3106.0 - Demography News, Jan 2012  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 19/01/2012   
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The ABS is exploring the development of a new series of demographic estimates, to provide better information on movement patterns of Australia's population at regional level. Currently, the the main source of migration data below state/territory level collected by the ABS is the five-yearly snapshots from the Census. Change-of-address information based on Medicare data from the Department of Human Services is being used to develop an experimental historical series of regional internal migration estimates, based on the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC), which may provide more frequent estimates of regional migration. Medicare data has not previously been deemed suitable for smaller regions mainly because it has been supplied to ABS by postcode, which is not directly compatible with the ASGC.

The ABS released Discussion Paper: Assessment of Methods for Developing Estimates for Regional Internal Migration (cat. no. 3405.0.55.001) in December 2011. This discussion paper provides an overview of the current sources of migration estimates and includes information about the data sources and methods used to develop an experimental historical series of regional internal migration estimates. It summarises a method to convert the historical Medicare-based internal migration data to Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) boundaries at the Statistical Local Area (SLA) level. It discusses challenges with this approach and provides potential solutions to overcome these challenges in respect of the historical estimates. The paper also provides an opportunity to provide feedback to the ABS on these data, methods and experimental estimates. The ABS will then consider this feedback in planning any future work in respect of historical regional internal migration estimates.