Population Estimates and Projections Research: BBER at UNM

Research - Demographics & Population

NOTE: The Bureau of Business and Economic Research (BBER) and the Geospatial and Population Studies (GPS) are both housed within the UNM Institute for Applied Research Services (IARS). GPS contains two research groups— the Population Studies Group and the Traffic Safety Research Unit (formerly Division of Government Research). BBER remains a separate unit within IARS.

Public-Use Population Estimates & Projections

Population estimates and projections are critical to understanding the current and future needs of our state and its constituents and are important for ensuring that New Mexico receives an equitable share of Federal funds for a variety of programs. UNM Geospatial and Population Studies (GPS) provides annual state and county population estimates as well as state and county population projections each third year. Currently, the program is expanding to include recurrent city and census tract estimates as part of our small-area population estimates program. The program also produces other small-area population estimates and projections through contract work on a project basis.

GPS's data is used widely by:

  • State and local legislators
  • Health professionals
  • School boards
  • Community and resource planners
  • Traffic planners
  • Water use planners

UNM-GPS's staff has extensive experience and technical expertise in applied mathematical demography, population estimates and projections, and spatially-explicit population modeling. On a contract basis, these skills could be applied to a wide variety of demographic analyses assessing policy, economic, and other impacts.

Small Area Estimates Program

Small-area population estimates are in high demand. In 2005, the GPS initiated development of databases and cutting-edge research on small-area population estimates methodology based on the merging of standard demographic techniques and GIS technologies. UNM-GPS plans soon to issue its first round of city estimates and is planning to produce tract-level population estimates in the near future. These estimates will be added to annually recurrent public-use estimates already produced for the state and county. On demand, the GPS has produced a variety of small-area estimates for contract work in piloting these methodologies and is now pleased to offer this service on a project basis.

Related work has included the normalization of data across geographic boundaries (like converting census tract data to school district boundaries), which requires similar methods to small area population estimation. Applying these technologies, GPS has provided population estimates for a variety of geographies including:

  • School districts
  • Legislative districts
  • Water planning regions
  • Proposed municipalities


Geocoding & Geographic Data Processing

The GPS staff have gained substantial experience and expertise in the processing and presentation of geo-referenced data. We are now pleased to offer this service on a contract basis for interested parties. Services provided include:

  • Address-list cleaning
  • Electronic address-matching
  • Specialized hand-matching for ungeocodable observations
  • Quality control and review by cross-referencing and review with our extensive census block-level address database
  • Geographic normalization of data presented in differing boundaries (e.g., converting address data linked to census tracts to school districts, etc.)
  • Previous data processing has included births, deaths, school enrollment, driver's license, and building permit data

Samples of Our Work