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High-resolution gridded estimates of population sociodemographics from the 2020 census in California.


This paper introduces a series of high resolution (100-meter) population grids for eight different sociodemographic variables across the state of California using data from the 2020 census. These layers constitute the 'CA-POP' dataset, and were produced using dasymetric mapping methods to downscale census block populations using fine-scale residential tax parcel boundaries and Microsoft's remotely-sensed building footprint layer as ancillary datasets. In comparison to a number of existing gridded population products, CA-POP shows good concordance and offers a number of benefits, including more recent data vintage, higher resolution, more accurate building footprint data, and in some cases more sophisticated but parsimonious and transparent dasymetric mapping methodologies. A general accuracy assessment of the CA-POP dasymetric mapping methodology was conducted by producing a population grid that was constrained by population observations within block groups instead of blocks, enabling a comparison of this grid's population apportionment to block-level census values, yielding a median absolute relative error of approximately 30% for block group-to-block apportionment. However, the final CA-POP grids are constrained by higher-resolution census block-level observations, likely making them even more accurate than these block group-constrained grids over a given region, but for which error assessments of population disaggregation is not possible due to the absence of observational data at the sub-block scale. The CA-POP grids are freely available as GeoTIFF rasters online at, for total population, Hispanic/Latinx population of any race, and non-Hispanic populations for the following groups: American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian, Black/African-American, Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander, White, other race or multiracial (two or more races) and residents under 18 years old (i.e. minors).

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