The Arbitron Company announced that it has adopted a two-stage schedule for incorporating Census 2000 data into the company's population estimates. This accelerated schedule will enable broadcasters to benefit from Census 2000 benchmarked population figures beginning with the Fall 2001 survey.
"The state population figures released by the U.S. Census Bureau in late December were higher than any projections compiled by industry demographers," said Dan Estersohn, senior demographer at Arbitron. "Census 2000 showed a 13.2 percent increase in the nation's population since 1990. We feel that it is important to incorporate the new data at the earliest opportunity."
The Census Bureau will be releasing detailed Census 2000 population data in two waves over the next nine months, and Arbitron will incorporate each release as quickly as possible rather than waiting for the complete data set.
"We have discussed this strategy with our clients, the Radio Advisory Council, NAB's COLRAM Committee and industry consultants. From these discussions, we are confident that this schedule will enable us to best serve the radio industry," said Estersohn.
How Arbitron Market Population Estimates Are Compiled
Each year, Market Statistics, a division of Claritas, Inc., produces updated population estimates that are used in Arbitron's surveys for the next 12 months. These estimates start with the most recent decennial census and are updated using a variety of local, state and federal data.
In the second quarter of this year, Market Statistics will release a new projection for total, black and Hispanic populations using the first wave of Census 2000 data. Arbitron will use this total population projection for the Fall 2001 survey. This projection, however, will not include new age and sex distributions based on Census 2000. For age and sex demographics in the second-quarter release, Market Statistics will use 1990 Census population estimates data, which have been continually updated using a variety of local, state and federal information.
Late in the fourth quarter, Market Statistics will release population estimates using the age and sex demographic details from Census 2000. This second set of estimates will be used by Arbitron for the Winter 2002 survey in continuous-measurement markets and the Spring 2002 survey in all other markets.
"With the release of the new census data, there may be market rank changes for Fall 2001," said Estersohn. "These are the changes that will be the most important to broadcasters. For 2001 to 2002, there may also be some 12+ population differences for the Winter/Spring populations, due to the changes in the age/sex data. However, the advantages of using the most current population information outweigh the temporary inconvenience of small survey to survey changes."