Census Crystal ball gazing – Glenn’s predictions for the 2011 results
Well the Census has been done, and we’ve had a lot of interest in why we’re excited about the 2011 Census and what it might show.
So here are some predictions, not official .id forecasts, but just my own opinions, of what the results of the recent 2011 Census will show. I will revisit them when the data is released and see how accurate or completely wrong I was!
Note again that these are NOT official .id forecasts in any way, but represent my opinions based on talking to people across the country in the course of running .id training, and various data analyses I have done.
My previous article “Why are we excited about the Census?” went through a list of interesting trends we are watching to come out of the next Census. A few people have tried to pin me down on a number or direction of change on some of these. While this is not a scientific process, and doesn’t relate to our population forecasts, looking at the interim data and talking to people interested in demographics all around the country does give me a “gut feel” for these things.
1. EARLIER RELEASE DATE – I predict that the ABS will release the first data from the 2011 Census on Wednesday June 20th, 2012. Last Census it was the 27th of June 2007 and they always like to improve their processing time, even slightly, every Census!
2. MORE AUSSIES OVERSEAS – I predict that Australia’s total Census count will be 21,605,452- might as well pick a number that looks exact. This will lead to a total Estimated Resident Population of 22,500,000 or so, but I’m predicting a greater difference than previous Censuses, due mainly to more people being overseas on the night.
3. FASTEST GROWING STATE – Western Australia will have the largest percentage growth from 2006-2011 Census, but Victoria will have the largest numerical growth in the Census count, pipping NSW at the post.
4. BOOMING BABIES – The number of people aged 0-4, which declined from 1991 to 2001, and then increased by 16,000 from 2001-2006 will increase by a much larger amount, around 100,000 from 2006-2011. This is due to the significantly increased birth rate since 2006, and is supported by .idforecast numbers for 2011.
5. CHANGING MIGRANT INTAKE – Burma, Iran, Nepal and Zimbabwe will be the birthplace countries with the largest percentage increase in Australia’s population, with large humanitarian intakes, but in raw number terms, India will show the largest increase, followed by China, mostly skilled and family reunion migration.
6. MORE KIDS AT HOME – More children will be staying at home longer (sorry!) I predict that 40% of those aged 20-29 will be still living at home with one or more parents (32% in 2006), while for 25-29 year olds it will increase from 18% to 25% still living with parents.
7. CHANGING HOME OWNERSHIP – Due to housing affordability pressures, there will be an INCREASE in full home ownership (those who bought some time ago and have paid off their mortgage, from 32.6% to about 35%) and an INCREASE in renters (from 27.2% to about 30% ). There will be a corresponding DECREASE in those households with a mortgage, from 32.2% to about 29%.
8. LESS HOUSING AFFORDABILITY – This housing affordability issue will impact significantly on those in their 30s, where there will be an increase in the proportion of renters from 30.5% in 2006 to about 38% in 2011.
9. MORE SAME SEX COUPLES – Due to a change in the definition and increased publicity, the number of same sex couples will increase from just under 25,000 in 2006 to over 50,000 in 2011, but still represent only about 1% of all couples.
10. BIGGER HOUSEHOLDS – With more children staying at home for longer, a higher birthrate and declining housing affordability, we will see an increase in the average household size from 2.56 people per household in 2006 to 2.65 people per household in 2011, the first increase in 6 Censuses.
Unlike most psychics, I will revisit these predictions after June next year, to see how close to or far from the mark I was. Stay tuned!
In the meantime, our blog will continue to find interesting information from the 2006 Census and our own analyses, until the 2011 results are released.
And don’t forget that .id’s population forecasts are based on sound principles of demographic analysis, and the suburb life cycle. While some of the crystal ball gazing here is just educated guesses, forecasts use numerical modelling and known facts about development, births, deaths and migration to look at the most likely outcome for population in the next 25 years. They provide information on age structure, household types, population and households, and are a sound resource for basing your future policies.
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