Issue 4
Monday, 03 June 2019
Charles Darwin University
Tasmanian Department of Treasury has produced 50-year population projections using a model built by Dr Tom Wilson
Tasmanian Department of Treasury has produced 50-year population projections using a model built by Dr Tom Wilson

CDU population modelling helps Tasmanian Govt

The Tasmanian Department of Treasury and Finance has produced 50-year population projections that rely on a projection model built by CDU.

The projections were prepared using the Regional Population Projection Program (RePPP), designed by Dr Tom Wilson, a demographer in CDU’s Northern Institute.

The RePPP model created projections in Tasmania that differed from the previous Treasury projection model by factoring in the age and gender of migrants into projections. The model then requires migration rates to be inserted for each population cohort based on the age and gender of those who have arrived and departed from the State over recent years.

The Tasmanian Government found the inclusion of this extra level of migration detail resulted in a greater level of population ageing being identified than was indicated in previous projects.

Dr Wilson said this meant the new projections more realistically captured the actual Tasmanian trend of losing younger individuals and gaining older migrants.

“This type of data is vital when it comes to governments’ ability to plan for the future in terms of the demand and capacity of service delivery and how best to deal with the medium and long-term needs of the community,” he said.

Dr Wilson’s software incorporates a state-of-the-art model that reflects the latest population research. It works in Excel and has been designed to be as user friendly as possible.

“It uses as simple data requirements as possible and is as intuitive as possible for the user through the use of drop-down menus and a simple interface in a familiar program.

“But the back-end is extremely complex and produces detailed and accurate projections, particularly when it comes to factoring in the characteristics around the effects of migrants and the impact this has on the overall population projects,” Dr Wilson said.

Similar software has been used by the South Australian Government to produce modelling and Dr Wilson and his team work closely with the Northern Territory Department of Treasury and Finance on population modelling projects.

“Our modelling software has been developing as the go-to product for governments looking to model state and regional sized populations. This is simple to use, incorporates the latest research and is more accurate than many models,” Dr Wilson said.