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Carolina Franco

Pronouns: She/Her

Principal Statistician
Carolina has over 10 years of experience in survey research an is an internationally recognized expert in small area estimation.

Carolina is a principal statistician at NORC at the University of Chicago, specializing in small area estimation. She conducts research and consulting on the modeling of survey data and related topics.

At NORC, Carolina has worked in the methodology for producing small area estimates of hearing loss for counties in the United States for various demographic groups, and on producing small area estimates of entrepreneurship types by geography, race, and gender at the MSA and state level, and related quantities.  She has also worked on the estimation of anemia for Peruvian provinces and has tackled various methodological issues related to small area estimation.

Before working at NORC, Carolina spent several years working at the U.S. Census Bureau’s Centers for Statistical Research and Methodology (CSRM), where she last served as Principal Researcher and Group Leader of the Small Area Estimation Group within CSRM. Among other contributions to official statistics, Carolina led the model development for the Voting Rights Act Section 203, 2021 determinations. The resulting estimates are used to enforce which parts of the United States are legally mandated to provide voting materials in other languages for various Language Minority Groups. She has also worked extensively with the Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates (SAIPE) Program among various other applications. Carolina has published several peer-reviewed papers and has delivered over 30 invited talks related to survey statistics in international conferences, universities, private companies, and federal agencies. These included widely attended webinars held by the United Nations and by the American Statistical Association’s Committee on International Relations in Statistics and Statistics Without Borders. Her introductory webinar on small area estimation was featured in the July 2022 issue of Amstat News, and two of her webinars are included as training materials in the United Nation’s SAE toolkit. She has taught small area estimation at the graduate level for the Joint Program of Survey Methodology, University of Maryland, and mentored many of her junior colleagues.

Carolina is currently serving on the Scientific Advisory Board of the 2023 Small Area Estimation Meeting in Lima, Peru. In 2022, she served in the Program Committee for the 2022 conference in College Park, Maryland. She is Associate Editor for the Journal of the Royal Statistical Association—Series A (2020 - 2023), and a Guest Editor for a special issue on small area estimation of the Calcutta Statistical Association Bulletin (2022 - 2023). She is also in the selection committee for the Morris Hansen Lecture (2022 - 2024). She is chair of the American Statistical Association’s Committee on International Relations in Statistics. In the past, she has also been chair of the Gertrude Cox Scholarship Selection Committee (2020), among other roles.



University of Maryland


University of Maryland


University of Maryland

Appointments & Affiliations

International Advisory Committee Member

2023 Small Area Estimation Conference

Associate Editor

Journal of the Royal Statistical Society—Series A


ASA’s Committee on International Relations in Statistics

Member and 2024 Chair

Morris Hansen Lecture Selection Committee

Program Committee

2022 Small Area Estimation Conference

Reviewer | 2022

Methodology, Measurement, and Statistics Grant Program, National Science Foundation

Vice-Chair | 2020

ASA’s Committee on International Relations

Chair | 2020

ASA’s Gertrude M. Cox Scholarship Selection Subcommittee

Member | 2018 - 2019

ASA’s Gertrude M. Cox Scholarship Selection Committee

Member | 2017

PhD Dissertation Committee, Charles III University of Madrid