.id monthly insight
.id insight Newsletter
September 2018 Edition

Don’t make geo-mistakes!

Geography is the essence of what my colleagues and I do at .id, because the ability to look at economic and demographic trends across space and place and time is how we can develop compelling narratives about places.

Our clients have important questions to answer:

Who is their market?

Where are they?

Where are they likely to be in future?

What is driving those expected changes? 

By clearly and concisely answering these questions, using data converted into maps, charts and infographics to form a decision-making narrative for our clients is how we make a living.

Our clients typically have an idea of the answer they are looking for, often based on their experience and their intuition. This is where evidence-based decision making is central to our work.

What or where is the evidence underlying your assumptions?

We are in a way, frequently engaged in myth busting. It amazes me how many organisations make poor locational decisions with significant financial consequences.

We refer to these as ‘geo-mistakes’.

We pinched this term from American academic Juan Alcacer, who states “Geo-mistakes sap energy out of an organization and cause it to lose focus on what it was doing well in the first place…especially when it means siphoning time and attention away from an existing successful business.”

He adds that businesses need to, “take a long-term, strategic view of location decisions.”

At .id we are obsessed with understanding ‘place’ on the basis of the characteristics of people in ‘place’. This is the geography of demography, if you like.

We delve so deeply into understanding the demography of ‘place’, typically using Census data (and numerous other sources of data), that we gain profound insights into the role of a place and how it functions within its spatial context.

This knowledge enables us to forecast likely futures of place. We are therefore able to confidently add profound insights into the question of “Where is my market likely to be in future?” by modelling our own independent demographic forecasts – including dwellings, age structure, household type, births, deaths, migration etc.

It is a heady time to be a population forecaster. With growth rates that have been occurring across Australia being some of the fastest growth in the western world. Interesting times indeed.

Author Ivan


Australia passes 25 million people



In early August, we marked the moment when Australia's population passed 25 million people with a blog reviewing how we got there, the implications for the population debate and where that puts Australia in the international context.

You may be surprised to learn which countries sit beside us as the 53rd most populous nation in the world!


Your questions answered

Who is living in all these apartments?

Low income households


Rebecca works with a Neighbourhood house in Melbourne's inner-North, providing community development services such as adult education and auspice services.

Rebecca wrote to us wondering how the changing housing preferences in her community might impact how they're delivering services.

In response, Glenn wrote this fantastic step-by-step guide to demonstrate answers to Rebecca's questions using our community profile and social atlas tools.

(If you have a question for our experts, ask us here!)


Demographics and housing

Is it time to review growth area planning?

Growth area planning


The average size of Australian households has been steadily declining for 100 years. 

So when our housing and economics team noticed a remarkable reversal to this trend, particularly in the growth suburbs of Greater Melbourne, it led them to investigate the shifting demographic forces behind this change.

Rob's investigation reveals interesting trends in housing consumption and multi-generational households, with particular implications for planning in growth and middle-ring suburbs.


Urban transformation

Demography and the new economy in Western Sydney

Submit your questions for the 2021 Census


In a recent presentation the Western Sydney University, Ivan pointed to the importance of 'enabling infrastructure' to support economic agglomeration.

He demonstrates why these networks of complementary industries are so important in helping '2oth century economies' transition from routine-manual and routine-cognitive skills and jobs into the 'new economy', turning the huge and growing pool of young people into a productive, self-sufficient local workforce that can help address disadvantage in one of Australia's most socio-economically diverse regions.


Send us your question

Ask our experts about a trend in your area

Ask an expert


Every month, we investigate a story from one of our readers and publish a small study about their place on our blog.

Last month, we helped Rebecca, from a community development organisation in Brunswick, Victoria, understand the implications of changing housing consumption trends in their neighbourhood.

Tell us about the changes you’ve seen in your area here, and we’ll help you understand the demographic and economic story behind it.


New data and features

Stay up to date



We regularly update our sites with new data and features that help you tell the important demographic and economic stories of your area.

Subscribe to updates here and you'll be the first to know whenever we update our free online tools.


Final word

How are libraries responding to demographic change?



Of all the services provided by local councils, Libraries are among the best known and highly valued by the community.

So how are these front-line service providers understanding and responding to demographic shifts in our communities?

In this piece, Jim shares the results of a recent workshop he conducted with South Australian librarians to identify the demographic trends that will most impact their operations, and how these changes affect their collections, planning and community programs.

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