.id insight newsletter - February 2015


"It's the information economy, stupid!"

There's a lot of passion at .id. If you read our blogs you'll detect passion about the subject, passion to inform, passion to tell a story. But now, our passion has spilled over into outright raw emotion!

Check out Glenn Capuano's blog, "Axe the 2016 Census? You've got to be kidding!" Glenn, passionate? Yes! Emotional? Never, until now. Glenn is forgiven though... here's why.

Australia is a wealthy and successful advanced democracy, an economy in transition, driven largely by growth reliant on immigration, the success of which is based on social cohesion, providing the best quality education and ensuring equal access to opportunity. If we are serious about these objectives then we need to be able measure whether we are achieving them. We need to formulate and implement well-informed policies to achieve them. To do any of this, we need a comprehensive regularly updated and consistent evidence base. This is one of the primary uses of the Census.

If we're going to replace the Census with an alternative way of getting better quality, more frequent and more extensive information, then let's do it. However, there is no satisfactory alternative that I'm aware of, that isn't a compromise to save money. An advanced, rational nation does not drop such an important asset simply to save money on something that pays for itself many times over.

Consider this, in 2013-14 the total federal government budget was $413.8 billion. The annual cost of the Census is $88 million which is 0.002% of the budget. It is reasonable to argue that the Census pays for itself several times over simply by making government expenditure more efficient. This does not take into account the increasing reliance of the private sector on Census data to increase productivity, make investment decisions and generate wealth.

The Australian Census gives Australia a competitive advantage over other nations that haven't developed or maintained such a valuable asset. It is the most profound factual historical record of Australia since European settlement and the foremost information asset that enables us to understand the past and plan for the future.

Finally, to adapt a Bill Clinton campaign line, "it's the information economy, stupid!"



Greater Western Sydney

Local focus

Greater Western Sydney - a region of diversity and growth

Greater Western Sydney contains about 9% of Australia’s population and covers 14 Local Government Areas (LGAs). .id was recently commissioned by the University of Western Sydney to produce a profile for the Greater Western Sydney regionWhile many of its communities are largely Australian-born, approximately 38% of the population speak a language other than English at home (up to 90% in some suburbs), making Western Sydney one of the mose diverse areas of Australia.

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Cut the Census?

A word from our researchers

Axe the census? You've got to be kidding!

The government and ABS is refusing to confirm whether the 2016 Census will go ahead as planned, and is considering options for changing it to a sample survey, reducing the frequency to every 10 years or eliminating it entirely. However, the census provides us with a wealth of information, particularly small area data, that is beneficial to our community and cannot be replaced by other forms of data or surveys.

Is it viable to remove the census? Learn about the importance of Census data to our communities.

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Case study

Using population forecasts to project the health outcomes of suburbs

While there are well-documented links between health behaviours and health outcomes, there is also a growing body of work suggesting that the way we are designing and building our suburbs can have a significant impact on the health outcomes of our communities. We know that where people live should not limit what opportunities they have. But in many cases, it does.

.id recently undertook a project for the City of Geelong to explore links between local prevalence of chronic disease, unhealthy lifestyle conditions and built form.  

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 New Zealand demographics

NZ focus

Of Maui's might and spirits departing

Just over 40 per cent of the 61,000 people in the Far North region of New Zealand identify as being of Māori descent. In some small areas, like Moerewa and Kaikohe, the proportion is much higher at around 65%. Māori culture, heritage and tipuna (ancestors) are therefore very much part of everyday life in the Far North.  

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Australia population growth

Population matters

Australia’s population growth steady, NSW booming

In the 2013-14 financial year, Australia’s population grew by 1.6% (365,000 people), down from the two financial years before. However, the interesting information is at the state level. For one, this is the first time in 5 years NSW added more people than Victoria. Perhaps Sydney will remain Australia's largest city for a while yet?

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.id headquaters


.id releases the latest Victorian population forecasts 

.id has been producing micro geography forecasts for Victoria every 18 months for over 10 years. This is a massive undertaking as we forecast over 7000 individual geographies. Our clients use these forecasts for detailed service delivery planning.

The 2015 release forecasts Victoria's population to grow to 7.5 million by 2031, an increase of almost 2 million people since 2011. The majority of the growth is occuring in Melbourne driven both by fringe development and increasingly growth in established areas, most notably the inner city.

We will be holding a seminar at our office in Collingwood to present the forecast findings on Thursday, 26 March. Please email to info@id.com.au if you would like more information. 


Tips and tricks

How to better understand the maps on atlas.id

Do you have access to atlas.id for your council? Not sure? Check here.

It is an incredible tool for quickly understanding the characteristics of your communities by presenting them on a map. How can we best understand what the maps on atlas.id tell us about our communities? 

There are many resources on atlas.id that are often overlooked. These resources contain a wealth of information that can help you understand the maps on atlas.id and ultimately, your communities better.

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Melbourne density vs Hong Kong

Final word

Is Melbourne as dense as Hong Kong

A recent media report shows Melbourne population densities at 6,290 residents per hectare, or 8,600 people in a city block, compared to just 2,620 residents per block in Hong Kong. Can this be true? The key here is that the study is looking at just one block in the city – not an average across the whole city. 

Exactly how dense is Melbourne in comparison to other cities like Hong Kong?

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