Innovations in International Population Mapping

Authors: Joshua Comenetz*, U.S. Census Bureau
Topics: Population Geography, Hazards, Risks, and Disasters
Keywords: population geography, gridded, census, humanitarian, disasters
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/3/2019
Start / End Time: 2:35 PM / 4:15 PM
Room: Council Room, Omni, West
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The U.S. Census Bureau develops and provides international, geo-enabled population data sets, based on census and survey data, administrative geography, and satellite imagery analysis. Census Bureau data products cover countries around the world, and have a range of applications in government, education, research, and the private sector. Data sets and maps already released online include administrative geography and age/sex data for more than 20 countries. Our primary goal is to provide the geo-demographic data needed to support humanitarian assistance and disaster relief efforts worldwide. The demand for and utility of these data for crisis response have been demonstrated, most notably by users of our Haiti products after the 2010 earthquake. The Demobase gridded mapping program creates accurate, high-resolution population map layers at national scale, based on census data and satellite imagery. Population layers for Haiti, Pakistan, and Rwanda were released in 2010 and 2013. In 2017, we began work on gridded mapping of South Sudan, the first country in a new iteration of the Demobase program, and the project is now approaching completion. South Sudan represents a particular challenge for accurate gridded mapping because of its relative lack of population data, predominantly rural population, and recent, rapid demographic change.

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