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U.S. National Institutes of Health National Cancer Institute

US Population Data - 1969-2011
Release Date: January 2013

The county population estimates currently used in the SEER*Stat software to calculate cancer incidence and mortality rates are available for download (see Download US Population Data). They represent a modification of the intercensal and Vintage 2011  annual time series of July 1 county population estimates by age, sex, race, and Hispanic origin produced by the US Census Bureau's Population Estimates ProgramExternal Web Site Policy, in collaboration with the National Center for Health Statistics, and with support from the NCI through an interagency agreement. The modifications made by the NCI to the Census Bureau estimates are documented in Population Estimates Used in NCI’s SEER*Stat Software and are summarized below.

  • The population estimates incorporate new intercensal (for July 1, 2000-2011) and Vintage 2011 (for July 1 2010-2011) bridged single-race estimates that are derived from the original multiple race categories in the 2000 Census (as specified in the 1997 Office of Management and Budget standardsExternal Web Site Policy for the collection of data on race and ethnicity). The bridged single-race estimates and a description of the methodology used to develop them appear on the National Center for Health Statistics Web siteExternal Web Site Policy.
  • The new intercensal estimates provide an adjustment of previous population estimates based on the actual 2010 Census results. Since the previous population estimates were extrapolated from the 2000 Census, they were prone to increased error as the time from the actual 2000 Census increased. At the national level, the new estimates are not very different from the previous estimates. However, there are more significant differences at the state and county levels that may result in changes in previously published cancer rates (see Intercensal Population Impact on Rates). To summarize the differences between the new estimates and the previous estimates, we have generated a set of time-series graphs for each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the seven SEER registry areas that consist of a portion of a state. Because there tends to be more of a difference in the estimates for younger populations, the graphs have separate plots for ages less than 50 and ages 50 and over. See End of Decade Corrections for these graphs.
  • A modification that NCI has made to the Census Bureau estimates only affects population estimates for the state of Hawaii. Based on concerns that the native Hawaiian population has been vastly undercounted in previous censuses, the Epidemiology Program of the Hawaii Cancer Research CenterExternal Web Site Policy has recommended an adjustment to the populations for their state. The "Hawaii-adjustment" to the Census Bureau’s estimates has the net result of reducing the estimated white population and increasing the estimated Asian and Pacific Islander population for the state. The estimates for the total population, black population, and American Indian and Alaska Native populations in Hawaii are not modified.
  • Two sets of population estimates are available for 2005: the standard set based on July 1 populations and another set adjusted for population shifts due to hurricanes Katrina (August 29) and Rita (September 24). These estimates are lower than the values for counties/parishes that had direct hurricane impact and higher for counties/parishes that were destinations for those displaced. See Adjusted Populations for the Counties/Parishes Affected by Hurricane Katrina and Rita for more information.

Single year of age population estimates by county are available (read Download US Population Data). The methods used to create these estimates are described in Single Year of Age County Population Estimates.

Standard Population Data Files containing age distributions used as weights to create age-adjusted statistics are also available.