Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Small area population estimates for Australia

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has recently updated its population estimates for Statistical Areas Level 2. This data set tracks 25 years of population changes in Australia back to 1991. The data is current as at 30 June 2016.

The Estimated Resident Population data set can be considered a prelude to the upcoming 2016 Census data release in late June 2017. It is still based on the 2011 edition of the Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS2011) so, the figures for the SA2 areas will differ from the 2016 Census data, but ERP data is a good proxy of what to expect.

According to the ABS estimates, in 2016 there were 24,128,876 individuals residing in Australia, with the majority of people settled along the coast line. An interesting pattern of change over time is that, while the population in coastal areas continues to grow, there is long term depopulation occurring in the red centre - as depicted by blue polygons on the map below.

Population change 1991-2016 (blue - decline; orange and red - increase)

However, there is a notable positive change in the population of the Northern Australia, with some areas close to doubling its population in the last 25 years.

While population density in coastal areas has increased significantly over time, population growth is not uniformly distributed. Zooming in on capital cities allows pinpointing which areas have grown faster than the others.

For example, in the case of Sydney, the areas that stand out include Sydney City – Pyrmont – Ultimo, with a growth factor of around 9 (where 1 = no change and values below 1 indicate decline in population).

But the highest growth factor of 37.5 was recorded in Glenwood in the North West, followed by Parklea - Kellyville Ridge with 21.0 and Hoxton Park - Horningsea Park with growth factor of 12.7 over the last 25 years.

Population change by Statistical Area Level 2 (SA2)

An interactive map featuring several more data layers can be explored on MapDeck.com (please use this code to create a free account: c3df6244).

MapDeck.com Products List:
Population Estimates by SA2, Australia 2016 (free data table)
Population Estimates by LGA, Australia 2016 (free data table)
Estimated Resident Population 1991-2016 (free interactive map)