3228.0.55.001 - Population Estimates: Concepts, Sources and Methods, 2009  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 12/06/2009   
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As Australia's national statistical agency, one of the core functions of the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) is the provision of regular estimates of the size, composition and distribution of the Australian population. These official population estimates are termed the estimated resident population, or ERP.

This publication provides a description of the concepts, sources and methods used by the ABS in the production of population estimates. Chapter 1 gives an overview of the range of population estimates produced by the ABS and outlines some of the major uses for these population estimates. Chapters 2 and 3 outline the methods and data used to produce population estimates at the national/state and statistical local area (SLA) levels, while Chapter 4 outlines the method used to produce population estimates for customised geography. Chapters 5 to 8 provide additional information of components of population growth and of selected sub-populations. Chapter 9 describes the data sources used to produce population estimates. Further technical details are provided in the Appendices.


This publication replaces population estimates sections of the earlier publication Demographic Estimates and Projections: Concepts, Sources and Methods, 1999 (cat.no.3228.0).

Following the release of this publication, the ABS will be working on the following publications:

  • Population Projections: Concepts, Sources and Methods (cat.no.3228.0.55.002)
  • Household Estimates and Projections: Concepts, Sources and Methods (cat.no.3228.0.55.003).


For further information on the concepts, sources and methods used to produce ABS population estimates, please contact:
      Assistant Director, Population Estimates and Projections
      Demography Section
      Australian Bureau of Statistics
      Locked Bag 10
      BELCONNEN ACT 2616
      Phone: (02) 6252 6639
      Email: demography@abs.gov.au
      Facsimile: (02) 6252 7494