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Estimating the population of your project area
Estimating the population of your project area

To calculate statistical validity of your survey sample, you'll first need to estimate the population of your target area. Here's how.

Jay Dawkins avatar
Written by Jay Dawkins
Updated over a week ago

Introduction: The Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC) Population Estimator is a powerful tool for obtaining population estimates in specific geographic areas. This guide provides step-by-step instructions on how to use the SEDAC tool effectively, aiding in the planning and implementation of targeted outreach and survey efforts.

Step 1: Accessing the SEDAC Population Estimator

Step 2: Selecting Your Area of Interest

  • Use the map interface to navigate to your area of interest.

  • You can search for a specific location using the search bar or manually zoom in/out on the map.

Pro tip - Turn on the Roadmap layer to get reference points and landmarks:

Step 3: Defining your project's Geographic Boundaries

  • Select the 'Draw a Polygon' tool to mark the boundaries of your target area.

  • Click on the map to create the vertices of your polygon. Double-click to complete the polygon.

Step 4: Obtaining Population Estimates

  • Once your area is defined, the tool will automatically calculate the estimated population.

  • Review the estimated population data displayed on the screen. It usually includes total population counts and may offer other demographic details, depending on the tool's current capabilities.

Step 6: Exporting and Using the Data

  • Export the population data by clicking the "hamburger" horizontal bar menu and selecting an export format like CSV or Excel.

  • We recommend using the most recent population estimate to establish your population metric.

    • If desired, you can optionally increase or decrease based on trend to achieve a present day estimate, but for calculation purposes, the most recent census population estimate is best practice.

From here, you've got a foundation for calculating your target sample size and achieving statistical significance.

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