POPACTS: Simplified Projection Software for State, Regional and Local Area Population Projections

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


    Multi-regional projection models are amongst the most conceptually sophisticated and highly-regarded models for producing subnational population projections. But they can present a number of challenges in real-world applications, especially when the number of regions is large and regional populations are small. Data requirements become huge, demographic patterns become ‘noisy’ and unstable, considerable data estimation and smoothing is necessary, and a large number of assumptions have to be formulated. All of this consumes substantial amounts of money and staff resources. This chapter describes projection software which attempts to simplify and lower the costs of the projections process without compromising on the principal strengths of the multi-regional approach. POPACTS (POpulation Projections for rural Areas, Cities and Towns of a State) is new Excel/VBA software which enables projections to be produced for a State, up to 15 large sub-State regions and a flexible number of local areas. Local area projections can either be demography-led or dwelling-led. The projections process is simplified by using five year age groups, reducing the fully multi-regional model by applying multi-bi-regional structures, and adjusting directional migration probabilities via scaling to assumed net migration totals. In addition, users are able to select pre-loaded options for projection assumptions, or set their own, and Excel’s capacity for visualisation is applied to facilitate the review of projection outputs for plausibility. Illustrative projections for New South Wales and its local government areas are presented.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationDemography for Planning and Policy
    Subtitle of host publicationAustralian Case Studies
    EditorsTom Wilson, Elin Charles-Edwards, Martin Bell
    Place of PublicationSwitzerland
    Number of pages17
    ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-22135-9
    ISBN (Print)978-3-319-22135-9
    Publication statusPublished - 2016

    Publication series

    NameApplied Demography Series
    ISSN (Print)2352-376X
    ISSN (Electronic)2352-3778


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