Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Population Growth Model
Model forecasts the Victorian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population to increase by 74% by 2037.
A partnership between SVA and Taylor Fry, a specialist demographer, was commissioned to develop an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Population Growth Model for Victoria. This model was commissioned in order to more accurately capture the anticipated growth in the population in the coming decade so that the Aboriginal Community Controlled Sectors could better prepare for future service and workforce demands across Victoria.
The model was initially developed in 2019 based on the average annual change in population over the 2011 and 2016 Census. It was then updated again after the release of the 2021 Census data and a number of assumptions were adjusted or verified given the results released in 2021.
What was the Methodology used?
- The population model was based on the average annual change in population over the 2011-2016 Census, adjusted for both the undercount and an ‘unexplained’ portion of population growth.
- Following the release of the 2021 Census data, the model was updated again – however the unexplained growth rate was maintained as it proved to be a conservative estimate of population growth. The model was updated to reflect more accurately known data trends around the underlying drivers of population growth including long-term birth rate trends, mortality rates and internal migration.
- The key variables and the approach in understanding those variables is outlined in the graphic above.
- Further assumptions underpin the model including:
- 17.4% estimated population undercount as published by the ABS for the 2021 Census
- 2% improvement in the annual mortality rate. This was benchmarked by the rates seen between 2012-2017 and then adjusted so as not to exceed the broader population rate
- 126.4% Additional fertility factor
- 50.5% female proportion of the population
- A 2.6% metro and 1.4% non-metro additional growth rate.
- The additional growth rate is to account of the ‘unexplained’ growth rate that is not accounted in births, deaths and migration.
The population model resulted in the following projections:
- Average annual population growth of 3.8% for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Victoria – which is more than twice the rate of the rest of the Victorian population at 1.6% annual growth rate.
- By 2031, there will be an 24,000 additional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Victoria
- By 2037, there will be an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population increase of 74% in Victoria
- By 2037, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Victoria will make up 1.6% of the total Victorian population.
The model can be further utilised to project population on a regional/ suburban level or by age groups.