If science is the organised pursuit of triviality and art the casual pursuit of significance (according to Vera Nazarian), which camp does quizzing sit in? Quizzing is a world-wide phenomenon these days. I mean who doesn’t like a quiz. One of my New Zealand clients, Kelvin, is a quizzing whizz and recently took part in the 2013 World Quiz Championships. We got talking about his experience.
The truth is: Melbourne’s weather is killing me. I cycle more than five times a week (to and from work/university/etc.) and maybe it is my bad luck or deadly attractiveness to rain clouds, it always rains when I cycle. And just a week or so ago, Melbourne recorded it’s highest rainfall in a June day since 1904 (read here). While rain isn’t for me, there are definitely people who would welcome it, particularly those who live in areas under extreme weather where their livelihoods and jobs may be affected. Two years ago, when I visited Kyneton, a small town in the north-west of Victoria with a population of about 4,450 people which had been in drought for years, the lady I lived with remarked at the lakes and puddles of water, saying, “It’s beautiful seeing them fill up. It’s the first time in 10 years”. The yearly rainfall in Melbourne has been averaging higher in the past few years (particularly 2011) than the decade prior to 2010 where Victoria as a whole was drought-stricken. However, this is not the same for the whole of Victoria and after two good years of rainfall in 2010 and 2011, there has been signs that the drought is coming back and affecting the region’s farming lands again (read more here). So the question is: Does the weather, particularly in my more extreme situations, affect migration?
Do many Australians move to NZ? This question was posed to the Twitter-sphere recently and thus the topic for my next blog was decided.
In the last week, we have added two exciting new features to profile.id, to further help with telling the demographic story of your area. A custom PDF generator enables you to build a PDF report based on topics and areas of your choice. The data exporter is back and enable you to download data from profile.id for further analysis.
Recently the National Seachange Taskforce released a report about the impact of temporary populations in coastal areas. Central to the report was a survey of non-resident ratepayers, and whether they intend to move to their coastal property in the future. While the report provides some valuable insights into the reasons and motivations behind population change in coastal locations, we know that recent population data shows that growth in coastal areas might be slowing down. The report concludes that 30% of holiday home owners intend to move to their coastal property in the future. But intriguingly, there is no mention of out-migration from coastal areas, which of course is the other side of the migration equation.
Here at .id, we have just launched our first “community of interest” profile based on the 2011 profile.id platform. The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (indigenous) community profile lets councils look in detail at their indigenous community, how it relates to the wider population and the region, and how it is changing. Many councils already subscribe to this module, and it is available to any Council with a significant indigenous population so add to their subscription. So what does the indigenous profile show?
At .id we usually present and discuss demographic information about cities, towns, regions and even countries.
But there’s a growing population of people who are not even on the ground – those people who are currently, at this moment, flying somewhere in an aircraft.
So what is the population of this group – and where can you see all their flights represented on an interactive map?
The ABS recently released their small area population estimates for the year ended June 2012. This is the first insight into population change at smaller areas of geography since the 2011 Census. In their analysis, the ABS has moved towards looking at population change at SA2 or SA3 level. But the publication Regional Population Growth (ABS Cat. no 3218.0) contains a wealth of information on population change for LGAs. What are some of the highlights from this ABS release?
Maybe it says something about the type of person I am, but even on holidays my professional life manages to come to the fore. It’s really more about my interest in cities and places, and what makes them tick. I’ve recently returned from Russia where I spent time in Moscow and St Petersburg, two of the more interesting cities on this planet (in my humble opinion). Not only did some of the critical events of the twentieth century happen on Russian soil, but they also have an interesting demographic history and there are aspects of these cities that Australia could learn from.
In my last blog I looked at historical growth in Auckland and talked only briefly about growth projections for Auckland. However, Statistics NZ’s projection that Auckland’s population will grow by a million people over the next 30 years is surely more worthy of a Jack and the Beanstalk heading.
Recently, I did some analysis on what would constitute Australia’s most typical town. While there are many ways you could define this, and it was by no means definitive, I came up with 6 parameters and picked the one that varied the least from the Autralian average. This ended up being Hahndorf in South Australia. That got me thinking – the majority of Australians live in the capital cities, and were excluded from this comparison. How about we look at what is Australia’s most typical suburb – within the state and territory capitals?
You know the monkey ladder story, right?
It’s essentially a parable about resistance to change, but it actually does have a basis in a psychology experiment.
The story varies, but essentially it goes like this:
There was a cage containing five monkeys. Inside the cage, there was a banana hung above a ladder.
Of course, soon after the banana was suspended, a monkey went to climb the ladder to get to the banana. As soon as he started up the ladder, the psychologists sprayed all of the other monkeys with ice cold water.
.id, in conjunction with NIEIR (National Economics), have released a key set of economic indicators for every Local Government Area (LGA) in Australia. The indicators provide a snapshot of each local economy, showing how it contributes to the broader State economy and how it is performing in relation to other areas. Read on to learn more and access the indicators series.
Happy ANZAC day! ANZAC stands for the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. And today, on 25 April, we honour those who served and died in wars, conflicts, military and peacekeeping operations. The current ANZACs are fighting for 23 million Australians. That’s right: Australia hit another population milestone two days ago on 23 April 2013 with 23 million people. In this blog, we’ll look at how many Australians were the ANZACs protecting at their time.
I’ve been developing a fascination for the heady population growth figures of Auckland. The fascination is particularly strong after recently spending time in the deep south of the South Island and in the Far North, where population growth at any level is not a characteristic of most communities.
If you were picking one town to represent Australia, as a nation, which one would it be? Maybe an iconic Australian location, like Uluru, Byron Bay, Katoomba. Somewhere in the outback like Coober Pedy, Longreach or Broken Hill, or maybe a big city like Sydney or Melbourne? Would it be on the coast or inland? A large or small place? An old or a new place? Well at .id, since we’re demographers, we decided to look at it demographically. Which Australian town has characteristics that are most typical of Australia’s population as a whole?
Since the release of the Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas, we have been getting a lot of questions about whether users can compare SEIFA scores over time. It’s a very natural thing to want to do – we all want to know if our area is getting better or worse off over time. Unfortunately, for the socio-economic indexes, the short answer is NO! And this is why.
Many of us at .id are fortunate to travel to various corners of the country to visit and meet with clients. Not only does this enable us to get to know the places for which we prepare profiles, atlases and forecasts, but travel is a great medium for broadening the mind. On a recent flight back from Perth I sat next to a psychic. Yes, that’s right – a psychic. Right up front I’ll admit that I was skeptical, but my curiosity got the better of me and I started asking questions – after all – I had three hours to kill. And I like to think that I have an open mind about these things. I mean, I’m in the business of forecasting as well – so do psychics and population forecasters have anything in common?
On March 28th, the day before Easter, the ABS released the final dataset derived from the 2011 Census, the Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas. Some people may know this better as the “Index of Disadvantage” because that’s the most widely used one, and the one we present on profile.id and atlas.id. However, there are actually 4 indexes, which each have slightly different uses. Though commonly used, SEIFA is also quite misunderstood, and there is also some stigma attached to having a low SEIFA score. This blog goes through what SEIFA is, and briefly what the new dataset shows.
The ABS has continued its habit of releasing significant results before major public holidays, by releasing the Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA) on March 28th, 2013, the day before the Easter break. The SEIFA results show an aggregate measure of Census characteristics pertaining to advantage and disadvantage in communities, and enables users to rank areas on a single scale. What do the results actually show?
In 2011, I wrote about inner city high density housing, and the idea that empty nesters were moving in there. The article concluded that while there were a few empty nesters downsizing into inner city tower blocks, overwhelmingly these areas are occupied by the young, with no strong trend of over 65s moving into high density. That was based on 2006 Census data so I thought it was worth a look to see whether the situation had changed for 2011.
In a previous blog, I discussed the spatial distribution of different ethnicities in New Zealand. Now that the 2013 census is well under way, it is interesting to contemplate what the results will reveal in regard to New Zealand’s changing ethnic profile. Cultural affiliations are self-identified, so some areas of change in the ethnicity profile might be influenced by external forces.
The economic data modelling in economy.id, done by National Economics, is a sophisticated micro-simulation model of your local economy, and is updated every year. We have just loaded a new dataset, complete to the end of the 2011-12 financial year onto economy.id. But it’s not just the latest year’s data which has been updated, the data is now even more sensitive to local factors and variations.
Over the years I’ve heard many people from local government excuse their lack of interest in population forecasts by blaming it on a lack of growth in their municipality. ”Why do we need to know about our future population when there’s no growth?” is a common lament. It seems that if there’s no visual evidence of population growth, then there’s an assumption (‘cuse the pun!) that there is no need to plan for future population needs. Or is there? While it’s true that the overwhelming majority of .id’s forecasts prepared for local councils do assume growth, a closer look reveals that it’s not all chocolates and roses – many small areas have relatively stable or declining populations. And just because the total population of a municipality might be stable or declining, this often masks considerable change at more local levels of geography. Let’s have a look at some examples.
A while ago, Jim wrote a blog about the Google Glass and what it can do. Before we know it, earlier this year, Google released its first developer’s version which could be bought at approximately USD$1500. Google has also confirmed that by the end of 2013, everyone would be able to purchase a pair (hopefully way under USD$1500). But… will Australia catch the fever?
Our clients often express a bit of uncertainty about the difference between the various approaches to population forecasting.
In this blog I will give you a basic overview of the differences between the bottoms-up and tops-down approaches, as well explaining the benefits of bottoms-up population forecasting.
Happy International Women’s Day! Every year on 8 March, the world comes together to celebrate the achievements and equality of women. While there’s much testosterone at .id, and that the number of women can be counted with slightly more than one hand (there are seven of us – nonetheless, .id is an equal opportunity employer), we sure do know a thing or two about Australian women.
Well, according to this article and a report on one of those 6:30pm shows on the telly, that’s what the good citizens of Taradale, Victoria decided to do, when the ABS apparently no longer had stats for their town’s population. But did they? And why would a town just drop off the map?
Previously we have looked at the size of Australia’s cities in a variety of ways. The top 33 urban areas in Australia has been one of the most popular blogs on this site, and I keep being asked to update it with the 2011 Census results. That’s not so easy, because the ABS has changed the geography and split up some of the areas into smaller centres. So I thought we could look at another way of sorting the list, which actually may make more sense to most people. This is the ABS :”Urban Centre or Locality” structure.
.id is always on the lookout for good people with skills in any of the following areas: demographic analysis, forecasting, spatial analysis, geography and urban planning, client management and sales. And at the moment we have a number of specific technical roles that we are looking to fill. So if you like the sound of working for a small, successful and innovative team please read on…
Kia ora, gidday mate!
You can expect to be greeted with a cheery “ Kia ora” when ringing the Wairoa District Council and that’s not because they want to be politically correct – but more likely because over half of Wairoa’s population is of Maori descent.
There’s a growing trend around the world (especially since the GFC) to adopt a simpler lifestyle, with less “baggage”.
Many people in the developed countries are seeing the benefits of having less financial commitments, a less cluttered lifestyle and more leisure time to pursue their favorite activities.
Part of this trend has extended to housing. Despite Australians seeking larger and larger houses (see Simone’s blog on the Australian tendency towards even more bedrooms) there are some around the world who are doing the opposite, and reaping the rewards of a lower (or no) mortgage, less space to clean and a home that’s much easier to maintain.
This trend often goes hand in hand with higher density dwellings, and the need for smaller houses to use their limited space more efficiently.
Some time ago we published a blog about the “cube” a design study of a fully-functional house that is just 3m square.
But a new design, called the “roll-it” is even more innovative, and makes even more use of limited space – but to me, it seems more like the international Space Station than a home.
Would you want to live in it?
Read on to find out….
A client contacted us recently to request a calculation of the centre of population for their local area. Steve quickly responded to this request, and some discussion and speculation within the team followed on where Melbourne’s population centre is.
So – what is the centre of population and why does it matter? …
At .id we like to keep an eye on demographic trends worldwide as well as in Australia. This article caught our eye recently. It says that the number of deaths in Tokyo has now exceeded the number of births, as the population continues to age. Japan is now one of the most elderly societies in the world and the population has begun to decline as a result.
Australia’s official population count, Estimated Resident Population (ERP), is always revised following a census. This year however additional revisions have been announced following a methodological improvement in census processes, this will have ongoing implications for all users of ERP data …
The Gold Coast is an interesting study in urban geography, especially in the Australian context, as its rise to prominence as a major urban area is a relatively recent phenomenon. It has moved well beyond its traditional role as a simply a tourism and retirement destination (though these are still important). I can’t think of anywhere else in Australia where the skyline looks as if it has been plucked straight out of Florida and plonked on our shores. It’s unique for its settlement pattern, its relatively short history, and its rapid growth. What population and housing trends can we observe?
Melbourne is often described as Australia’s sporting capital, home to iconic events such as the Boxing Day Test, the Australian Tennis Open and the F1 GP, not to mention the home of most of the AFL clubs.
But the new Australia community profile shows there’s much more to Melbourne and its people, and also helps to explain why sport makes up so much of the social fabric of Melbourne.
Of course, Melbourne’s climate lends itself to outdoor activities for children from a young age, which helps in the development of future stars in the wake of Melbourne legends like Shane Warne and Gary Ablett – or Mark Viduka.
But if we look more closely, we see there’s much more to the Melbourne community.
As users of the .id tools, you would be used to providing sound, verified information for use in making evidence-based decisions. In doing so you would often come across other commonly held views or opinions based on rumour, misinformation or just old data – which you use the .id tools to try and dispel.
The well-known Australian slang term for such mistruths is a “Furphy”. But just where does this term come from, and what does World War 1 have to do with it?
A crystal ball isn’t necessary to predict that the 2013 census will confirm an increasingly diverse New Zealand population. The “who”, and “where” of this prediction requires more thought though, because the geographical spread and age profiles of New Zealand’s main ethnic groups vary.
I was recently asked by one of .id’s clients as to why there was a difference between the employment figures produced by the Census, and those produced by the Dept of Employment, Education and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) in their Small Area Labour Markets publication. The answer is a relatively straightforward one – and I’ll elaborate below – but it did make me think that there are a lot of different employment statistics floating around, and that other readers may be interested in what’s available, what the data says, and what the difference is between the collections. We even use a range of different employment statistics in our own products. Read on….
The .id Australian Community Profile site makes it easy to analyse census data, in this blog I explore changes to the numbers and settlement patterns of Australian residents born overseas…
The 2011 Census 2nd release revealed an intriguing result. Looking at the broad 19 standard industry divisions, the largest employer of workers in Australia is now the Health Care and Social Assistance Industry. We have been told for a long time that this was a growth industry, but it has still taken many by surprise, particularly given that mining jobs get much of the media attention!
Two of the main aspects of “money” are a medium of exchange and a measure of value.
In Economics, Cliff’s Notes provides a good definition: “providing a common measure of the value of goods and services being exchanged. Knowing the value or price of a good, in terms of money, enables both the supplier and the purchaser of the good to make decisions about how much of the good to supply and how much of the good to purchase.”
But it seems in recent times, other items or common purchases have become a measure of value in themselves. One of these, especially lately, seems to be a cup of coffee.
It seems that every day, we are enticed to buy things on TV, radio or print advertising for “less than the daily price of a cup of coffee”.
For example, many types of insurance can apparently be had for less than the price of a cup of coffee per day.
But how much does this represent, and does it make sense to make this comparison?
The Broken Hill City Council recently adopted the use of profile.id and economy.id to explore and understand the changing characteristics of their community and their economy.
As with all .id clients, we encouraged them to promote and share these tools so their local community, local businesses and other regional associations could also access the sites to provide an evidence-base for their own planning and investment decisions.
We are delighted that they have done just that, by preparing an interesting and engaging media release containing pertinent observations as well as insightful comments.
Please read their release, published verbatim, below:
The 2012 Australian Population Association Conference (APA) was held in Melbourne last week. This is the biennial conference held by Australia’s professional organisation for demographers, and the program showed a good mix of academia, government and even the private sector! The theme of the conference was population change – past, present and future. Of course .id was well represented (Richard, Esther, Nenad and Johnny) and Simone gave a presentation on our thoughts about population change in the lead up to the Census, and how that has borne out in reality, particularly with respect to how the data is informing our forecast assumptions. This link will take you to the conference website where you can view the full program. What were the conference highlights?
After first release of Census, I wrote a blog about the higher quality of the Census data in 2011, compared to 2006. In general this is true, but unfortunately the second release has revealed an area where the quality of the 2011 Census is far far worse than 2006 or 2001. This is in the area of place of work, or work destination data, and it makes time series comparison very difficult for our users. This means we will be less able to rely on Census as an estimate of workforce numbers in 2011, and underscores the need for modelled estimates to give LGAs a better handle on their number of workers. Read on for more information.
Following on from the annual release of births data, yes you guessed it – the ABS recently released Deaths, Australia (Cat. no. 3302.0). This release contains statistics on the number and characteristics of deaths in Australia, including data for small geographic areas such as LGAs. Similar to births, data on deaths forms a critical component of our population forecasts. This blog will summarise some of the main points from this year’s release.
.id regards the ABS website as a fantastic resource for raw data pertaining to Australian society. The ABS run one of the most comprehensive and high quality Censuses in the world, so Local Government in Australia is fortunate to have access to a great repository of demographic data to help them tell the story of their communities. It has long been our position that such valuable data should be available free of charge to the widest possible audience in order to promote better decision making at all levels of society.
Since the release of the 2011 Census results we’ve been commenting (and blogging) about the massive population growth in Australia since 2006, particularly in Capital cities and surrounding suburbs.
Along with this population growth has come increased density in many areas, and of course more urban sprawl.
The 230+ profile.id sites around Australia have now been updated with the latest second release data from the 2011 Census. The data was released at the end of October by the ABS, so we’ve been working flat out to get the data into all the sites in less than three weeks.
How we occupy households is a little considered aspect of how populations at small areas grow and change. We’ve already looked at vacant dwellings, but what about those dwellings that are occupied? The household composition variable from the Census tells us how people live in dwellings, whether it’s a family household with one or two parents, a lone person household, or a group household. Household composition varies considerably across a region and has some relationship to age, but it also reflects the evolving nature of our suburbs and how they change as they mature. Let’s look at some examples and what factors .id’s forecasters consider.
Starting with the 2001 Census, the ABS added a new topic to the already extensive list of Census questions relating to cultural diversity. The question was about Ancestry. At .id we have just added this topic to profile.id sites for all our local government users, with 3 Census years available. This post looks at the main findings of the ancestry question and what it can do.
From the mid 1970s to 1990, kiwis would tune in every week to watch a popular TV show called “Top Town” in which contestants from all over the country, whether from the tiniest of towns or biggest cities, competed through many different obstacle challenges to determine New Zealand’s “Top Town”…for that week. Though we are still waiting for our .id obstacle course development plans to be approved, I thought I’d look at New Zealand’s “top towns” by going to our bread and butter – demographic information.
Under the cover of Melbourne Cup Day, Tuesday 6th November, the Australian Bureau of Statistics quietly released its proposals for the 2016 Census count. With the release of 2011 Census still fresh in everyone’s mind, now is the chance to have your say about what the 2016 Census will look like. There are some pretty radical changes in here, particularly to collection. The detailed document is available on the ABS Website, and you can also see what Fairfax has written here. The key points and our response are below. For more info, read on!
Census data in Australia usually comes in two parts – first release, the “easy” questions to process comes out about 10 months after Census date (in this case in June 2012), while second release is a few months later. On October 30th, the ABS launched the second release of the Australian Census data from the 2011 count.
Each year, around this time, the ABS releases data on births in Australia. As we blogged last year, not only is this interesting information, but it provides our forecast team with very up to date data to inform our assumptions. What are the highlights of this year’s release?
I’m probably showing my age by paraphrasing Noosha Fox’s hit song from the 1970s, but it’s what came to mind when I thought about how the number of bedrooms in Australian homes and how they’ve changed over the years. It is often said that Australia has the largest houses in the world and this is most often measured by looking at average floor size of new homes. These figures, from ABS Building Approvals data, indicate that over the period 2000-01 to 2008-09 the average floor area of new houses in Australia increased from 227.5m2 to 248.0m2. These larger homes fly in the face of demographic evidence indicating that smaller households, such as couples and lone persons, are becoming more and more common. So, as we’ve blogged before – why do we need all this space? This blog will have a look at an alternative measure of dwelling size – the number of bedrooms and how this has changed between the 2001 and 2011 Census.
This week Statistics New Zealand released subnational population estimates for the year to 30th June 2012. These releases provide estimates of the population at the regional and territorial authority (TA) level. The subnational population estimates are published annually whereas the national population estimates (ERPs) are published quarterly.
The provisional population estimate for New Zealand for the year ending 30 June 2012 is 4,433,100 – an increase of 27,900 or 0.6% from the previous year. The key facts and points of interest from this release will be explored in two blog articles. Firstly, we will look at Christchurch and the Canterbury region.
A while ago I wrote about internal migration patterns, noting that New Zealand has surprisingly high levels in internal mobility. Yet while New Zealand communities are constantly changing as a result of people moving around their districts and the country, community profiles are also becoming increasingly diverse due to immigration patterns. The concept of increasing diversity in New Zealand is hardly novel, however some of the trends underlying this change make interesting reading, particularly when looking back over the last fifty years.
How would you feel if you lost your car keys? Or your laptop? Pretty bad, right? But I bet you’d feel more uncomfortable if you lost your mobile phone. You’d feel suddenly disconnected from the world, unsure if someone is trying to contact you. You’d feel anxious because you can’t keep in touch, you can’t stay updated on world (or local) events, and you can’t check your Facebook.
During October we have continued to build our online training library, with three new videos now available to view.
Population wise, the Northern Territory is Australia’s smallest State or Territory, but it is also one that has distinctive characteristics due to its demographic composition and settlement pattern. Compared to the rest of Australia, it has a younger population, and this is influenced by the high proportion of Indigenous people. Traditionally, Darwin has been viewed as a frontier town – remote from the rest of Australia, or if you were a Commonwealth public servant, it was a place you moved to so that you got an extra week’s rec leave. But in the 21st century it is a small and thriving city. In .id’s first blog about Darwin, we’ll look at some of the characteristics of the population.
Vacant dwellings are an important component of the dwelling stock and they exist for a number of reasons. This includes turnover of tenancy, renovation, or perhaps the most well known – the holiday or second home. Parts of coastal Australia have very high dwelling vacancy rates, and we’ve already presented some of the 2011 Census data on this in a previous blog. Since the 1980s, the dwelling vacancy rate in some coastal areas has declined considerably, leading many commentators and forecasters to assume that retirees are moving into their former holiday homes. This is not an unreasonable assumption given the evidence from the migration data from past Censuses. However the 2006 Census showed a general reversal of the long term decline in vacancy rates (both the proportion and the number of dwellings), which caused a rethink this assumption. Have dwelling vacancy rates continued on their long term downward trend, or did 2006 represent an anomaly?
Demographic commentator Bernard Salt is credited with coining the phrase “Man drought”, to refer to the phenomenon of there being more females than males in particular age groups. The main age he refers to as a man drought is among people in their 30s and 40s, and he makes a lot of assumptions about the singles market in those age groups. I recently attended a presentation by Mr Salt, and he was using charts from the 2006 Census to discuss the man drought, among other issues. I wondered if this had changed since 2006.
Household size (that is, the average number of people counted in the Census in private dwellings in Australia) has been declining for the last 100 years. In 1911, the average household size for Australia was 4.5. By 2006, it had fallen to 2.53. There are various reasons for that, chief among them – the ageing population, people living in their own homes for longer before going into aged care, couples having less children and having them later in life, and a preference for living alone at all ages. But in 2011, something remarkable happened. Household size increased. Not in all areas and not by much, but it did increase, stablising or reversing some of these trends.
There is no doubt that Australians love the coast – we’re either on holiday there, socialising there and increasing numbers of us are living there. There is a strong sense in the community that coastal regions are recording some of the strongest population growth rates in the country. But are they? One of the more intriguing population trends in the last few years has been an apparent slow down in coastal population growth. .id prepares population forecasts for a large number of coastal LGAs in NSW and Victoria, and our team have had a strong sense that the level of growth is tapering off compared to the late 20th century. Let’s have a closer look at the most recent trends.
Local government in New Zealand is on the verge of reform … again. The recent Better Local Government proposals are poised to potentially transform the role and shape of councils. But change is not a new thing for Kiwi councils.
At .id, we advocate the use of our demographic and economic tools to make evidence based decisions. It’s important to remember that often, this evidence may fly in the face of established “myths” and commonly held views, many of which may have been around for some time.
A few years ago the ABS estimated the population of the Shire of Melton to be 100,000. Not 100,001 or 99,999 – exactly 100,000. Now of course it was a preliminary estimate which has since been changed, but it did get me thinking about population milestones. This blog will highlight some of the population milestones that have been reached in the last 5 years, but also look at the reverse situation – population millstones – where a population has fallen below a particular benchmark.
Today profile.id was re-released with the 2011 Census data analysed and presented in tables and charts, ready for you to incorporate into your planning and reports. Not only will you find the 2011 Census data, but an entirely new website complete with new topics, enhancements of existing topics, an improved user interface and modern design.
In my final blog on religion in the Census, I will focus on how particular religious affiliations are distributed around Australia. Religion is strongly associated with cultural background, and the breakdown of these religions can reveal how particular groups are moving within our cities, and also something about our history.
One of the most important indicators of the demand for services is the age structure of the population. Australia has an ageing population as evidenced by the increasing number and proportion of persons in the older age groups. But the delivery of many services is often predicated on the age structure of larger geographic regions (I’m often amazed at how some policy people in government consider that states are small geographic areas!), and this ignores the wide variations in the age structure than can occur even within local government areas. We recently had a guest blogger highlight the implications of the changing age structure in inner northern Melbourne and the impact on school services. This blog will show examples of age structures for smaller communities (SA2 level) and what this might mean for service delivery.
As well as people’s beliefs and affiliations, religions are also a measure of the cultural diversity in the nation. The fastest growing religious groups represent communities which have had a lot of migration in the last few years. So which are the fastest growing religions (and communities)?
South Australia is one of the slower growing states in Australia and this is also true of its capital, Adelaide. Once Australia’s fourth largest city, Adelaide dropped to fifth in 1984 when it was overtaken by fast growing Perth. Contemporary patterns of population growth and changes show some similarities to other cities, but also some distinctive characteristics. Now that the ABS have rebased their population estimates (refer Regional Population Growth, Australia), let’s have a closer look at what’s happening in Adelaide.
Though Christianity as a whole declined as a proportion of the population in 2011 (from 63.9% in 2006 to 61.1% in 2011), there were substantial differences between Christian groups. In general, the large mainstream faiths had stable or declining populations, while smaller Christian groups recorded increases.In this next article in my series on religion in the Australian Census, I look at the growth and decline in denominations of Christian religions, and the growth in a group which represents no denomination at all.
The tradition of census records is almost as old as recorded history itself. There is evidence that China compiled lists of inhabitants for tax and military purposes as early as 2300 BC and for similar reasons, ancient Babylonia and Egypt conducted a census of its citizens. Read the rest of this entry
Australia currently has 564 local councils, although with amalgamation on the agenda that number is likely to change.
But where was the first council, and when was it established?
On July 31st, the ABS released the first 2011-Census based population estimates for Local Government Areas and smaller areas. These are based on the 2011Census results which are adjusted for the under count and people overseas. The are considered to be more accurate than the Census count and are the official population. They also provide the first opportunity to revise all the population estimates made since the 2006 Census. It was clear from the 2011 Census that previous ABS estimates were too high, but we weren’t prepared for was the scale and geographic distribution of the reduction.
In late July, the ABS released what we demographers call the rebased population estimates (new Estimated Resident Population – ERP), including revisions of the annual estimates back to 2007. This data can be found in the publication Regional Population Growth (ABS Cat. no. 3218.0). Remember the 2011 population estimates released back in March? Well you may have heard that we’ve had some Census data released since then, the results of which mean that those estimates been superceded because of this rebasing process. And because the ABS overestimated the NSW population by over 90,000, they effectively had to make some pretty major adjustments. But though the numbers have changed, it hasn’t necessarily changed the overall trends and spatial patterns. Let’s have a closer look at what’s going on in Sydney.
From a demographic perspective, the very mention of Melbourne’s western suburbs conjures up images of rapid urban expansion and strong population growth. While this is certainly the case in growth area councils such as Wyndham and Melton, the reality is far more complex. Melbourne’s west is a diverse region encompassing both established residential areas and expanding greenfield suburbs. It is also home to some of the largest tracts of land devoted to manufacturing, transport and logistics industries. As part of .id’s process of regularly reviewing our population forecasts, we recently updated Hobsons Bay’s. What are the key findings, and how are the forecasts used by council staff?
In an earlier article, I looked at the rise of India, Nepal and Malaysian communities, with falls in older European migration, and spectacular increases in some of the smaller sources of immigrants, like Bhutan and Congo. But how is this increasing diversity distributed across Australia? In areas of high diversity, a large proportion of council services need to be devoted to helping recent migrants settle into Australian society, and areas with large increases may not yet have these services in place.
The old adage, not to discuss sex, politics or religion at a dinner party can be sound advice for avoiding arguments. While nothing about politics is collected in the Census, and sex is limited to “male” and “female”, religion is the question which seems to generate the most arguments around the time of the Census collection and data release. Discussions of faith and non-faith, Christian and Muslim, Protestant and Catholic, and Jedi Knights pop up every Census. Everyone seems to have an agenda, and an interest in the religion numbers.
With the array of data visualisation tools available these days, it may seem pretty easy to present Census data for small areas and draw conclusions from it. Since the release of data on June 21st, quite a few websites have popped up offering data for your area and analysis. Unfortunately it’s never quite as simple as it seems, and there are many pitfalls in presenting this data.
In one of our previous Census blogs, we drew attention to the fact that 60-64 year olds were the fastest growing five year age cohort between the 2006 and 2011 Censuses, due mainly to the baby boomer generation ageing over time. Population wise, NSW is Australia’s largest state and the growth of the 60-64 year cohort was similar to the national figures. Let’s have a closer look at some of the characteristics of this older cohort of baby boomers.
On July 31st, 2012, the ABS quietly released the official population estimates (Estimated Resident Population, or ERP) for small areas in Australia. These are the first official population figures available for areas below the State level based on the 2011 Census results. What do they tell us about our capital cities?
Check the link text to the .id resources on your council website. Does it still say it has the “new” data from the 2001 census? We’ve checked and lots do!
It was a pleasure to spend time in Wanganui recently at the Wanganui District Council-run TechEx (checkout their website www.techex.co.nz ). It was a three day IT expo focusing on the opportunities that their new ultra-fast broadband link could and would facilitate in the region. We attended and discovered just how many and varied users are accessing demographic information. Read the rest of this entry
It’s true – and apart from being a weird, interesting fact that you can use at your next quiz night, it indicates a much broader issue – an ageing population in a country with little immigration. As a result, Japan have a massive ageing population, with only natural childbirth to provide new additions to population. What other “paradigm shifts” are we seeing “for the first time” in 2012?
A few days before Census release, the Canberra Times had an article about possible changes for the next Census in 2016, from an interview with the Australian Statistician, Brian Pink. It contained some interesting possibilities, which, if implemented, would radically change the way we conduct Census in Australia.
At .id we like 25-29 year olds – not because that’s how old we are – but because they are possibly the most challenging age cohort to define demographically. Much as the media would have us believe, they don’t conform to a “Gen-Y” stereotype. They are incredibly diverse in terms of their living and employment arrangements, marital status and other demographic characteristics. One of our previous Census blogs showed that 25-29 year olds were one of the fastest growing age cohorts in the last intercensal period, recording nationwide growth of 18.6%. However, in Western Australia this age group grew by 34.6% over the last five years – almost twice the national average! These sorts of figures certainly warrant closer investigation – hence a closer look at 25-29 year olds in Western Australia.
Every Census, one of the topics that gathers the most interest is the changing mix of origins of Australia’s residents. Country of Birth is the easiest way to measure this. Australia is a multicultural society, and there is a lot of interest in how we’re changing. One oft-quoted statistic is that about a quarter of the population were born overseas. The interesting thing about that is that it doesn’t actually change much. About a quarter of the population have been born overseas right back to the 1800s. What does change is the makeup of those overseas origins.
While many people get excited about the population characteristics revealed by Census data, many forget that it is a Census of Population AND Housing. The type, structure and composition of dwellings and households also form an important part of the story around urban and regional change. The number and proportion of unoccupied, or vacant, dwellings has particular spatial characteristics that are important to local government planners. What does the 2011 Census reveal about vacant dwellings in Australia?
Perhaps because it is the smallest State, Tasmania is often neglected in population analyses yet there are some significant demographic trends occurring. Data from the 2011 Census shows that on the measure of median age, Tasmania ranks at the top of the list of all States and Territories with a median age of 40 years. This compares with 37 years for Australia as a whole. In 2011, a total of 10,240 persons were aged 85 years and over in Tasmania. Though this represents just 2.1% of the Tasmanian population, this age group has particular service needs relating to health and housing.
Much has been made in the media in recent years about a baby boom, baby bounce – whatever fancy name you want to give it – but there’s no doubting the evidence base. In the last ten years or so the total fertility rate (TFR) in Australia has climbed up from the lows recorded in the 1990s. What trends are evident in Victoria and what does it mean for children’s services?
How old are you? Some would consider this a personal question but there’s no getting away from the fact that our age is part of who we are. The age structure of a population is an important determinant as to services demanded, policies implemented and consumer behaviour. This blog will examine how Australia’s age structure has changed over the last three Censuses and what this might mean…
Well the Census Australia 2011 results are out now, and we will be blogging about our discoveries over the coming weeks, months and years. We’re working away now to get the 2011-based community profile and atlas sites online, and looking closely at the Census data. We’ve already noticed something significant about it. The results seem better this year.
Who responds to invitations for public consultation? Demographic analysis shows they are more likely to be male, older, Anglo Celtic, well-educated and to have a higher income. Missing are the submissions from the young, single parent families and ethnic minorities. This affects the agendas that are put forward and skews priorities. How do we achieve both better participation AND representation?
Well the Census results are out, so it’s finally time to check my 11 predictions made before the release of the results and see how well I did. Did I pick the trend right? How close did I get to the actual numbers? And what does it all mean?
This blog is published on behalf of the High School for Coburg advocacy group. It shows how population forecasts can support community groups advocating for services in their area to suit the changing population.
With the Census results released yesterday, lots of people, organisations and governments are looking up their local area’s population using the Quickstats feature on the ABS website. The headline number on Quickstats is people, and many viewers take this to mean the official population. Believe it or not, these are not the same thing and this is leading to some confusion.