New Research Note: Evaluating Overseas Citizen Population Analysis Modeling and Updating Estimated Overseas Citizen Population

The Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) continues to explore methods to improve the estimated population of U.S. citizens living overseas. Since 2014, FVAP has calculated these estimates as part of its Overseas Citizen Population Analysis (OCPA), released every two years.

In this research note, "Comparing Models for Estimating the Total Overseas, Citizen Population, the Overseas Citizen Voting-Age Population, and Voting Rates" FVAP compared its current Model-Based method with an alternative method which gives greater weight to foreign government population estimates.  The results show that the margin of error increases with the alternative method and validity does not improve. Even though some of the estimations produced with the alternative method seem to be more in line with external sources for certain countries (e.g., Mexico and Canada), FVAP's current Model-Based method is more reliable overall than the alternative method explored within this research note.

While the analysis conducted as part of this research note does not support changing FVAP's strategy for estimating the overseas citizen population at this time, FVAP continuously seeks to improve the models and methodology used in its OCPA reporting.

The complete research note can be found here.




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