The US census provides the population of households within a given area (say, census tract) making a certain amount of money per year (ACS T056). So if I were to be tasked to determine the population for a given census tract living inside households making between $35,000 and $40,000 a year, the best way I currently know how to estimate that would be to multiply the average household size (ACS T021) for that area by the respective number of households making $35,000 to $39,999 (T056_008).
The problem with this is that average household size probably varies with respect to that house's income. For my native state of South Carolina, in 2015 the Average Household Size value for census block groups varies between 1.2 people per household and 5 people per household with an average of 2.66. Has anyone determined a better way than just using the average household size to refine their population estimates that are based on total household numbers?
- maybe I should just plug a constant estimated household size like 2.58 that represents the entire United States
- maybe I could find determine on some macro level the impact that income has on household sizes and apply multipliers to respective income segments (very apprehensive of this -- could backfire terribly)
- maybe there are some overlooked ACS columns that could help me better estimate household sizes based on income segments (my hope)
- maybe household size does not correlate with income at all, in which case I would be better off using my original method of using the local average household size column (T021) or my 2.58 people/household number.