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

  • 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
  • Tony Barnes (Honorary Professor), University Fellow
    Expertise - Statistical methods, Indigenous demography, Northern Territory population issues
  • Anita Maertens, Research Associate
    Expertise - Quantitative and qualitative research, complex data analysis, project management and evaluation
  • 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.

LINK to Demography Team

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. 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.

RePPP (Regional Population Projection Program) is an Excel-based program which produces subnational population projections using a state-of-the-art cohort-component model. It generates projections by sex and five year age group for between 2 and 50 subnational regions over a projection horizon of between 5 and 50 years. The program is suitable for regions varying in size from SA2 areas to States and Territories.

Beyond Periphery Impact Case Study

  • Development of programs to recruit and retain nursing, health and other professional workers in the NT (Department of Health, Department of Business)
  • Development of strategies for long term urban planning, particularly in Darwin and Alice Springs (Chief Minister’s Office)
  • Informing lobbying for consideration of NT’s needs in national migration policy (Department of Business)
  • Development of new strategies to deal with homelessness in the NT’s large urban centres (Department of Housing)
  • Rethinking the role of different types of knowledge in developing social and economic policy aimed at remote Indigenous communities (Department of Regional Development and Indigenous Advancement)

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:.

  • Mitzi Zita Ferguson
  • Heidi Hodge
  • John Reid
  • James Thurmer
  • Ana Vuin
  • Dávid Karácsonyi