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AbstractThe national census is an essential data source to support decision-making in many areas of public interest. However, this data may become outdated during the intercensal period, which can stretch up to several decades. In this study, we develop a Bayesian hierarchical model leveraging recent household surveys and building footprints to produce up-to-date population estimates. We estimate population totals and age and sex breakdowns with associated uncertainty measures within grid cells of approximately 100 m in five provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, a country where the last census was completed in 1984. The model exhibits a very good fit, with an R2 value of 0.79 for out-of-sample predictions of population totals at the microcensus-cluster level and 1.00 for age and sex proportions at the province level. This work confirms the benefits of combining household surveys and building footprints for high-resolution population estimation in countries with outdated censuses.

Original publication




Journal article


Nature Communications


Springer Science and Business Media LLC

Publication Date