Overestimates or Undercounts? Does This Mean Detroit Didn’t Lose Quite So Many People?

When the 2010 census count for New York City came out today, it struck me as a little light.  So I decided to compare the 2009 population estimates for the ten largest cities in the country againt that 2010 counts.  In all cases expect San Diego, the census count was lower than the 2009 estimate.  The average difference was four percent, which is four years of population growth at the national growth rate.  Here are the numbers: the first column of numbers is the 2009 estimate; the second is the 2010 count.  What is going on here?

New York City 8,391,881 8,175,133
Los Angeles 3,831,868 3,792,621
Chicago 2,851,268 2,695,598
Houston 2,257,926 2,099,451
Phoenix 1,593,659 1,445,632
Philadelphia 1,547,297 1,526,006
San Antonio 1,373,668 1,327,407
San Diego 1,306,300 1,307,402
Dallas 1,299,542 1,197,816
San Jose 964,695 945,942

Update: The 2009 population estimate for Detroit was 821,792. The 2010 count was 713,777.

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About Richard K. Green 103 Articles

Affiliation: University of Southern California

Richard K. Green, Ph.D., is the Director of the USC Lusk Center for Real Estate. He holds the Lusk Chair in Real Estate and is Professor in the School of Policy, Planning, and Development and the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California.

Prior to joining the USC faculty, Dr. Green spent four years as the Oliver T. Carr, Jr., Chair of Real Estate Finance at The George Washington University School of Business. He was Director of the Center for Washington Area Studies and the Center for Real Estate and Urban Studies at that institution. Dr. Green also taught real estate finance and economics courses for 12 years at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he was Wangard Faculty Scholar and Chair of Real Estate and Urban Land Economics. He also has been principal economist and director of financial strategy and policy analysis at Freddie Mac.

His research addresses housing markets, housing policy, tax policy, transportation, mortgage finance and urban growth. He is a member of two academic journal editorial boards, and a reviewer for several others.

His work is published in a number of journals including the American Economic Review, Journal of Economic Perspectives, Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Journal of Urban Economics, Land Economics, Regional Science and Urban Economics, Real Estate Economics, Housing Policy Debate, Journal of Housing Economics, and Urban Studies.

His book with Stephen Malpezzi, A Primer on U.S. Housing Markets and Housing Policy, is used at universities throughout the country. His work has been cited or he has been quoted in the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, the Christian Science Monitor, the Los Angeles Times, Newsweek and the Economist, as well as other outlets.

Dr. Green earned his Ph.D. and M.S. in economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He earned his A.B. in economics from Harvard University.

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