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Evaluating Consensus Forecasts


  • Herman O. Stekler

    () (Department of Economics The George Washington University)


The Census Bureau makes periodic long-term forecasts of both the total US population and the population of each of the states. Previous evaluations of these forecasts were based on the magnitude of the discrepancies between the projected and actual population figures. However, it might be inappropriate to evaluate these long-term projections with the specific quantitative statistics that have been useful in judging short-term forecasts. One of the purposes of a long range projection of each state¡¯s population is to provide a picture of the distribution of the aggregate US population among the various states. Thus the evaluation should compare the projected distribution of the total US population by states to the actual distribution. This paper uses the dissimilarity index to evaluate the accuracy of the Census projected percentage distributions of population by states.

Suggested Citation

  • Herman O. Stekler, 2008. "Evaluating Consensus Forecasts," Working Papers 2008-007, The George Washington University, Department of Economics, Research Program on Forecasting.
  • Handle: RePEc:gwc:wpaper:2008-007

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Smith, Stanley K. & Sincich, Terry, 1992. "Evaluating the forecast accuracy and bias of alternative population projections for states," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 495-508, November.
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