Spatial Microsimulation: Preparation of Sample Survey and Census Data for SpatialMSM/08 and SpatialMSM/09
Strong demand for small area estimates of the characteristics of households and for spatially detailed household microdata has prompted the development of spatial microsimulation techniques during the past decade. This Technical Paper first provides an overview of earlier approaches to 'synthetic estimation' and then describes some of the more recent advances in spatial microsimulation. An overview checklist of key issues that should be considered when preparing a sample survey for reweighting to Census (or other) small area benchmarks is also provided. The first steps in the creation of NATSEM's latest spatial microsimulation models - SpatialMSM/08 and SpatialMSM/09 - and the processes undertaken to prepare sample survey data for matching to 2006 Census benchmarks are described. Two sample survey unit record files were blended together and a range of processes were followed to allow these sample surveys to be reweighted to benchmarks for small areas calculated from the 2006 Census. Such processes included making variable definitions comparable between the surveys and the Census and imputing children, non-classifiable persons and individuals living in non-private dwellings onto the sample survey base files.