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Population Projections
 
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    NAME OF ORGANISATION
    Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)

    OVERVIEW
    Every two to three years the ABS publishes a new set of population projections. The new projections are produced in order to take advantage of the most recent information on components of population change and to take account of the latest estimates of the resident population and thereby service the needs of users with up-to-date population projections.

    Ad hoc projections are produced on a consultancy basis where the client agrees to the assumptions and to meet the costs involved.

    PURPOSE
    To help the understanding of the implications on the population of specified assumptions. The projections are used to help address a large range of issues including those associated with retirement income, population, housing and parliamentary representation.

    SCOPE
    The scope of population projections includes all persons who are usual residents of Australia.

    DATA DETAIL

    Conceptual framework
    There are many techniques which may be used for population projections, ranging from simple extrapolations through broad economic, social and time-series analysis to detailed component methods.

    The ABS uses the cohort-component method which begins with a base population for each sex by single years of age and advances it year by year by applying assumptions regarding future mortality and migration. Assumed age-specific fertility rates are applied to the female population of child-bearing ages (15 to 49 years) to provide the new cohort of births. This procedure is repeated for each year in the projection period for each State and Territory and for Australia. The resulting population projections for each year for the States and Territories, by sex and single years of age, are adjusted to sum to the Australian results.

    The projection results published by the ABS are not intended as predictions or forecasts, but are illustrations of growth and change in the population which would occur if the assumptions about future demographic trends prevail over the projection period. As such, it is the assumptions used which have the greatest baring on the final projected outcomes.

    While the assumptions for the projections are formulated on the basis of an assessment of past demographic trends, both in Australia and overseas, and their likely future dynamics, there is no certainty that any of the assumptions will or will not be realised. In addition, no assessment has been made of changes in non-demographic conditions.

    Accordingly, alternative projections are produced in recognition of this uncertainty and to provide users with a range of options. For example, the publication Population Projections, Australia 1999-2101 (Catalogue no. 3222.0) contains a series of projections based on differing combinations of two alternative assumptions of fertility, three alternative assumptions for net overseas migration and three alternative assumptions for interstate migration. Only one assumption was used for mortality. In addition, an assumption of no net overseas migration was also used.

    For more information on constructing population projections see 3228.0 - Demographic Estimates and Projections: Concepts, Sources and Methods

    Main outputs
    1. The projected total population of Part of State, States and Territories, and for Australia as a whole, by sex and either single years of age or five-year age grouping are produced for 30 June of each year of the projection period. In addition, sex ratios are available for each year of the projection period, as well as age by sex listings of the percentage distribution and the mean and median ages of the projected population. Various components of change (ie births, deaths, total natural increase, net overseas migration, net interstate migration, total net migration, total population increase and the number of infant deaths) are also available for each year of the projection.

    2. A set of statistical local area, postal area and census collection district population projections is available which was produced as a statistical consultancy service. The projections are consistent with a specified published series and take account of the latest demographic trends and land use indicators available to the ABS. While the ABS takes responsibility for the method employed, the assumptions used are the responsibility of the client and the projections are not official ABS statistics.

    3. For projections produced as consultancies, output is as specified by the client.

    Classifications
    The Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) is used.

    Other concepts (summary)
    n/a

    GEOGRAPHIC DETAIL
    Australia
    New South Wales
    Victoria
    Queensland
    South Australia
    Western Australia
    Tasmania
    Northern Territory
    ACT
    Statistical Local Area
    Census Collection District
    Part of State Metropolitan
    Part of State Extra-Metropolitan
    CD Derived Postcode
    Other (specify below)

    Comments and/or Other Regions
    Projections for other areas can be produced on request.

    COLLECTION FREQUENCY
    Other

    Frequency comments
    At National, State and Part of State (from 1998) levels - every 2-3 years.
    Data provided in response to statistical consultancies at various geographical levels.

    COLLECTION HISTORY
    Interest in projections of the Australian population developed after World War II with the widening of the social policy agenda in government and community. The first substantial involvement by the Commonwealth Bureau of Census and Statistics [known since 1974 as the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)] came in 1956 when a series of five yearly projections (1960 to 1975) were prepared for the Inter-departmental Committee set up to review the Retiring Age. This led to the publication by the Statistician (ABS) the next year of single year national projections series covering 1955 to 1975. In 1965 the ABS released the first issue "for general publication of a series of projections of the future population." The ABS continued to produce national projections during the 1960s. Various ABS State Offices, sometimes in cooperation with State Government agencies, had also begun producing population projections for their respective States.

    In 1971 the ABS published for the first time a set of national, State and Territory projections under the one cover. As today, these projections used "an iterative mathematical process ... based on assumptions about future trends in mortality, fertility and net migration, derived from those of the recent past." During the 1970s, interest grew also in developing population projections at regional and local (sub-State) level. Various State governments and some university people took initiatives in that direction.

    The ABS itself began producing local area projections on a consultancy basis in the early 1990s. This course was re-affirmed by the 1996 ABS Review of Demographic Statistics (see the ABS website, Demography Working Paper 96/2).

    In 2001 the ABS published Statistical Local Area (SLA) projections for the first time. Projections were produced and published for SLAs in Tasmania and Northern Territory after agreement was reached between the ABS and the respective State/Territory governments.

    Since 1978 the ABS has published population projections on a regular basis.


    Base Year
    Month/Year published
    Time Period
    Population projected
    Catalogue number
    1978
    July 1979
    1978-2011
    National only
    3204.0
    1978
    May 1979
    1978-2011
    National and States
    3214.0
    1981
    November 1982
    1981-2021
    National only
    3204.0
    1981
    May 1983
    1981-2021
    National and States
    3214.0
    1984
    May 1985
    1984-2021
    National and States
    3222.0
    1987
    September 1988
    1987-2031
    National and States
    3222.0
    1989
    November 1990
    1989-2031
    National and States
    3222.0
    1993
    May 1994
    1993-2041
    National and States
    3222.0
    1995
    July 1996
    1995-2051
    National and States
    3222.0
    1997
    July 1998
    1997-2051
    National, States and Parts of States
    3222.0
    1999
    August 2000
    1999-2101
    National only
    3222.0
    1999
    August 2000
    1999-2051
    National, States and Parts of States
    3222.0
    1999
    July 2001
    1999-2021
    Statistical Local Areas, Northern Territory
    3222.7
    1999
    October 2001
    1999-2021
    Statistical Local Areas, Tasmania
    3222.6

    People interested in further background information on Australian population projections should see Martin Bell's 1992 study entitled Demographic Projections and Forecasts in Australia : A Directory and Digest published by the Bureau of Immigration Research, Canberra.

    DATA AVAILABILITY
    Yes

    Data availability comments



    DATE OF LAST UPDATE FOR THIS DOCUMENT
    06/01/2004 05:17 PM



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