Independent, objective, nonpartisan research
Report · March 2001

How Well Does the Current Population Survey Represent California?

Deborah Reed

Although the Current Population Survey (CPS) was designed to produce national rather than state-level demographic estimates, it is perhaps the most important data source for social and economic trends in California. In general, the CPS has accurately represented many characteristics of California’s population, but there is clearly room for improvement. To improve population representation, California weights were created based on independent estimates of the state population by sex, age, and race/Hispanic origin. This study finds that using the California weights does not appear to substantially affect several socioeconomic indicators for most years.