Northern Territory population futures

Thomas Wilson

Research output: Working paper

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Background: Knowing how many people there are likely to be, and their characteristics and location, is important in anticipating the demand for a wide range of both public and private sector goods and services.

Aims: This paper provides a brief overview of recent demographic trends in the Northern Territory, and then presents six scenarios for the future under alternative social, economic, political and demographic circumstances.

Data and methods: Population projections were prepared using a state-of-the-art projection model. The six scenarios differ in their future migration assumptions given that migration is the most variable and uncertain demographic
variable affecting the Territory’s population.
Results: The future of the Territory’s total population is very uncertain and may be anywhere between 250,000 and 500,000 by mid-century. However, some aspects of the Territory’s future demography (such as continued population ageing) are much more certain.

Conclusions: Population forecasts for the NT are useful for the short-term, but beyond that, scenarios and prediction intervals which indicate uncertainty have to be used. Flexible planning is required to accommodate uncertainty about the demographic future.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherCharles Darwin University, The Northern Institute
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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