Spatially consistent local area population estimates for Australia, 1986–2011

Thomas Wilson, Philipp Ueffing, Martin Bell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In 2011 the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) introduced a radical new statistical geography for Australia. It then prepared a time series of Estimated Resident Populations (ERPs) by age and sex at the local scale (termed SA2 areas) back to 2001 on the new boundaries. However, a longer time series would be valuable to researchers. The aim of the work reported here was to extend the SA2 area ERPs back to 1986. A combination of small area census counts, official ERPs, look-up tables linking different statistical geographies, one-dimensional scaling, and iterative proportional fitting were employed to produce population estimates for SA2 areas of the new statistical geography. Population estimates for census years 1986, 1991 and 1996 by sex and 5 year age group were produced for SA2 areas. In combination with the official ABS ERPs for 2001, 2006 and 2011, these constitute a data set of spatially-consistent local area population estimates covering a 25 year period. The data are available in an Excel workbook accompanying this paper.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)285-296
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Population Research
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2015


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