1 This product contains estimates of the resident population of Statistical Local Areas (SLAs) and Local Government Areas (LGAs) of Australia at 30 June 2006, by age and sex.
2 To meet the conflicting demands for accuracy and timeliness there are several versions of sub-state/territory population estimates by age and sex. Preliminary estimates are normally available twelve months after the reference date, revised estimates the following year and rebased and final estimates after the following census. The estimates in this product are preliminary for 2006, based on results of the 2006 Census of Population and Housing, and are referred to as 'preliminary rebased'. Preliminary rebased estimates for June 2002 to 2005 will be released in October 2007. The final 2006 Census-based SLA and LGA population estimates for June 2002 through to June 2006 are intended to be released in August 2008.
ESTIMATED RESIDENT POPULATION - AUSTRALIA
3 Estimated resident populations (ERPs) are official estimates of the Australian population, which link people to a place of usual residence within Australia. Usual residence is that place where each person has lived or intends to live for six months or more from the reference date for data collection.
4 Estimates of the resident population are based on census counts by place of usual residence (excluding overseas visitors in Australia), with an allowance for net census undercount, to which are added the number of Australian residents estimated to have been temporarily overseas at the time of the census.
5 Population estimates for Australia and the states and territories are updated by adding to the estimated population at the beginning of each period the components of natural increase (births minus deaths, on a usual residence basis) and net overseas migration. For the states and territories, account is also taken of estimated interstate movements involving a change of usual residence.
6 After each census, estimates for the preceding intercensal period are finalised by incorporating an additional adjustment (intercensal discrepancy) to ensure that the difference between the ERPs at the two respective census dates agrees with the total intercensal change.
7 A more detailed explanation of the concept of ERP, as adopted by the ABS for official population estimates, is contained in Demographic Estimates and Projections: Concepts, Sources and Methods (cat. no. 3228.0), ABS web site <www.abs.gov.au>.
ESTIMATION OF SLA-BASED POPULATIONS
8 In Australia, the SLA is the base spatial unit used to collect and disseminate statistics other than those collected from the Population Censuses. In non-census years, the SLA is the smallest unit defined in the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC). In aggregate, SLAs cover the whole of Australia without gaps or overlaps. Populations for SLAs are estimated as at 30 June each year. Population estimates for LGAs and other regions are built up from SLA-level estimates.
9 The ERP as at census date for each SLA by age and sex is calculated based on usual residence census counts, excluding overseas visitors in Australia, with an allowance for net census undercount and the number of residents temporarily overseas (RTOs) at the census date. The estimates of net undercount are apportioned to SLAs based on age, sex, Indigenous status, state and territory, and (aside from the ACT) capital city/balance of state. The number of RTOs on census night is estimated based on coding addresses of residence to SLA from a sample of incoming passenger cards. For some areas, demographic adjustments are made. As the census is not held on 30 June (the 2006 Census was held on 8 August), further adjustments taking into account births, deaths and migration for the intervening period are made to obtain the ERP at 30 June. A confidentialisation procedure is then applied to avoid the release of populated cells of less than three people while maintaining closeness to the original ERP. For the preliminary rebased ERP at 30 June 2006, preliminary estimates of the RTOs and the 30 June to 8 August components are made (these will be finalised for final rebasing of the ERP at 30 June 2006).
10 For post-censal years, the absence of migration data at the SLA level means that it is not possible to estimate SLA populations by taking into account natural increase and net migration. Instead, these ERPs are calculated using a mathematical model, where relationships are established between changes in population and changes in indicators between the two most recent censuses for groups of SLAs. The choice of indicators varies across the states and territories, depending on availability and indicative ability, and includes dwelling approvals and Medicare enrolments. Changes in these indicators are then used to estimate changes in the population of each area since the last census. In some areas population change since the previous census may be assumed to be zero in the absence of reliable indicator data for these areas. All output from the model is scrutinised and validated by population analysts. Local knowledge, including that advised by local governments, may be used to adjust the outcome of the model for a particular SLA.
11 The total population estimates for each SLA for post-censal years are then broken down into age and sex components. The estimates by age and sex are updated from the previous year's estimates using registered births and deaths data, and synthetic estimates of migration based on the previous census. For areas where this data is deemed to be of insufficient quality, adjustments are made. While the output is presented by five-year age group (up to 80-84 years, then 85 years and over), all calculations are made at single year of age level (up to 84 years, then 85 years and over). Estimates at SLA level are constrained to state/territory population estimates.
12 In census years, both preliminary total estimates (derived from updating the ERPs from the previous census) and rebased total estimates (based on the current census) are prepared. Differences between these two sets of estimates are referred to as intercensal errors. Rebased estimates of SLA populations for previous intercensal years are based on estimates derived by apportioning the intercensal error evenly across the five years, while constraining the SLA level estimates to state/territory estimates. For example, the rebased 2002 to 2005 estimates will be derived by adding one-fifth of the 2006 intercensal error to the previous estimates of the 2002 population, two-fifths to the previous estimate of the 2003 population, and so on.
13 In recognition of the inherent inaccuracy involved in population estimation, in general population figures less than 1,000 in the text are rounded to the nearest ten, figures over 1,000 are rounded to the nearest hundred, and figures over 1 million are rounded to the nearest 10,000 or 100,000. While unrounded figures are provided in the spreadsheets accompanying this release, accuracy to the last digit is not claimed and should not be assumed. Percentage change in population is based on unrounded numbers.
AUSTRALIAN STATISTICAL AREAS
14 This product contains data presented according to the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) 2006 Edition, which refers to boundaries as defined at 1 July 2006. Under this classification, statistical areas are defined as follows:
Local Government Areas (LGAs). These areas are the spatial units which represent the geographical areas of incorporated local government councils. The ABS has broadened the categories of legislation used to define local government areas for statistical purposes to include the Indigenous Council areas in the states and Northern Territory. The LGA Structure covers only incorporated areas of Australia, which are legally designated parts of states and territories over which incorporated local governing bodies have responsibility.
Statistical Local Areas (SLAs). These geographical areas are, in most cases, identical with, or have been formed from a division of, whole LGAs. In other cases they represent unincorporated areas. In aggregate, SLAs cover the whole of a state or territory without gaps or overlaps. In some cases legal LGAs overlap Statistical Subdivision boundaries and therefore comprise two or three SLAs (Part A, Part B and, if necessary, Part C).
15 LGAs are proclaimed by various state and territory government authorities and changes are gazetted throughout the year. Presently, LGAs are used as the base on which SLAs are defined for the ASGC. Because this definition process takes time, some LGAs gazetted during the year leading up to an ASGC edition are not always processed in time for inclusion in that edition, and are instead included in a later edition.
16 Further information about statistical areas is contained in Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) (cat. no. 1216.0). This product includes a complete series of SLA maps.
17 ABS products draw extensively on information provided freely by individuals, businesses, governments and other organisations. Their continued cooperation is very much appreciated; without it, the wide range of statistics published by the ABS would not be available. Information received by the ABS is treated in strict confidence as required by the Census and Statistics Act 1905.
18 Other ABS releases that may be of interest to users of this product include:
Regional Population Growth, Australia (cat. no. 3218.0)
Population by Age and Sex, Australian States and Territories (cat. no. 3201.0)
Australian Demographic Statistics (cat. no. 3101.0)
Australian Historical Population Statistics (cat. no. 3105.0.65.001)
National Regional Profile (cat. no. 1379.0.55.001)
19 Current publications and other products released by the ABS are listed in the Catalogue of Publications and Products (cat. no. 1101.0). The ABS also issues a daily Release Advice on the web site which details products to be released in the week ahead.
20 As well as the statistics included in this and related products, additional information is available from the ABS web site <www.abs.gov.au> by selecting Themes then Demography.
This page last updated 18 August 2008