Lawler: CPS-Based Household Growth Slowed Significantly in 2017, though Not as Much as Raw Numbers Suggest

Sep 13 16:09 2017 Print This Article

From housing economist Tom Lawler: CPS-Based Household Growth Slowed Significantly in 2017, though Not as Much as Raw Numbers SuggestThe Census Bureau yesterday released its “Income and Poverty in the United States” report for 2016, which is based on the results from the 2017 Current Population Survey (CPS) Annual Social and Economic (ASEC). While the report focuses mainly on household and individual incomes and poverty rates, it also shows estimates of the number of US households based on the CPS/ASEC results.According to the report, the CPS/ASEC-based estimates of the number of US households in March 2017 was 126.224 million, just 405,000 above the 125.819 million estimate from the previous year’s report. This meager gain, if “accurate,” would reflect a sharp slowdown in household growth.As folks who regularly read my report know, however, part of this sharp slowdown in growth reflects the substantial downward revisions in US population estimates that were released at the end of last year. The 2017 CPS/ASEC estimates reflect these downward revisions, but the 2016 estimates do not.To remind folks, late last year Census released its ‘2016 vintage” population estimates, which incorporated an improved methodology for estimating net international migration that resulted in material downward revisions of the US resident population, as shown in the table below.

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Calculated Risk

A full time blogger, Bill McBride retired as a senior executive from a small public company in the '90s. Mr. McBride holds an MBA from the University of California, Irvine, and has a background in management, finance and economics.

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