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Carolina Franco

Pronouns: She/Her

Principal Statistician
Carolina has over 11 years of experience in survey research and 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 (SAE). She conducts research and consulting on the modeling of survey data and related topics.

At NORC, Carolina has worked on 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. She has also worked on the estimation of anemia for Peruvian provinces, on providing recommendations on sampling strategies to the National Agricultural Statistical Service and has tackled various important methodological issues related to SAE.

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 SAE 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 three dozen invited talks related to survey statistics in international conferences, universities, private companies, and federal agencies. These included widely attended webinars organized by the United Nations (UN) and by the American Statistical Association’s Committee on International Relations in Statistics and Statistics Without Borders. Her introductory webinar on SAE 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 SAE for the Joint Program of Survey Methodology, University of Maryland, and has served as an expert speaker for multiple capacity-building events on SAE in Latin America sponsored by the UN’s Economic Commission for the Americas and the Caribbean (ECLAC).

Carolina is an elected member of the International Statistical Institute (ISI) and holds several leadership appointments in the statistics community. She is the chair of the Washington Statistical Society’s Morris Hansen Lecture Committee, past chair of the American Statistical Association’s (ASA) Committee on International Relations in Statistics, and guest editor for two special issues of the Calcutta Statistical Association Bulletin (CSAB). She is also serving on the International Scientific Advisory Board of the 2023/2024 Small Area Estimation Meeting in Lima, Peru, and on the ASA Edward C. Bryant Scholarship Committee. In the past, she has served as associate editor of the Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A (JRSS-A) and chair of the Gertrude Cox Scholarship Committee, among various other roles.



University of Maryland


University of Maryland


University of Maryland

Appointments & Affiliations

Elected Member

International Statistical Institute

Committee Member

International Advisory Committee, SAE 2023-2024: Small Area Estimation, Survey and Data Science Conference. Lima, Peru. June 2024

Guest Editor

Calcutta Statistical Association Bulletin - Special Issues on Small Area Estimation


Washington Statistical Society's Morris Hansen Lecture Selection Committee

Committee Member

ASA's Edward C. Bryant Scholarship Committee

Past Chair

ASA’s Committee on International Relations in Statistics

Associate Editor

Journal of the Royal Statistical Society—Series A, 2020-2023

Project Contributions