Population measurement

What is population?

Population refers to the number of people in a particular geographical area.

Australia’s official population concept

Resident population

  • Known as Estimated Resident Population (ERP).
  • Counts people based on where they usually live (residency concept).
  • Defined as: People living in Australia for at least 12 of the last 16 months.
  • The official population number produced by the ABS.
  • National population figures are published in Australian Bureau of Statistics, National, state and territory population.

How is Australia’s population measured?

Population is measured by counting people where they usually live

Estimated Resident Population

  • ERP is measured by taking Census data and adjusting it.
This infographic steps out how quarterly estimates of Australia’s population are calculated. This process starts with the Census and is updated for quarterly data including births and deaths, overseas arrivals and departures, and interstate migration data

Other population concepts

Used in the Census

Physically present population

  • Known as Census counts by place of enumeration.
  • Counts people based on where they are located at a given time.
  • Defined as: In Australia at a particular time regardless of where they usually live.
  • Measured in the Census by the ABS.

Working population

  • Counts people based on place of employment.

Service population

  • Counts people based on place of employment.

Legal population

  • Counts people based on citizenship and residency permits.