Journal article

Subnational population forecasts: Do users want to know about uncertainty?

Tom Wilson, Fiona Shalley

DEMOGRAPHIC RESEARCH | MAX PLANCK INST DEMOGRAPHIC RESEARCH | Published : 2019

Abstract

BACKGROUND Subnational population forecasts form a key input to many significant investment and planning decisions, but these forecasts are often subject to considerable amounts of uncertainty, even in the short run. This uncertainty is rarely quantified at the subnational scale, and little attention has been given to how uncertainty can be effectively communicated to users. OBJECTIVE We wished to find out if users of subnational population forecasts want to know about forecast uncertainty, their understanding of uncertainty, and their views on various methods of communicating it. METHODS An online survey of users of population forecasts in Australia was undertaken, followed by focus gr..

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Grants

Awarded by Australian Research Council


Funding Acknowledgements

This study was supported financially by the Australian Research Council (Discovery Project DP150103343). The authors thank all the demographers and population forecast users who kindly participated in our survey and focus groups. We are also grateful to Ludi Simpson, Phil Rees, and the anonymous reviewers whose comments on an earlier draft of the paper led to a number of improvements.