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Evaluation of administrative data sources for subnational population estimates

Evaluation of administrative data sources for subnational population estimates describes the potential for four administrative data sources to improve subnational population estimates.

It builds on previous work at Statistics NZ, Evaluation of alternative data sources for population estimates, which identified administrative datasets that had potential to contribute to subnational population estimates.

Summary

  • Estimating subnational populations in intercensal years (the years when no Census of Population and Dwellings is held) is difficult because there is no accurate measure of internal migration.
  • The increasing availability of administrative data sources (data sourced from the administrative records of other agencies, rather than from Statistics NZ’s direct contact with respondents) provides an opportunity to improve subnational population estimates.
  • This project evaluated the quality of four data sources for producing subnational population estimates:
    1. primary health organisation (PHO) enrolments
    2. Inland Revenue (IR) tax
    3. school roll returns
    4. electoral enrolments.
  • No single administrative data source can currently produce sufficiently accurate subnational population estimates. All of the data sources have limitations. However, an aggregate or unit-record linked model combining several data sources may provide opportunities for further improving subnational estimates.
  • None of the data sources have sufficient coverage of the 17–30-year age group. This leads to problems estimating populations for this age group, and for areas with large flows of young adults (eg Dunedin, Palmerston North, and to a lesser extent, Wellington and Auckland).
  • Accurate and up-to-date address data is vital for subnational population estimates, but many administrative data sources contain low quality address data. Better quality of address data would be one of the most valuable improvements that could be made to administrative data sources.

To read the report, download or print the PDF from 'Available files' above. If you have problems viewing the files, see opening files and PDFs.

ISBN 978-0-478-40850-8 (online)
Published 19 September 2013

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