3222.0 - Population Projections, Australia, 2012 (base) to 2101 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 26/11/2013   
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1 This publication contains projections of Australia's population by age and sex for the period 2013 to 2101, and projections of the states, territories and capital cities/balances of state for the period 2013 to 2061. Capital city/balance of state projections were not generated for the Australian Capital Territory because under the new Australian Statistical Geography Standard, the Australian Capital Territory is not broken down into capital city/balance of state regions.

2 Three main series of projections (Series A, B and C) are presented in this publication. These series have been selected to provide a range, although not the full range, of projections for analysis and discussion.

3 For some states, Series A and C do not depict the highest or lowest population outcomes. Where applicable, other series have been included in commentary.

4 These projections supercede the 2006-based series published in Population Projections, Australia, 2006 to 2101 (cat. no. 3222.0) in September 2008.

5 The projections for Australia include Other Territories, comprising Christmas Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands and Jervis Bay Territory.


6 The ABS publishes population projections following each five-yearly Census.

7 The projections are not intended as predictions or forecasts, but are illustrations of growth and change in the population that would occur if assumptions made about future demographic trends were to prevail over the projection period.

8 While the assumptions for the projections are formulated on the basis of an assessment of past demographic trends, both in Australia and overseas, there is no certainty that any of the assumptions will or will not be realised. In addition, no assessment has been made of changes in non-demographic conditions.

9 Accordingly, alternative combinations of assumptions have been provided in recognition of this uncertainty and to provide users with a range of options.


10 The process of developing population projections involves research, analysis, consultation and computation. Analysis of demographic trends, research into the determinants of population growth and distribution, and consultation with various experts at the national and state levels are necessary to formulate the various assumptions and to ensure their general relevance for the projection period.

11 A consultation process, involving expert academic and government demographers, occurred from July to September 2013, following which assumptions for the population projections were finalised by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). Three assumptions were used for fertility, two for mortality, three for net overseas migration and three for net interstate migration. In addition, a zero net overseas migration assumption has been included to illustrate the contribution of overseas migration to Australia.


12 There are many techniques which may be used for population projections, such as simple extrapolations, probabilistic methods, broad economic, social and time-series analysis, and detailed component methods.

13 The ABS uses the cohort-component method, which begins with a base population for each sex by single year of age and advances it year by year by applying assumptions regarding future fertility, mortality and migration. This procedure is repeated for each year in the projection period for Australia and each state and territory, as well as each capital city and balance of state region in each state and territory. The resulting population projections for each year for the states and territories, by sex and single year of age, are adjusted to sum to the Australian results. Likewise, capital city and balance of state projections are adjusted to sum to their respective state and territory projections.

14 The ABS recognises the increasing interest in stochastic methods among demographers. While such methods were not specifically used in compiling these projections, some limited applications of the methods were used in assessing some of the assumptions. The ABS welcomes further feedback in these emerging methodologies ahead of the next set of projections, in 2018.


15 Assumptions regarding future levels of fertility, mortality and migration used to produce the population projections, and how they were formulated, are discussed in Chapter 2 - Assumptions.


16 ABS publications 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.


17 Users may also wish to refer to the following ABS products:

18 ABS products and publications are available free of charge from the ABS web site <https://www.abs.gov.au>. Click on Statistics to gain access to the full range of ABS statistical and reference information.


19 More detailed information for the three main series presented in this publication and other series can be obtained from the ABS web site in Population Projections, Australia, 2012 (base) to 2101 (cat. no. 3222.0). Data cubes provided are:
  • Projected population, Australia, 2012 (base)-2101 - ABS.Stat and SuperTABLE format;
  • Projected population, capital city/balance of state, 2012 (base)-2061 - in Excel format for each state/ territory (3 main series);
  • Projected population, capital city/balance of state, 2012 (base)-2061 - ABS.Stat and SuperTABLE for capital city/balance of state (all series);
  • Projected population, components of change and summary statistics, 2012 (base)-2101 - in Excel format for Australia, state/territory and capital city/balance of state.
  • A detailed Excel spreadsheet containing the assumed age-specific rates and tables of data used in the projections.

20 Population projections for the three main series (Series A, B and C) for Australia and the states/territories are also available in Time Series Spreadsheet (Microsoft Excel) format from the ABS web site.

21 As well as the statistics included in this and related publications, the ABS may have other relevant data available on request. Inquiries should be made to the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070.