A brief guide to producing a national population projection
Background There are surprisingly few resources available which offer an introductory guide to preparing a national population projection using a cohort-component model. Many demography textbooks cover projections quite briefly, and many academic papers on projections focus on advanced technical issues.
Aims The aim of this paper is to provide a short and accessible guide to producing a national-scale population projection using the cohort-component model.
Data and methods The paper describes the cohort-component model from a population accounting perspective, presents all the necessary projection calculations, and covers the key steps which form part of the projections preparation process – from gathering input data to validating outputs. An accompanying Excel workbook implements the model and contains example projections for Australia.
Conclusions Calculating a national population projection using a cohort-component model involves fairly simple algebra, but the broader projections preparation process is more complex, and requires careful consideration and judgement.