Emerging population trends and post-pandemic planning

Jurisdiction: New South Wales

What is the impact of COVID-19 on reshaping population growth and distribution across NSW?

Much established population data is backward looking, and only available well after the events that may alter it. Whilst, under ‘normal’ conditions, there is inertia in much population change; the last two years have demonstrated that sizable shocks can occur.

What does a shock, such as the COVID-19 pandemic mean for projecting future population change. Can pre-existing trends be expected to reoccur or can ‘early-warning’ signals of emerging trends be identified while they are still developing?

More information:

We know the 2021 Census is going to be a snapshot of a very turbulent time and alternative data is needed to better identify contemporary population change (both growth and decline).

The modelling that the population team does is around where people live and the communities they live in. Household sizes are changing all the time, but how will a shock such as the COVID-19 pandemic influence household size. For instance, has the pandemic resulted in more young people who have come from regional areas to metropolitan areas for study or work, move back home for a cheaper and safer lifestyle. If this is occurring, what impact does this have on household sizes, are they getting bigger? What does this mean for infrastructure and service delivery in regional communities?

Considering the uncertainty around the impacts of the pandemic and what this means for the future, how can we automate and produce a synthetic resource to be able to track better data? Has COVID-19 reshaped the population in NSW?

How do we show the impact it has on communities within NSW?

How can NSW Government help with the change within local communities, especially regional and rural communities?

Entry: Challenge entry is available to all teams in Australia.

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