Cai 

    • Click here for a link to the article "Differential Privacy and the Upcoming Process of Redistricting" published in Sabato's Crystal Ball

    (Updated June 4, 2021)

    Article and brief description contributed by Margo Anderson

    • Click here for a Research Gate link to "Redistricting Criteria and Testing the Adequacy of the the 2020 Census Disclosure Avoidance System." This is a response to the Census Bureau's April 28, 2021 Disclosure Avoidance System Demonstration Products in light of other responses submitted to the U.S. Census Bureau. It focuses on the adequacy of the the 2020 Census Disclosure Avoidance System to meet the standard legal requirements for redistricting and voting rights enforcement.

    (Updated June 3, 2021)

    Information provided by David Van Riper

    • IPUMS created state-level summaries of differences between census block counts in the 2010 Decennial Census and the recently released 2021-04-28 demonstration data. Click here to access.

    (Updated June 2, 2021)

    Paper written by Christopher T. Kenny, Shiro Kuriwaki, Cory McCartan, Evan Rosenman, Tyler Simko, and Kosuke Imai 

    • Click here for a blog-style post on their paper "Impact of the Census Disclosure Avoidance System on Redistricting"
    • Click here for a direct link to the same paper

    (Updated May 30, 2021)

    Analysis files and feedback letters provided by Mike Mohrman

    • Click here for the direct link to their feedback letter.
    • Click here for all of their analysis files, and previous feedback letters. They are under the ‘Impacts of privacy protections’ section of their ‘2020 census data quality and accuracy’ page.

    (Updated May 27, 2021)

    Article written by Mike Schneider and provided by David A. Swanson

    • Click here for the link to a story in The Washington Post on the U.S. Census Bureau's plan to use "synthetic data" for ACS PUMS entitled "Census Bureau's use of 'synthetic data' worries researchers"
    • Click here for the article via AP News if you encounter a paywall with the previous link.

    (Updated May 25, 2021)

    The following is contributed by Michael Cline

    • Click here for an overview comparing differential privacy to the original Summary File.
    Report contributed by William P. O'Hare
    • Click here for the description of the report "Analysis of Census Bureau's April 2021 Differential Privacy Demonstration Product: Implications for Data on Children" posted on the Count All Kids website. The link to the full report is on the website at the end of the description.

    (Updated May 19, 2021)

    Articles provided by David A. Swanson

    • There’s a move afoot to change the way the Census Bureau presents its findings; they say it will protect privacy. Intrepid writer and statistician, David Swanson, explains the problems with that. See his article, “The Census: Protecting Privacy versus Creating Useless Data"
    • Here is a link to a paper on the effect of Differential Privacy on census block population numbers in Alaska. It is by David A. Swanson, Tom Bryan, and Rich Sewell and compares the change in accuracy in going from an earlier (higher level of privacy protection) to the latest "demonstration product" released by the Census Bureau on April 28th (lower level of privacy protection). It will be presented at the Symposium on Data Science and Statistics on June 4th.
    • Here is another link to a study of the effects of Differential Privacy on census block populations in Mississippi. It is by David A. Swanson and Ron Cossman and like the Alaska paper (link here and within the first bullet point linked article), it takes into account the change in accuracy in going from a higher to lower level of privacy protection. It has been accepted for presentation at the annual meeting of the American Statistical Association this summer.
  • 7 Jun 2021 12:41 PM | Julia Wolf (Administrator)

    Click here for the Spring 2021 edition of SDA's newsletter, Southern Demographic News!

    More information about the 2021 SDA Annual Meeting and its Call for Papers and Awards are included in this edition. 

    Click here for the abstract submission form for the 2021 SDA Annual Meeting! 

    Newsletter contributions are always welcome! Please send any to

  • 3 Apr 2021 12:01 PM | Julia Wolf (Administrator)

    Older adults' perspectives on service needs and policy experience

    Call for Papers for the Journal of Elder Policy, Issue 4, 2021

    Editor-in-Chief: Eva Kahana PhD

    Distinguished University Professor, Case Western Reserve University

    Abstracts of 500 words are due by May 1, 2021.

    Full papers (8000 -10000 words) due by Aug 15, 2021.

    Older adults, whether aging in the community or in congregate settings are often recipients of services or benefits reflecting policies. While there is a large literature that focuses on programs and services aimed to benefit older adults, there has not been much exploration of the perceptions and experiences of older adults with entitlements and services.

    To what extent do the services provided actually meet the needs of the older adults? Do they do so in a way that preserves the dignity of the person? Are there better policies that can benefit older adults?

    To address these important questions, the Journal of Elder Policy is issuing a call for papers that examine older adults’ perspectives on service needs, service and policy experience. We welcome both empirical (qualitative and quantitative) and conceptual papers from diverse disciplines.

    Topics may include but are not limited to:

    • ·        Experiences and perspectives of services (e.g. transportation, meal services, health, home care)
    • ·        Examples of positive program and service experiences of older adults
    • ·        Negative outcomes of well-meaning service policies
    • ·        Perceived needs vs. services provided for older adults
    • ·        Unintended harms of current policies
    • ·        Lived experiences of service recipients and their caregivers

    Authors should send a 500 word abstract related to their paper by May 1 to Managing Assistant Editor, Kaitlyn Langendoerfer (

    The Journal of Elder Policy is an Open Access Journal sponsored by Policy Studies Organization. There is no publication fee. All articles will be peer reviewed.

    More information about the Aims and Scope of the journal can be found here:

    A PDF version of this announcement can be found by clicking HERE.

  • 19 Mar 2021 5:46 PM | Julia Wolf (Administrator)

    The University of Georgia’s Carl Vinson Institute of Government is seeking to hire an Applied Demographer.

    Please click HERE for more information. 

    Job posting information provided by:

    Greg Wilson

    Carl Vinson Institute of Government | Workforce Development & Economic Analysis Unit Manager

    University of Georgia

    201 N. Milledge Avenue | Athens, GA 30602

    Mobile: 706-338-0657 |

  • 16 Mar 2021 3:42 PM | Julia Wolf (Administrator)

    This job posting is for two Socioeconomic Analyst II positions at the Center for Business and Economic Research at The University of Alabama.

    We are looking for someone with experience in demographic analysis and development of population projections, economic data analysis and interpretation, socioeconomic research, technical writing, and editing. We are looking for someone with a curious mind and someone who is willing to learn.

    In addition, this is a great position for someone with a master's or public sector experience.

    The position closes on April 8, 2021

    Below is a link to the post:

    The Center for Business and Economic Research, Culverhouse College of Business, University of Alabama is seeking two Socioeconomic Analysts who specialize in complex demographic analysis and economic data analysis and interpretation, population projections, socioeconomic research, technical writing, and editing. The position holder will collect, format, and analyze data in order to write economic and demographic reports that cover issues that impact the state of Alabama. Application deadline 4/8/2021. Visit UA’s employment website at for more information and to apply. The University of Alabama is an equal-opportunity employer (EOE), including an EOE of protected vets and individuals with disabilities. 

    If you know someone who would be a good fit for this position, please encourage the person to apply and to reach out to me if they have any questions.

    Nyesha C. Black, Ph.D.
    Director of Demographics
    Assistant Research Personnel

    Center for Business and Economics Research 
    The University of Alabama
    Phone 205-348-3757 | Mobile 205-712-6478

  • 9 Mar 2021 4:43 PM | Julia Wolf (Administrator)

    Please click here to view the job announcement for the Director of the SSRC at Mississippi State University.

  • 13 Feb 2021 2:19 PM | Julia Wolf (Administrator)

    Click this link for more information about the CSDE Seminar Series.

    Partition Theorem in Populations and its Role in Determining the Stationary Status of a Population

    Arni Rao, Professor & Director of Laboratory for Theory and Mathematical Modeling, Division of Infectious Diseases, Medical College of Georgia

    Moderated by:

    David Swanson, Professor Emeritus, Department of Sociology at University of California, Riverside


    Register for Zoom Seminar HERE

    12:30-1:30 PM PT

    The Net Reproductive Rate (NRR) in demography is often used to compute the population replacement rate. The time sensitiveness of NRR in demography concerning determining the statitionary status of a population is questioned. To what extent partition theorem in the population can provide timely status on the stationary component of a population is explained. Mathematical perspectives of the stationary population will be discussed.

    Dr. Arni Rao conducted research and/or taught at several institutions, such as the Indian Institute of Science, University of Oxford, Indian Statistical Institute and the University of Guelph. His mathematical models for HIV/AIDS helped in the national policies in India. His works on deep-learning algorithms in infertility data, blockchain technology with hybrid models, epidemiological policies, and Chicken Walk Models are widely discussed for their practical value. Rao’s other noted contributions include his fundamental theorem in stationary population models (Rao-Carey Theorem), Partition Theorem in Populations, and Artificial Intelligence Model for COVID-19 Identification.

  • 19 Jan 2021 7:27 PM | Julia Wolf (Administrator)

    Please join us for the upcoming Edward A. Dickson Emeritus/a Lecture Talk Series. Each year three retired UCR faculty are awarded Edward A. Dickson Professorships to support their research, teaching, or public service activities. In the year following their awards, Dickson Professors give public presentations of their work sponsored jointly by the UCR Emeriti Association and Retirees’ Association. 

    "The Accuracy of Hamilton-Perry Population Projections for Census Tracts in the United States"

    Presenter: Dickson awardee David A. Swanson

    Date: Tuesday, February 9, 2021

    Time: 3:30 – 5:00 p.m.

    Location: All lectures meet online via Zoom.


    Join the Zoom Meeting:  

    Meeting ID: 928 4625 2979

    Passcode: 862652


    The paper underling the talk is available via "online first" at Population Research and Policy Review:

    For more information, please view the attached event flyer.

  • 11 Dec 2020 8:12 PM | Julia Wolf (Administrator)

    We want to let you know that we will be appointing several postdoctoral fellows for the 2021-2022 academic year (with possibility of renewal), start date flexible.

    Two of them will be NIA T32 postdocs (you can see the now expired but descriptive advertisement here: - with two caveats: the PhD degree must be conferred at time of appointment, not application, and for these positions the applicant must be a US citizen or permanent resident.

    We also have one or more postdoc opportunities with the CenSoc project (,) although a T32 postdoc could also work on CenSoc. Unlike the T32 postdocs, one does not need to be a US citizen for the CenSoc postdoc.

    Please let your advanced grad students know about these opportunities. Interested persons should send a cover letter describing research interests and specifying which postdoc opportunity(ies) that are of interest, with a CV, and use a subject heading of 'Postdoc 2021-2022' to

    We will begin reviewing submitted documents on February 1, 2021.

    Leora Lawton PhD
    Executive Director, Berkeley Population Center
    360 Barrows Hall
    (of) 510-643-1270 | (m) 510-928-7572

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