The goal of the Population Estimates Program (PEP) is to ensure that the population estimates and counts produced by the U.S. Census Bureau for Massachusetts geographies are as accurate as possible and inclusive of the most up-to-date information available in our state. Critically, PEP provides the Commonwealth with the capacity to validate, challenge, and support the U.S. Census Bureau’s estimates and counts for Massachusetts through data review and submission opportunities.
PEP was created in 2007 in response to the Massachusetts Legislature’s concerns that potential inaccuracies in the U.S. Census Bureau’s population estimates posed significant public policy challenges. Census estimates affect funding allocations and program thresholds for over 140 federal programs vital to education, public health, safety, and economic planning for Massachusetts residents.
What We Do
PEP activities involve robust primary data collection, data analysis, communication with the U.S. Census Bureau, and preparation of materials to be submitted in accordance with Bureau guidelines. The program is organized into several major components including:
- Group Quarters Survey
- Housing Unit Survey
- Population Estimates
- Technical Support for Census Challenges
- Decennial Census Preparation and Review Activities
PEP also produces population projections for Massachusetts geographies for use in both public and private planning initiatives and other development. Projections by age, sex, and municipality are available for download. Our program also produces specialized population projections on a contract basis, including enrollment projections; small-area, detailed population projections by age, sex, race, and ethnicity; and projections of special populations.
The Population Estimates Program is supported by the Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth who works closely with PEP to refine program goals and ensure the most efficient implementation of data collection and analysis objectives.
PEP also works closely with the Massachusetts State Data Center. Both units are located within the Economic and Public Policy Research group of the UMass Donahue Institute.
As the official Federal-State Cooperative for Population Estimates representative for Massachusetts, the Population Estimates Program supports the Bureau’s estimates and counts for Massachusetts through submission, validation, and correction of population component data used by the Bureau.