A Beginner's Guide to Creating Small-Area Cross-Tabulations

Publication Type: 
Haydar Kurban
Ryan Gallagher
Gulriz Aytekin Kurban
Joseph Persky
This short article introduces two techniques of generating cross-tabulations in small areas (for example, block groups or tracts) for which only univariate distributions are available. These techniques require either a microsample or a cross-tabulation from a larger geographic area (for example, a Public Use Microdata Area). One technique uses hill-climbing algorithms, and the other is based on iterated proportional fitting. In this article, we identify the general characteristics of both techniques. We present and evaluate an example (generating cross-tabulations of households by housing value and number of children enrolled in public school), briefly discuss extensions of both techniques to synthetic population construction, and test the synthetic populations by comparing the estimated microsamples with the actual population.