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1376.0 - Local Government and ABS, 2012  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 16/03/2012   
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Image: Regional Population Estimates REGIONAL POPULATION ESTIMATES

Added 31/10/2012
Annual Estimated Resident Population data
Regional internal migration estimates released


The annual Estimated Resident Population (ERP) data for regions has been released in Regional Population Growth, Australia, 2011 (cat. no. 3218.0) and Population by Age and Sex, Regions of Australia, 2011 (cat. no. 3235.0). These releases include final estimates for 2001 to 2006 and preliminary rebased estimates for 2007 to 2011, based on results of the 2011 Census of Population and Housing. Population estimates based on the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) are included for the last time while estimates based on the Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) are released for the first time. From 30 June 2012, sub-state population estimates will be prepared and released for ASGS regions only, including for Local Government Areas.

Rebased ERP and Intercensal error

The preliminary rebasing process has resulted in Australia's estimated resident population for the period September 2006 to June 2011 being revised down significantly, which in turn has effected estimates of population growth. The September 2012 edition of Australian Demographic Statistics (cat. no. 3101.0) includes advice on how to use the data in Feature Article 4: Advice on the Use of 2011 Preliminary Rebased ERP, and in the Technical Note: The Impact of Improvements to the 2011 PES on Measuring Population Growth (2006-2011).

The national intercensal error for the 2006-2011 period is the highest on record and the ABS is formulating an appropriate treatment for this in the final rebasing process. The September 2012 release of Australian Demographic Statistics also includes a short discussion paper highlighting the current position on the issue in Feature Article 3: Proposed ABS Treatment of Intercensal Error for 2006-2011. The ABS treatment will be finalised in late 2012 with further details to be released in Australian Demographic Statistics on 18 December 2012. Feedback on the proposed treatment is encouraged by the ABS, please contact Bjorn Jarvis on (02) 6252 6411, Phil Browning on (02) 6252 6639, or email Final rebased regional ERP is planned for release in August 2013.


Migration, Australia, 2010-11 (cat. no. 3412.0) was released on 15 August 2012 and includes, for the first time, a series of annual experimental estimates of regional internal migration. Data cubes attached to this product provide summaries of this experimental data for years ending 30 June 2007 to 2011, based on the 2011 edition of the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC).

There are four new regional internal migration data cubes that allow for exploring the trends within the past five years:

  • SLA/SSD/SD-level geography, arrivals/departures/net movers (table 7) - e.g. the detailed small area level can show just how many people move in to and out of Adelaide city each year and if more move in to or out of regional centres.
  • SD/SSDs with capital cities, by age group and sex (table 8) - e.g. the age and sex characteristics can show which areas young people are moving out of and areas oldies are moving in to.
  • inter-SD/SSD data (table 9) - e.g. the source and destination aspects can show where all the new Gold Coast residents are arriving from and where the drought-affected former Far West (NSW) people are moving to.
  • part of state, single year of age (table 10) - e.g. the detailed age breakdown can show the ages that more people move in to and out of our capital cities.

For further information see paragraphs 59-61 of the Explanatory Notes.
Added 16/3/2012
The 2010-11 issue of ABS publication Regional Population Growth, Australia (cat. no. 3218.0) will be released on 30 March 2012. This product will contain the first release of 30 June 2011 population estimates for regions below the state and territory level, based on Statistical Local Areas (SLAs), and including Local Government Areas (LGAs).

The March 2012 release of Regional Population Growth, Australia will be the last product to include population estimates updated from the 2006 Census of Population and Housing. The next scheduled release of this product is 31 July 2012, which will contain population estimates based on the 2011 Census.

One month later, on 31 August 2012, the breakdowns of these estimates by age and sex will be released. These estimates will be based on results of the 2011 Census, and will be released in Population by Age and Sex, Regions of Australia (cat. no. 3235.0).

The March 2012 release of Regional Population Growth, Australia will also be the last time that population estimates based primarily on the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) are released. The ASGC is the old geographical boundary set for which ABS releases spatial statistics. The base spatial unit of the ASGC is the SLA, for which population estimates are prepared and made freely available on the ABS website. Population estimates for LGAs are built up from SLA-level estimates.

Future releases of this product will be based on the Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS), which is the new base for understanding and interpreting the geographic context of ABS statistics, including regional population estimates. The base spatial unit of the ASGS for which regional population estimates will be prepared and released is the Statistical Area 2 (SA2) level. SA2s do not all align with LGAs. However, as LGA population estimates are regarded as a crucial ABS output, they will continue to be prepared annually and made freely available on the ABS website. For more information about the ASGS refer to Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS): Volume 1 (cat. no. 1270.0.55.001).

The boundaries on which these LGA population estimates will be prepared will be updated each year, in line with official gazetted boundaries for all LGAs.

More information about the future of population estimates is contained in Information Paper Population Estimates under Australia's New Statistical Geography (cat. no. 3219.0.55.001). This paper also provides a broad overview of the ASGS and outlines the methodology that will be used to prepare population estimates under the ASGS. It also includes information about the historical time-series of population estimates that will be prepared. Throughout November 2011 to March 2012 the ABS conducted a series of information sessions across the country to further explain these upcoming changes to population estimates under the new geography.

For further information about ABS regional population estimates email

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