Roy Morgan Research
April 18, 2023

Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Changes to population estimates

Topic: Press Release
Finding No: 9209
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February 2023 Summary: Newly revised population adjustments from the ABS will be incorporated by Roy Morgan Research in data from January 2023 onwards.  

Some population differences are noticeable and will result in changes to estimates of readership and other data. Previously released data will not be amended. With a modest increase in total population of 0.9% (187,390), most noticeable population changes have occurred with:  

  • Decreases in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane capital city areas.
  • Increases in the country areas of Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.
  • Increases in the 14-24 age group for both Males and Females.  

Application of the ABS Labour Force Survey population adjustments to Roy Morgan Research Single Source Weighting


The December 2022 edition of the Labour Force Survey - 6202.0 Labour Force, Australia - published by the ABS on 19/01/2023 included revised population benchmarks from the 2021 Census. The ABS revises the population benchmarks used in the Labour Force Survey every five years following the Census of Population and Housing. 

Roy Morgan Research population estimates are calculated on trends in ABS published Statistical Area 2 (SA2) population estimates, supported by other ABS published information including the Labour Force Survey. We have carefully reviewed the revised population estimates and will be incorporating changes resulting from the ABS revision into the January 2023 processing of Roy Morgan Single Source.  

In incorporating the revised population benchmarks from the Labour Force Survey, we can report that the new national population estimate for people 14+ has increased by approximately 187,400 from 21,473,600 people in December 2022 to 21,661,000 in January 2023, up 0.9%.  

Male population benchmarks have been revised upward by approximately 111,800 men to 10,655,000 (up 1.0%) with the female population increasing by 75,600 to 11,006,000 (up 0.7%). Benchmarks for younger age groups have taken the majority of this increase with those under 25 increasing by approximately 88,200 people (up 2.6%), while those aged 65+ have increased only 3,600 (up 0.1%).  

At the capital city level, population benchmarks for Melbourne have decreased by 119,000 (down 2.8%), whilst Sydney have decreased by 115,000 (down 2.6%), Brisbane have decreased by 12,800 (down 0.6%) and Perth have increased by 50,500 (up 2.8%).

Victoria country have increased in population of 122,300 (up 9.6%) for an overall increase to Victoria of 3,300 (up 0.1%).  In New South Wales the population of the remainder of the State (including the ACT) have increased by 120,400 (up 4.5%) for an overall increase to New South Wales of 5,400 (up 0.1%). Queensland country have increased by 52,600 (up 2.4%) for an overall increase to Queensland of 39,800 (up 0.9%). Western Australia country have increased by 27,200 (up 6.2%) for an overall increase to Western Australia of 77,700 (up 3.5%).

South Australia and Tasmania have increased in population of 40,000 (up 2.7%) and 26,200 (up 5.7%) respectively, while Northern Territory have decreased 4,900 (down 3.5%).   

These new projections apply to Roy Morgan data relating to January 2023 and later months.  

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size Percentage Estimate
40% – 60% 25% or 75% 10% or 90% 5% or 95%
1,000 ±3.0 ±2.7 ±1.9 ±1.3
5,000 ±1.4 ±1.2 ±0.8 ±0.6
7,500 ±1.1 ±1.0 ±0.7 ±0.5
10,000 ±1.0 ±0.9 ±0.6 ±0.4
20,000 ±0.7 ±0.6 ±0.4 ±0.3
50,000 ±0.4 ±0.4 ±0.3 ±0.2

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