New Zealand – losing their religion?

Posted by at 8:30 am on April 22, 2014

The 2013 Census sheds some light on the topic of religion in New Zealand. Usually one of the more controversial Census topics, religion always generates some interest. For the first time, Christians are a minority, and there has been a large increase in those reporting “No Religion”. Read on to look at how Kiwi’s religions are changing.

9 August pic

 

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Australia once boasted a flourishing motor vehicle industry. 

Over the years, in vast assembly plants across the country, countless thousands of Australians were employed building cars for Ford, Holden, Chrysler, Mitsubishi, Toyota, Nissan, Renault, VW and Leyland, among others…

In fact, long before GM-Holden was created in 1931, Australian engineering firms (including Holden’s Motor Body Builders in Adelaide) built bodies for imported car chassis such as Dodge,  Buick, Ford, Chevrolet, Studebaker, Overland, Hupmobile, Essex, Durant and Dort, and some European marques – from as far back as 1918.

But recently, we have all heard about the decline of the local manufacturing industry and the impending closure of the last vehicle assembly plants in Australia.

DSC_0022

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Look at any list of population density by country, and you’ll be sure to find Australia pretty close to the bottom.  Often called the “island continent”, Australia, as a country, has a population density of  just over 3 people per square km.  Mongolia, at 1.4 people per square km, is the least densely populated country.

In both cases – plenty of room. 

At the other end of the scale, Monaco is the most densely populated sovereign country, with over 20,000 people per square km, followed closely by Singapore at just over 18,000. 

Squeezy.

monaco density

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Posted in:
Urban Trends

Strong population growth in NSW and WA

Posted by at 8:38 am on April 11, 2014

In early April the ABS released their annual population data for small geographic areas.  The Estimated Resident Population (ERP) is the official measure of population and the intercensal updates give us an indication of how areas are growing and changing in the intercensal period.  We already know that Australia has continued to record strong growth in the years since 2011 – and Glenn’s recent blog shows the more recent national and State data, so what are the highlights of this current release of population data?

 

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The ABS has just released their quarterly update on population growth, Australian Demographic Statistics (3101.0). What does it show?

Australia online pic

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In recent blogs I have looked at the rising numbers and proportion of older people in the New Zealand population. Most Councils I work with are well aware that the type of houses built in the next decade will need to adjust to reflect changing market needs.

The market just needs to come to the same realisation.

Housing design will have to change too.

no-96 cartoon

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Vacant dwellings in rural areas

Posted by at 9:52 am on April 1, 2014

It might surprise some people that about one in ten dwellings in Australia are vacant on Census night.  What’s more, as we’ve blogged previously, there are distinct spatial patterns to vacant dwellings, with the highest proportions generally recorded in coastal areas with high amenity.  The reasons for this are well documented and are generally due to holiday or second home ownership.  However, there are inland parts of Australia where the proportion of vacant dwellings is quite high, and in some parts, increasing over time.  Some of these are in locations that are not considered high amenity, so what are the characteristics of these areas?  Let’s take a closer look.

vacant-dwellings Read the rest of this entry

Posted in:
Housing Trends

Location Quotient (LQ) is a term that we hear a lot when working in the area of economic development so we thought it would be useful to explain exactly what it is and how it can be calculated using our online economic profile economy.id .

An  LQ is a simple ratio used to determine the concentration or dominance of a particular industry in a region (i.e. Local Government area) in comparison to a larger reference or benchmark region (i.e. State or Nation).  It is traditionally used to compare an industries share of regional employment, however it can also be used for other economic measures, such as value add, imports or exports.

economic modelling pic

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Recently, I had the privilege of visiting Yass Valley, .id’s newest client. Yass Valley have subscribed to all four of .id’s online information tools, to elevate the role of decision making in their council, and provide a wealth of demographic and economic data to their community and council staff.  So just what is Yass Valley’s community like?

YassCourt_House

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Who works the most, men or women?

Posted by at 6:11 am on March 20, 2014

Thinking back to filling in the Census form in 2011, there were two questions on that form which generated the most interest in the general public, and the most discussion in the media. One was Religion, and the question of how many people would answer Jedi. The other was the question on domestic work, and the inevitable arguments among couples about who does the most.

Well the good news is that with the addition of gender to most profile.id topics, we can answer that question! It’s a bit of a minefield, but I’m going to attempt to look at not just domestic work, but which gender does the most work overall, to see if we can answer that question just using Census data. If you want to send hate mail, .id’s address is at the bottom…

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We recently had an enquiry from a client in Cardinia regarding the share of development in Melbourne in greenfield versus established areas. Scott and I have spent some time and we have crunched the numbers for your interest.

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Home alone

Posted by at 10:53 am on March 11, 2014

Over a coffee, a mate was recently mulling over her lot as a widowed woman close to retirement age. Apart from the amusing tales she had to tell of rejoining the dating game after a 40 year sabbatical, this 65ish lady talked about living alone and finding herself in a classic empty nest scenario, rattling around in a big family home.

My mate commented that it was a shame older people seemed less likely to consider flatting or some sort of communal cohabitation. She felt living alone was possibly an isolated, lonely existence, though when contemplating the ‘flatting’ alternatives she admitted that recent dating experiences had highlighted her intolerances.

household types

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UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon made this statement in the lead up to this year’s International Women’s Day, “Countries with more gender equality have better economic growth. Companies with more women leaders perform better. Peace agreements that include women are more durable. Parliaments with more women enact more legislation on key social issues such as health, education, anti-discrimination and child support. The evidence is clear: equality for women means progress for all.” What data sources are there available in measuring and monitoring the evidence in gender equality? … Read the rest of this entry

Some of you may have watched the recent mini-series about INXS, the Australian band who were one of the most successful of the late 80s and early 90s.  I was reminded of the music video for their 1984 song Burn for you, which naturally features the song itself, but interestingly, as the band tours north Queensland, demographic data is shown on the screen.  The opening shots show the view of Mackay as a plane is taking off.

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Posted in:
Fun Stuff

While the size of houses being built in Australia has, on average, been getting bigger, the average number of people living in them has traditionally been declining, and in more recent years has stabilised at an average of about 2.6 people per household.

Expanding houses in Australia

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How to

Kiwi migration to Australia slows. Why?

Posted by at 5:53 pm on February 21, 2014

Last week, Statistics New Zealand released their “International Travel and Migration” statistics for the December 2013 year.  Standout figure – a net GAIN (yes gain) of 22,468 migrants to New Zealand compared to a loss of 1,165 in 2012.

Why has this happened? New Zealand is a country which is still in economic and natural disaster recovery mode, right? Australia is the biggest factor in the Kiwi brain drain. Could the tides have turned?

Do Australians move to New Zealand?

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A major political furore is happening at the moment over the Federal Government’s refusal to bail out SPC-Ardmona to the tune of $25 million to keep it operating. The government is saying no more bailouts, but its own backbencher, the local member Sharman Stone has been trying to change their mind. What we actually need is some hard data.

Job opportunities and Employment

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.id is pleased to announce that the City of Perth has just joined the economy.id community.

One of the nation’s largest economies, the City of Perth sits at the epicentre of the mining and construction boom in Australia’s fastest growing capital city.

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For more than a generation the term ‘baby boomer’ has defined demographic analysis in Australia. However, while it is the most visible, it is not the only story playing out in the Australian population data, and the baby boomers are certainly not the only growth market Australian businesses need to be awake to.

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I was reading today about the latest Ford Kuga – full of all the latest technical wizardry such as adaptive cruise control, active city stop, lane guidance, blind spot indicators, reverse park assist, as well as ABS, stability control and all the other usual fruit.

“It almost drives itself” I thought.  But then I realised, it probably could drive itself, and will, with very little further development.

end of public transport

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Posted in:
Urban Trends

The end of urban infill?

Posted by at 1:50 pm on February 4, 2014

While much attention is focussed on the very rapid rates of growth on our urban fringes, the amount of infill development in established areas is often overlooked.  In some parts of our cities, infill development is the major driver of new dwelling growth, particularly where there is an absence of large strategic sites. But how much infill can our cities accommodate and why do rates vary across the metropolitan area?

bedrooms

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.id’s demographic and economic tools are easy to use, and web-based so they are available for anyone to explore, online.

But we realise that council officers often get asked for a hard-copy (or PDF) summary of some key information – maybe as a handout for a presentation, information for potential investors, or suburb and ward summaries.

If you are one of these council officers, take heart.  We have the perfect solution for you, and it’s already in profile.id, forecast.id and economy.id.

We have recently included a comprehensive, tailorable report writer. 

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How to

Australia’s most educated areas

Posted by at 9:05 am on January 29, 2014

Where are the most educated areas in Australia?

We list the top 30 “Braniac areas”…the local government areas that boast the highest percentage of tertiary educated residents in Australia…

In this article, we investigate the number of tertiary educated residents living in each local government area, and express that number as a percentage of total residents over the age of 15.

(Note: We don’t include under 15′s, as these residents are unlikely (!) to hold Bachelor or higher degrees –  Doogie Howser may have been the only exception…)

The “most educated” area in Australia is in NSW, and it is…

Education 300 x 200

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Check out the new look profile.id sites our New Zealand clients have welcomed  on-board this week ….. and (drumroll) the first instalment of the 2013 Census data has rolled through them overnight.

NZ census picB Read the rest of this entry

Did you make any New Year’s resolutions this year?

How are they going?  Have you broken any yet?

At .id, we are into the characteristics of populations, (and statistics in general) so we decided to take a look at the most popular resolutions….and what chances you have of actually achieving them….

Actually, they make a pretty good basis for your 2014 goals – personal and business…

New Year Resolutions

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Posted in:
Fun Stuff

The Age recently featured a really interesting article on Frankston. Those from Melbourne will know that Frankston has a reputation, like many outer suburban areas, of being uncultured, low socio-economic area, with the “bogan” tag being applied, and the butt of many jokes. This article, written by current and former mayors of the City, was pointing out that the negative stereotypes were not good for the area, which actually has a lot going for it. One interesting point they made, is that Frankston is quite diverse, with some very high, and low socio-economic areas.

Frankston Brush

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Who cares about Australian urban research?

Posted by at 9:20 am on January 20, 2014

That was a key question posed at a plenary session at the recent State of Australian Cities (SOAC) conference in Sydney.  My first thought was “I am!” and secondly “my colleagues are!”  In fact, .id’s interest in cities is one of the reasons why we’ve attended the last two conferences, and why we decided to submit a paper for the 2013 version.  As an organisation .id is part of the urban research community.   The nature of our work means we need to maintain and extend our knowledge about current urban research, and in my case, how it relates to population forecasting.  So what were the highlights of the 2013 SOAC Conference?

urban research

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There is probably no more contentious issue in Australia at the moment than asylum seekers. We have avoided tackling it on .id’s blog before, simply because it is so controversial, and fraught with political ideology. However, the Department of Immigration and Citizenship each year put out a detailed summary of asylum seekers, which presents just the facts, and this series of articles will attempt to look at exactly what this tells us about asylum seekers and Australia’s migration.

multicultural society

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Population increase is increasing again

Posted by at 7:30 am on January 7, 2014

The ABS has just released the financial year 2012-13 population growth figures and they show that the nation continues to grow at an increasing rate. The last 7 years have all shown growth at above the long-term trend, but after some moderate declines in the rate of growth during the 2009-10 and 2010-11 financial years, 2012 and 2013 have shown an increasing trend once more. Australia’s population in June 2013 was 23,130,900 and grew by 407,000 people in the previous 12 months, only just short of the record 2008 and 2009 figures.

population increase

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When Billy Joel sung about being “in a New York state of mind” he talked of his identity and about going back to his roots.  New Yorkers, there are over eight million of them, have a very strong identity.

On the other side of the world New Zealand is not so different. But we are even younger, and smaller – just  four million of us – and perhaps it is because we have had so few generations in which to develop that we struggle with the changing nature of our identity. Read the rest of this entry

Posted in:
New Zealand

What effect would it have on your economy and your workforce if your area was able to attract a major new employer? What would be the ongoing job losses if a company were to close down in your area, not just in the company itself but in associated industries. Up to now, economy.id has been great at telling you about your economy in the past, how it has changed and how it compares to the region, and now .id are pleased to launch the Impact Assessment Model (IAM) for all our economy.id subscribers, which can answer just such questions as these.

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Death and life expectancy

Posted by at 7:00 am on December 9, 2013

Around this time each year, the ABS releases its detailed data on births and deaths in Australia.  As we’ve blogged previously, this data is critical for forecasting as it provides the evidence base for small geographic areas.  It might seem a bit macabre, but there are a number of ways you can analyse data about deaths.  This blog will look at some of the key numbers from the Deaths Australia release, and then look at how we treat this data in our population forecasts.

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Australia’s youngest places

Posted by at 7:30 am on December 3, 2013

In the previous blog I looked at where the oldest median ages were in Australia. This article looks at the most youthful areas.

youngestplaces

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How long do I have to live?

Posted by at 8:00 am on November 29, 2013

Do you want to know how long you’ve got left? Ask a statistician!

Every year the ABS publishes Deaths Australia (3302.0), which gives all the grizzly details of how many people have died in the last year and what the death rates are. Actually Causes of Death (3303.0) is a much more macabre read if you are in the mood for that….But at the same time as the deaths publication, they publish a lesser known table, known as Life Tables, Australia. And these are the tables that tell you how just how long you can expect to survive…

longandhappylife

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Here at .id we deal with a huge quantity of numbers, so its hard for us to imagine a society where numbers don’t exist. But there is one …

Piraha-language

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Posted in:
Fun Stuff

In the construction industry, the Canterbury rebuild and Auckland’s housing shortage have been dominating media stories for some time. Much is made of Stats NZ’s monthly building consent figures.  Building Consents statistics are used in both the public and private sectors as a leading indicator of the general level of residential development, economic activity, employment and investment.

NZ demographic focus

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Posted in:
New Zealand

All areas need some capacity for industry to grow and change, but the focus of areas can be quite different. Many places have a particular industry that they are known for, or specialise in, and which may be their main export, while they may also have a range of industries which mainly support the local population. An area which is predominantly a dormitory suburb may only have those locally focused service industries. economy.id can help you understand which of your industries provide the vital export dollars for your economy, and which ones to try to develop in the future.

exportquality

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How did the population forecasters of last century think that Australia’s population would change and grow?

Australian population growth

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People love extremes – particularly in the statistical sense. I’m often getting asked “What’s the oldest/youngest/highest income/lowest income/most educated/least educated/largest families/smallest families…place in Australia?”. .id’s profiles are fantastic at looking at the characteristics of an area against a wider benchmark, but everyone also wants to know where their area sits in the continuum of the nation.

So this is the start of a series of short articles looking at the extremes of characteristics in Australia. To start with – age!

Older Baby Boomers

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Australia’s sporting teams may not be doing too well internationally at the moment, but in terms of births data we are breaking all sorts of records.  Two weeks ago the ABS quietly released its annual publication on births in Australia.  As I’ve blogged previously, it’s important for .id’s forecast team because it gives us up to date data regarding numbers of births for each council, as well as fertility rates.  What are some of the highlights from this year’s release? Read the rest of this entry

Sunshine Coast Council recently released its Economic Development Strategy, and to keep track of the progress towards their economic development goals they selected economy.id, the online economic profile from .id.

Conducted in conjunction with the University of the Sunshine Coast, the selection process included a detailed analysis of competing products and services.  Economy.id was ultimately chosen for its ease of use, and the relevance and accuracy of the NIEIR modelled data.

economic modelling pic

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Data from the 2013 Census for New Zealand is starting to roll out of Stats NZ (the kiwi ABS). This blog is for our Australian readers with an interest in New Zealand. It’s a quick update of recently released information on usual resident population (URP) counts.

NZ demographic focus

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The current bushfire situation in eastern NSW is horrendous, and we wish the affected communities all the best. Serious fires happen every few years in Australia. Tasmania had major fires in January this year, while Victoria’s Black Saturday fires in 2009 were the most devastating in Australian history for loss of life. The current fires in NSW are unusual in that they are happening so early in the season, because it has been so dry there over the late winter/spring period.

There are many discussions to be had about living in fire-prone areas of Australia (which is most of the populated areas around the fringes of our cities), but I thought it would be interesting from a demographic perspective to look at what types of people and households live in the most fire prone areas.

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It seems that 30-odd years ago, the monorail was being touted as the solution to urban transport, especially in cities.

Monorails popped up around the globe, including Sydney and the Gold Coast. One of the benefits of the monorail was its ability to be built around existing infrastructure, by constructing the rail above existing streets, but it was hampered by a lack of passenger capacity.

monorail

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Posted in:
Fun Stuff

South East Queensland: The 200 kilometre city

Posted by at 8:00 am on October 15, 2013

On a recent trip to Queensland I was lucky enough to be flying on a clear day, which allows demographic nerds like myself to get a birdseye view of the towns, cities and countryside below.  I’m a  big fan of the window seat simply so that I can try to pick out the various features 35,000 feet below  - I figure I need something to do to wile away the time!  Flying to the Sunshine Coast from Melbourne, you tend to go straight over the Gold Coast and out to sea, before heading back to the coast just north of Maroochydore where the Sunshine Coast airport is located.  This meant I got a great view of the urban conglomerate referred to as South East Queensland (SEQ) – that stretch of coastline from the NSW-Queensland border heading north to include Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast.  It’s been referred to as the 200 kilometre city and is often cited as one of the fastest growing regions in the country.  Given the recent release of the revised/recast/revamped/recalibrated ERPs by the ABS, let’s have a look at the most recent population trends in this part of Australia.

200km city
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Birth rates, death rates, crime rates, home ownership rates, you get the idea, rates are everywhere! In this blog I explore the calculation of crime rates … and the impact of the revisions of the official population count on these …

crime rates

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Posted in:
Urban Trends

Economy.id has now been completely redeveloped with a raft of new functions and features.

Each section of economy.id provides information in data tables and graphs with detailed explanations and data sources.

Data is presented in context, using both time series and benchmarks to other areas to highlight growth trends or declining characteristics and to clearly pinpoint areas of relative advantage.

All tables are exportable to Excel in .csv format and all charts are exportable directly to Word as a .jpg image.

Some functions, such as journey to work by industry and work destination profiles use interactive maps as well as tables to convey the information most clearly.

economy_button

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Where will the children play?

Posted by at 8:00 am on October 8, 2013

I recently ran a training session at the City of Bankstown, in Sydney’s south-west. This is a fascinating area, demographically. It is one of the most culturally diverse areas in Australia, with 55% of the population speaking a language other than English at home (particularly Arabic and Vietnamese), and some of the lowest socio-economic areas in Sydney. It is also a tale of two cities, bisected by the M5, with well off areas of predominantly Australian-born population to the south, and mainly overseas-born lower income households in the north. Bankstown are keen users of atlas.id to look at the spatial differences within the LGA.

Where will the children play?

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We’ve all read about it. A glut/oversupply/huge peak of apartments coming through in Melbourne. Is it happening? Where is it happening?

Melbourne innercity development

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Posted in:
Housing Trends

There is a theory that, when selecting a man as a long term relationship proposition, women are more likely to look for status and income, and men are more likely to go for looks and youth. While certainly controversial, this theory is based on sound evolutionary principles, and its proponents will often point to 25 year old models marrying geriatric millionaires as proof in the extreme cases. But the plural of anecdote is not evidence, and in the age of gender equality, women in the workforce being the norm, and in many cases earning more than their partners, is there still any truth to it? What does the Census data say?

marriagecensus

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In the debate about future urban growth, land use zoning has an important role as a policy tool that can assist in achieving desirable outcomes; however, zoning should be much more flexible and less prescriptive. Currently, in our growth areas, land zoning encourages highly segregated land uses with very homogenous neighbourhoods, providing limited opportunity to diversify residential stock in the future. The prescriptive nature of many of these zones together with the difficulty involved in changing an area’s zoning seems designed to preserve the current urban environment in perpetuity, rather than recognising that areas will be required to change and adapt if they are to remain desirable places to live in the future.

BarrierRichard

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Posted in:
Urban Trends

They say Australia was built on the sheep’s back, but it’s well known that Agriculture has been a declining sector of the economy for quite a while. At least as far as employment is concerned. In terms of the value of what’s produced, it’s more productive than ever. Economy.id now lets you explore the importance of agriculture, and the value of different commodities produced in your area.

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Adelaidians- do you remember riding the Ferris Wheel on top of Cox-Foys – in Rundle Street?  (before Rundle Mall!)

Or shopping at Moore’s Department Store in  Victoria square – which is now the location of the Law Courts?

Or Melburnians – do you remember the famous Southern Cross hotel, or the CRA high rise building – which was quite remarkable for its short 26 year lifespan?

The National Film and Sound Archive has some interesting short historical films that feature Australia’s Cities, and they are now available on You Tube.

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Posted in:
Fun Stuff

Recently, we have added the “industry focus” section to economy.id. This highlights some extra datasets on specific industries which aren’t well represented in the rest of the site. They are not turned on by default, but are included where that industry is an important contributor to the economy of the area. The most recent addition to this section is the tourism module, which looks at the value and contribution of tourism and hospitality in your area, and the characteristics of workers in the industry.

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How smart is Whanganui?

Posted by at 8:12 am on September 16, 2013

In October 2012, Whanganui was named New Zealand’s first Smart21 Intelligent Community. Three Australian communities – Ballarat and Whittlesea in Victoria, and Prospect in South Australia were also in the top 21.  Taichung City in Taiwan was named Intelligent Community of the Year in June 2013. So what has Whanganui, a district of around 40,000 people got in common with Taichung, a city with a population of 2.7 million? Possibly it’s an aspiration they share towards a more prosperous and inclusive future.

whanganui

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New Zealand

So you think you know all about Queensland?

Posted by at 8:00 am on September 10, 2013

Well think again.  In my myth busting way, here’s some things you may or may not know about Queensland’s population.


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Last year I wrote a blog on age pyramids, and how significantly they can differ depending on the region and its role and function.  This blog will take a similar tone, but look specifically at Queensland.  The so-called Sunshine State is often perceived as having an elderly population, presumably based on its popularity as a retirement destination over several decades.  However Queensland is one of Australia’s youngest states – it’s median age in 2012 was 36.6 years – well below Tasmania’s 40.8 years.  Trends such as retirement migration have quite specific local outcomes and Queensland is a demographically diverse state.  Using data primarily from the 1991, 2001 and 2011 Censuses, let’s have a look at some of these trends as they play out in different regions.

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When will the age pension be abolished?

Posted by at 8:00 am on September 3, 2013

Esther’s recent blog on dependency ratios got me thinking. We are moving towards a time when we will have far more non-working population as a proportion than ever before, particularly as the baby boomers age into their retirement years. This has been known for some time, and was the impetus behind the introduction of compulsory superannuation in the 1980s, so people would fund their own retirement and not be a drain on taxes in their older  years. I distinctly remember, going through university in the early 1990s, being told “There won’t be a pension by the time you reach retirement age, so you’d better save as much money as you can now”. But we’re now 20 years on, and there seems to be no sign of the age pension being removed. Would any government really commit the political suicide of dropping or significantly winding back social security for the aged? Can demographics provide the answer?

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Do you think your council is too small for a community profile? When .id first put profile.id together, we thought it would be useful for large metropolitan councils to look at differences between suburbs. It still is very useful for these councils, but more and more we’ve seen it taken up by smaller regional councils, who take advantage of  the ease of finding information on their populations and comparing over time on consistent geographic boundaries, to make evidence based decisions and advocate for their communities.

And we are pleased to announce that we have just added our smallest community profile, Flinders Council, in the Furneaux Island group, Tasmania – population 802.

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Measuring employment series – the importance of FTE

Posted by at 8:00 am on August 20, 2013

Guest blog by Dr Peter Brain, Executive Director of National Economics. (National Institute of Economic and Industry Research)

National Economics is the organisation that provides the modelled economic data for the council-level economy.id online economic profiles.

Much of the information produced about our working population (and reported in the media) relates to employment and unemployment rates.

But as the way in which we work changes, these measures are becoming less relevant and in fact in many cases, “mask” the real underlying story…

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Local food markets in Japan – what a great system

Posted by at 8:00 am on August 15, 2013

While we study populations, at .id we’re interested in all aspects of community life and how different communities organise certain aspects of their lives.  While in Japan I’ve been watching the local food system, it’s a different system to our fresh food markets. Rather than the Australian system of large food producers, wholesale markets then retailers buying and selling to the public, the Japanese fresh food system is much more localized.

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Posted in:
Urban Trends

A city in flux…Christchurch

Posted by at 8:00 am on August 13, 2013

We recently had an .id office social trip to the flicks to see Human Scale, a documentary about cities and civic design which “questions our assumptions about modernity, exploring what happens when we put people into the center of our equations”. The doco featured five cities, including my home town, Christchurch, New Zealand. It was sad to be reminded of the turmoil following the earthquakes, and prompted me to look into the data available about how the population has changed since that time…

 

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Recently we published a blog about population change in Melbourne for the twelve months ended June 2012 – this time it’s Sydney’s turn.  As we’ve blogged previously, Sydney and Melbourne have very different patterns of growth.  Does this still hold true in 2012?

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Fly-in/Fly-out workers

Posted by at 8:00 am on August 6, 2013

The phenomenon of the fly-in/fly-out worker has been a growing trend in Australia for the lasts 10 years or so. With the massive expansion of mining in many remote areas, Australians have shown a preference not to live in the areas that the mining is actually happening, but to live in metropolitan areas and fly in for a shift lasting 1-2 weeks, then fly home again at the end. The building industry in these areas has struggled to build enough houses for those who do want to live there, so large temporary accommodation centres have sprung up to house the workers who don’t live there permanently, but maintain their home and family somewhere else. But how big is this phenomenon? Fortunately Census can shed some light, and economy.id and profile.id give plenty of info on this.

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The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has just released its latest population summary for Australian States and Territories in their publication Australian Demographic Statistics (Cat No 3101.0) for the December Quarter 2012. This is an important release as it contains the final estimates of population for States and Territories for June 30 2011, as well as the most up to date information on population change.

The figures for June 30 2011 are most notable. They are the ‘final-say’ for 2011 in this census cycle and they play a crucial role in our population forecasting program as they form the final base data for 2011.

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A look at high density housing in Sydney

Posted by at 8:00 am on July 29, 2013

One of the more visual aspects of urban and regional change in recent years has been the growth in construction of high rise apartments in the inner suburbs of Australian cities, particularly the CBD and surrounds.  This phenomenon is most apparent in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth, where the city skylines have been altered drastically in the last two decades.  Many people, particularly young professional adults and overseas students, are choosing these kinds of dwellings by choice – they offer advantages of location with excellent proximity to jobs, education and services.  Though all state capital cities have metropolitan planning strategies which emphasise the need to contain urban sprawl and densify existing suburbs, it is Sydney that has embraced this concept on a greater scale and in different ways to other state capitals.

This blog uses housing and dwelling data from the 2011 Census to look at some of the issues.

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Check the data notes!

Posted by at 8:00 am on July 25, 2013

I know it’s boring, but some of the most useful information in the .id demographic tools is hidden away in a link at the bottom of each table. In profile.id, as well as having the exact wording of the Census question at the top right of each page, and beneath, the total population to which it refers, we include comprehensive data notes with each topic, to help you understand how to use it, where it comes from and how it’s put together.

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Posted in:
How to

I recently met with a group of local government clients in NSW and we were discussing how to measure the success of their economic development activity by tracking change in the number of local jobs each year.

When I made the statement that the census undercounts local (LGA) employment by up to 20 percent, they were shocked. “Was I sure about this?” They asked. “Does everyone know about this? What are we doing to make sure people in economic development know?”

Let me be clear, the census is an incredible source of knowledge about local communities. In most cases it is a very robust and reliable source of information. And five yearly updates are frequent enough for most analysis. But it does have its limitations. Read the rest of this entry

From Copenhagen to the Chathams?

Posted by at 8:00 am on July 18, 2013

The .id gang went to the movies recently to check out Andreas Dalsgaard’s documentary The Human Scale, which looked at the work of Jan Gehl and his team of architects across ten cities including Copenhagen, New York, Dhaka and Melbourne and Christchurch.

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New Zealand

Earlier this year the ABS released their 2012 population estimates for local government areas across Australia (Regional Population Growth, ABS Cat. no. 3218.0).  This gives us the first glimpse into post 2011 Census population trends for smaller geographic levels.  Australia continues to record high volumes of population growth, but what is happening locally?  This blog will examine population growth trends in the Melbourne metropolitan area over the period 2011-12.

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Who will be paying for your latte (or more likely, meals on wheels!) in your twilight years?

While I don’t have a crystal ball to tell you whether your super will be sufficient, understanding dependency ratios can give you an insight into the potential pressures the economy may face…

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Are more people moving to Australia?

Posted by at 7:30 am on July 9, 2013

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has just released its latest population summary for Australian States and Territories in their publication Australian Demographic Statistics (Cat No 3101.0) for the December Quarter 2012.

Let’s take a look at the latest migration data:

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Does Australia need a smaller car?

Posted by at 8:00 am on July 4, 2013

One of our staff members, Andrew, is currently on Vacation in Japan, and has sent this thought provoking blog…

I’m now in Japan, spending time with my family.  I’m lucky enough to have the use of a spare car while here – it’s a “kei car” and with 2 adults and 2 kids we thought it may be a bit small.

 

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Posted in:
Urban Trends

On a recent trip to South Australia with my colleague and frequent blog contributor, Simone, I was fortunate enough to engage in two client meetings.  The first was to “kick off” a forecast review for Adelaide City Council, and the second to present draft forecast numbers and assumptions to the District Council of Mount Barker. As we were flying into South Australia (for my first time), I could clearly see the connectivity of places from the coast and Noarlunga (City of Onkaparinga) via the Southern Expressway to Marion and northwards to Greater Adelaide.

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The Australian dollar may be sinking like a stone, but the population continues to increase, with increased population growth, according to the latest demographic statistics from the ABS.  We take a closer look at some interesting findings…

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The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has just released its latest population summary for Australian States and Territories in their publication Australian Demographic Statistics (Cat No 3101.0) for the December Quarter 2012.

This is an important release as it contains the final estimates of population for States and Territories for June 30 2011, as well as the most up to date information on population change.

We’ll take a take a look at some of the interesting trends in this data in upcoming blogs – this first of which is growth in Perth vs Brisbane, which appears below:

Perth versus Brisbane

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A comprehensive and wide-ranging update is underway for economy.id – and the first stages are now being made available to all profile.id clients to trial for the next twelve months.

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Posted in:
Local government

‘Reform’ is one of the favourite words of the Australian Government lexicon. Reform seems to come in many guises and in the case of Local Government, reform means make ‘em bigger and better.  Of course, one of the more interesting things about local government reform (or more correctly amalgamation) is the fact that there is little concern as to whether local government remains ‘local’ in nature. This is an interesting debate in the context of the proposal to recognise local government in the Australian Constitution.

 

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Posted in:
Local government

Who works harder, Kiwis or Aussies?

Posted by at 8:00 am on June 19, 2013

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.

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New Zealand

Does the weather affect migration?

Posted by at 8:00 am on June 13, 2013

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?

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Posted in:
Fun Stuff

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.

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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.

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How to

Who is moving out of coastal areas?

Posted by at 8:00 am on May 24, 2013

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.

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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?

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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?

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Posted in:
Fun Stuff

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?

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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.

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Posted in:
Fun Stuff

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.

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Posted in:
New Zealand

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?

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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.

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Posted in:
Fun Stuff

.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.

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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.

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Posted in:
Fun Stuff

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.

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Posted in:
New Zealand

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?

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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?

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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.

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Posted in:
Housing Trends