2901.0 - Census of Population and Housing: Census Dictionary, 2016  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 23/08/2016   
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2016 Census Dictionary >> Glossary >> Estimated Resident Population (ERP)

Estimated Resident Population (ERP)

The Estimated Resident Population (ERP) is the official measure of the population of Australia, and is based on the concept of usual residence. It refers to all people, regardless of nationality, citizenship or legal status, who usually live in Australia, with the exception of foreign diplomatic personnel and their families. The ERP includes usual residents who are overseas for less than 12 months and excludes overseas visitors who are in Australia for less than 12 months.

In the Census year, the ERP is first calculated at the Census date (9 August for the 2016 Census), and is then backdated to calculate the ERP at 30 June of the Census year. After each Census, estimates for the preceding intercensal period are revised to ensure that the total intercensal increase agrees with the difference between the estimated resident populations at the two 30 June dates in the respective Census years.

In the compilation of the 30 June ERP for a Census year, three important adjustments are made to the Census count based on Place of usual residence.
  • The first is an adjustment for Census underenumeration. The level of underenumeration is derived from the Post Enumeration Survey (PES) which is conducted soon after the Census, and from estimates based on demographic analysis.
  • The second adjustment is the inclusion of the estimated number of Australian residents who are temporarily overseas on Census night and are therefore not covered by the Australian Census. Using data on residents returning in the 12 months after the Census date, an estimate of the number of residents temporarily overseas is made. This estimate is based on data provided by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection using completed incoming passenger cards for Australian residents returning to Australia.
  • The third adjustment occurs because the Census is not conducted on 30 June. For example, population estimates from the 2016 Census, held on 9 August, are back-dated to 30 June, using data from births and deaths registrations, overseas arrivals and departures, and estimates of interstate migration, for the period 1 July to 9 August.
The ERP as at 30 June in the Census year is updated quarterly using administrative data relating to births, deaths, overseas migration and interstate migration. For substate geographies (Statistical Area Level 2 (SA2), Local Government Area (LGA)) and the Statistical Local Areas (SLAs) used in previous Censuses), reliable statistics on migration are not available, therefore the ERP at this level is updated annually using regression models taking into consideration indicators of population change.

The ERP by age and sex is published annually at national, state, LGA and SA2 level. The ERP by country of birth is also published annually at a national level. National and state/territory ERP, by sex, is published quarterly.

More information on the ERP can be found in the ABS publication
Australian Demographic Statistics (cat. no. 3101.0), produced quarterly. ERPs for SLAs (to 2011), SA2s (from 2011 onwards with some back-casting for previous years) and LGAs are published in Regional Population Growth, Australia (cat. no. 3218.0). More information on demographic publications is available under Population on the ABS website.

See also
Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS), Census counts, Place of enumeration, Place of Usual Residence (PURP).

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