National statistical offices often produce
estimates and characteristics of a population. These statistics are a
vital source of information for decision-makers throughout the
government, the private sector, and civil society.
An estimate is a calculation of the size
or distribution of a population or another characteristic of the
population for the present or past, while a population projection is a
mathematical equation that calculates the estimated growth rate or
change of future populations based on current populations.
Policymakers and other data users often
require accurate information between census data releases, which in most
countries occur every ten years. Although a full population count only
occurs during a census, statistical methods and tools are often used to
produce regular, up-to-date estimates of a population.
Population estimates can describe the
total population size as well as demographic characteristics such as
age, sex, or education level.
Population estimates are dependent on the
demographic components of change: mortality, fertility, and migration.
Estimates of mortality, fertility, and migration are derived from data
available from censuses, surveys, registration systems, and other
Estimates and projections are calculated
similarly. However, estimates employ observed data and hypotheses of
demographic change when data are incomplete.
The Census Office helps countries improve
their national statistical systems by engaging in statistical capacity
building activities that aim to enhance competencies in several areas in
Topics in this course include:
Statistical Capacity Building
CSPro – Processing Census and Survey Data
Demographic and Economic Analysis
Socioeconomic and Demographic Surveys
Geographic Information Systems
Population Estimates and Projections
The Tool for Assessing Statistical Capacity (TASC)
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