An introduction to population projections for Australia

Thomas Wilson

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    Background: Population projections for Australia are produced by many organisations. They differ in projected population numbers, methods used, level of output detail, temporal extent, frequency of revision, quality and purpose, and they are not always easy to find.

    Aims: This paper provides a brief guide to many of the population projections prepared for Australia in recent years. It gives an overview of projection methods and selected results, a brief commentary on key aspects of the projections, and shows readers where to find more data and information.

    Data and methods: Projections data were obtained from the various organisations producing projections. They are presented in order of spatial detail: national scale, States and Territories; large sub-state regions; and then local and small areas.

    Results: The ABS and State and Territory Governments are the main producers of population projections and forecasts in Australia, and generally these projections are good quality. They cover a wide variety of spatial scales from the national level to local areas, such as SA2s. A great deal of projections data and information is now freely available online.

    Conclusions: Population projections and forecasts can be very useful data for a wide variety of planning, policy and research purposes. But it is important to be aware of their limitations.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)40-56
    Number of pages17
    JournalAustralian Population Studies
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 25 May 2019


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