ACT Government and ABS dispute population data


The ACT Government says an underestimate of its population growth has seen it miss out on $190 million in GST revenue over a five year period.

Under Treasurer Stuart Hocking says data captured by the Australian Bureau of Statistics between its 2016 and 2021 census projected the Territory’s population below its current total, resulting in the funding shortfall.

He says the ACT Government’s August budget has predicted the population to increase by around 2 per cent over the next couple of years, which is higher than updated forecasts by the ABS and the Commonwealth’s Centre for Population Studies estimates released this month.

An Australian Bureau of Statistics spokesperson says its interstate migration estimates did not pick up “a significant number” of moves, particularly into Tasmania and the ACT in the last intercensal period.

“This is because ABS interstate migration estimates rely primarily on Medicare change-of-address data, which carries certain limitations, such as relying on people updating their details in a timely manner,” the spokesperson said.

“The ABS remains confident that the Medicare data used is the best available for interstate migration, being robust, fit-for purpose, nationally consistent and available in a timely manner.”

*(Report Author: Anthony Dodd).

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