ABS pop­u­la­tion data far too rosy

Pilbara News - - News - Jack Re­nault, Kar­ratha 9185 1390

Don’t be mis­lead by that front-page ar­ti­cle in the Pil­bara

News (No ex­o­dus from city: ABS data, 6/6).

The Aus­tralian Bureau of Sta­tis­tics data in­di­cat­ing Kar­ratha’s pop­u­la­tion in 2015 was 19,235 was an es­ti­ma­tion — not a fact.

The ABS es­ti­ma­tion was made by adding to Kar­ratha’s 2011 cen­sus pop­u­la­tion of 16,245 a pos­i­tive per­cent­age each year (2012/13/14/15) re­sult­ing from a gen­eral in­crease in Aus­tralia’s pop­u­la­tion by more births than death, more im­mi­gra­tion than em­i­gra­tion.

This method of es­ti­mat­ing pop­u­la­tion growth be­tween cen­suses every five years re­sults in ever-in­creas­ing pop­u­la­tion fig­ures which will all be cor­rected once the real pop­u­la­tion is known from the 2016 cen­sus.

Af­ter the 2016 cen­sus, the ABS will ad­just the pre­vi­ous es­ti­mated fig­ures for 2012/13/14/15. These re­vised fig­ures will be pub­lished about 12 months later in mid-2017.

It is very ob­vi­ous that the pop­u­la­tion of Kar­ratha has not in­creased, but has de­clined dra­mat­i­cally with the ter­mi­na­tion of the “boom” in 2013. We es­ti­mate Kar­ratha’s present pop­u­la­tion is about 12,000.

The City of Kar­ratha could eas­ily take its own cen­sus now to ob­tain a re­al­is­tic 2016 pop­u­la­tion fig­ure es­sen­tial for its own plan­ning and the nec­es­sary per­sonal plan­ning and de­ci­sion mak­ing of its own res­i­dents.

How­ever, the City re­fuses to do so be­cause, among other rea­sons, it does not want Kar­ratha’s res­i­dents to re­alise fully that the “boom” has busted and Kar­ratha is in a se­ri­ous eco­nomic de­pres­sion — times are tough, jobs are few, and the vi­sion or dream of a city of 20,000 is dis­ap­pear­ing. Mr Grylls and Mr Lally pre­fer to ac­cept the ABS es­ti­mated pop­u­la­tion of 19,235 as real so their vi­sion or dream may con­tinue for at least the next 12 months. Then the 2016 cen­sus fig­ure will be pub­lished and re­al­ity will bite. Ouch!

Mean­while, I sug­gest that each res­i­dent and every busi­ness makes their own “guessti­mate” as to the ac­tual pop­u­la­tion and how many years be­fore Kar­ratha be­gins to grow again. Then, act ac­cord­ingly — to stay or go, depend­ing on whether you had a job, have a job, or could lose your job and busi­nesses should de­cide whether to ex­pand, con­tract or close. I’ll hang on —for the fun of it, but it won’t be funny.

Any com­ments, ques­tions or ideas, call me.

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