Demography and Growth Planning

The Demography and Growth Planning team at the Northern Institute partners with business, governments and communities to deliver research-based insights on the causes and consequences of population change in the north, nationally and internationally.


Our collective decades of experience make us experts in population data analysis, modelling and reporting. We can make sense of complex data sources to deliver strategic insights for policy making, program design and communities.

We work closely with governments, national, State/ Territory and international organisations; as well as non-government bodies and business. Our research is underpinned by a focus on Northern Territory population issues in collaboration with the Northern Territory Department of Treasury and Finance.

The Team is available for consultancy work and, with our extensive research and analytical experience in delivering high quality outputs on population-related research projects, can assist you and your organisation with research design, conduct, analysis and reporting.

Contact us to discuss your needs at

The team are recognised internationally for their work. Snapshots of findings are made freely accessible through the Northern Institute Research Briefs Series

Our blog demographyNorth is a great way to find our latest research and analysis on critical population issues.

We also host the online open-access journal, Australian Population Studies.

Follow the Demography and Growth Planning Team on Twitter.twitter


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Our people and their expertise

  • Tony Barnes (Honorary Professor), University Fellow
    Expertise - Statistical methods, Indigenous demography, Northern Territory population issues
  • Dean Carson, Senior Research Fellow
    Expertise - Demographic change in northern jurisdictions, demographic methods/ techniques, quantitative/ qualitative research, Census data, Agent-based modelling
  • David Karacsonyi, Research Associate
    Expertise - GIS analysis, mapping, geographic research techniques
  • Fiona Shalley, Research Fellow
    Expertise - Population projections, population enumeration and estimation, complex data analysis, project management
  • Andrew Taylor, Senior Research Fellow
    Expertise - Demographic methods/techniques, stakeholder engagement, project management, modelling Census/ other data
  • Dr Tom Wilson, Principal Research Fellow
    Expertise - Demographic projections, population estimation, migration analysis, household change, Indigenous demography, Census analysis, project management.

Our Impact

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The team’s research focuses on remote places in developed nations, including the Northern Territory, but their reach is national and global by impact. The team has active hubs in Darwin, Queensland, South Australia, Sweden and Canada. We are part of research networks extending across Australia, northern Europe and North America.

Our research has directly impacted high level policy development including the 2018-2028 Northern Territory Population Strategy. Our population projections work is recognised locally, nationally and internationally and our international research on small and remote populations in the north of Europe is shaping the thinking of governments in those jurisdictions. We act on a number of technical advisory committees and our journal Australian Population Studies is expanding the nation’s stock of applied demographic research on which better business and government decisions can be made.

We run professional development courses and executive training masterclasses in understanding the how and why of demography and analysing demographic data for policy, evaluation and decision making.

Higher Degree by Research Students

dgp-internationalWe are proud of our past and current students, many of whom have gone on to be practitioners and make a difference in industry, government and society. We aim to provide quality student supervision and skills development.

Our current students are:.