Volume 11 - Article 8 | Pages 195–234  

Australia's uncertain demographic future

By Tom Wilson, Martin Bell


The techniques of probabilistic population forecasting are increasingly being recognised as a profitable means of overcoming many of the limitations of conventional deterministic variant population forecasts. This paper applies these techniques to present the first comprehensive set of probabilistic population forecasts for Australia. We stress the disadvantages of directly inputting net migration into the cohort component model in probabilistic forecasting, and propose a gross migration flows model which distinguishes between permanent and non-permanent immigration and emigration.
Our forecasts suggest that there is a two thirds probability of Australia’s population being between 23.0 and 25.8 million by 2026 and between 24.4 and 31.8 million by 2051. Comparisons with the latest official population projections of the Australian Bureau of Statistics are made.

Author's Affiliation

Other articles by the same author/authors in Demographic Research

Preparing local area population forecasts using a bi-regional cohort-component model without the need for local migration data
Volume 46 - Article 32

Projecting the sexual minority population: Methods, data, and illustrative projections for Australia
Volume 45 - Article 12

The geographical patterns of birth seasonality in Australia
Volume 43 - Article 40

Subnational population forecasts: Do users want to know about uncertainty?
Volume 41 - Article 13

Educational selectivity of internal migrants: A global assessment
Volume 39 - Article 29

Visualising the demographic factors which shape population age structure
Volume 35 - Article 29

Smoothing internal migration age profiles for comparative research
Volume 32 - Article 33

The sequential propensity household projection model
Volume 28 - Article 24

Model migration schedules incorporating student migration peaks
Volume 23 - Article 8

Most recent similar articles in Demographic Research

Migration, daily commuting, or second residence? The role of location-specific capital and distance to workplace in regional mobility decisions
Volume 50 - Article 33    | Keywords: commuting, location-specific capital, migration, multilocality, regional mobility, second residence, Sozio-oekonomisches Panel (SOEP), spatial mobility

Fertility decline, changes in age structure, and the potential for demographic dividends: A global analysis
Volume 50 - Article 9    | Keywords: age structure, demographic dividend, demographic transition, fertility, migration, population momentum, working-age population

War and mobility: Using Yandex web searches to characterize intentions to leave Russia after its invasion of Ukraine
Volume 50 - Article 8    | Keywords: Brain drain, migration, Russia, search trends, Ukraine, Yandex

How do environmental stressors influence migration? A meta-regression analysis of environmental migration literature
Volume 50 - Article 2    | Keywords: environmental, instrumental variables, meta analysis, migration, partial correlation coefficient, weighted regression

Migration’s contribution to the urban transition: Direct census estimates from Africa and Asia
Volume 48 - Article 24    | Keywords: migration, population growth, urbanization