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Since the 1981 Census, the ABS has been producing estimates of estimated resident population (ERP) on Census year, and updates these with vital statistics for the intercensal periods. Estimates of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ERP on each Census year have also been produced since the 1991 Census. However, the lack of sufficiently reliable births, deaths and migration data for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and the intercensal volatility in the Census counts of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, do not make it possible to use the so-called standard approach to make intercensal estimates. Instead, ABS has produced population projections which have been widely used as a proxy for population estimates for various purposes. For some important users, however, this proxy is not sufficient or appropriate and therefore there has been significant demand from both government agencies and the community for intercensal population estimates.
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