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How accurate are population projections?

How Accurate are Population Projections? An evaluation of Statistics New Zealand population projections, 1991–2006 presents an evaluation of the accuracy of recent national and subnational population projections prepared by Statistics New Zealand.

While producers of statistics are inevitably focused on the quality, timeliness and cost-effectiveness of future statistics, an assessment of past statistics can be a valuable exercise in understanding the strengths and limitations of methods and the data itself.

Demographic projections are no different in this respect. Although accuracy is just one measure of the usefulness and value of projections, the diverse range of users of Statistics New Zealand’s projections often request information on the projection accuracy. This paper therefore aims at satisfying that need while providing a context for the role of projections.

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