Population Projections for Sparsely Populated Areas: Reconciling "Error" and Context

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Population projections are increasingly utilised as tools for understanding and modelling the economic, social, and environmental futures of sparsely populated areas. This study examines issues around “fit for purpose” for the application of projections to remote contexts. We focus on projections made for the Northern Territory of Australia, a jurisdiction in the north of the country, to assess the relative accuracy of projections over time. The results conclusively demonstrate the reduced accuracy of remote population projections. Nevertheless, the exercise of comparing and contrasting the accuracy of projections provides a useful lens for understanding demographic and other issues which necessitate that approaches for developing and utilising projections can and should be different in sparsely populated areas. We provide examples of alternative approaches to projections and the analysis of errors which researchers and analysts in sparsely populated areas might apply to other jurisdictions.
Original languageEnglish
Article number658157
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Population Research
Publication statusPublished - 14 Sept 2014


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