The paper presents a brief overview of applications of indirect estimation techniques in demography and possibilities of their extension. A special emphasis is placed on new challenges established on the ground of heretofore experiences. When conducting a demographic analysis, it is natural to refer to the development of corresponding demographic processes in other populations, that were characterised by a similar demographic situation in the past. It is also common to analyse data from different available sources, such as population censuses, vital statistics, statistical registration or specific surveys. The core of indirect estimation is data assessment, comparison of applied survey methodology, analysis of definitions used in different surveys, search for differences and their causes, and taking all of the above into account, implementing such estimation techniques that cut down the gap between available statistical data and the necessary information. Currently, demographers propose to use indirect estimation not only to estimate population counts for small areas in between-census periods. The novelty is the new population census methodology based on population registers and indirect estimation based on sample survey data. Typically, demographic methods use mainly administrative and census data, while the current proposition involves also sample survey data in conjunction with other auxiliary population information. The organisation of the paper is as follows. Section 2 discusses determinants that enabled the application of indirect estimation in demography and the needs for such estimates. The focus is on the variety and quality of population data sources, the disturbance factors and their influence on the demographic processes, as well as a coherent methodology of demographic analysis. Section 3 reviews different indirect estimation methods used in demography, according to J.N.K.Rao and the UN demographic experts. The symptomatic accounting techniques, regression symptomatic procedures and dual-system estimation of population are presented. According to the UN manual, the indirect techniques are reviewed on the example of its use in fertility analyses. The authors refer to estimation of fertility indicators based on information on children ever born (according to E.Arriaga), L.Henry method for estimation of marital fertility, and the 'own children' method developed by G. Feeney, W.H. Grabill and L.-J. Cho. The following section includes examples of indirect estimation methods applied by Polish researchers. The concluding remarks discuss changes in the methodological approach to the population census of 2011 in Poland, in the context of an extensive use of indirect estimation techniques.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.