A Framework for Official Temporary Population Statistics

Elin Charles-Edwards 1 , Martin Bell 1 , Radoslaw Panczak 1  and Jonathan Corcoran 1
  • 1 The University of Queensland, , Brisbane, Australia


There is considerable demand for official statistics on temporary populations to supplement statistics on resident and working populations. Progress has been slow, with temporary population statistics not part of the standard suite of measures produced by national statistical offices. This article adopts the framework for official statistics proposed by Raymer and colleagues as a guide to aspects relating to society, concepts, data, processing, outputs and validation. The article proposes a conceptual framework linking temporary population mobility, defined as a move more than one night in duration that does not entail a change in usual residence, and temporary populations. Using Australia as an example, we discuss various dimensions of temporary mobility that complicate its measurement. We then report the outcomes of a survey of user needs for temporary population statistics along with a desktop review of OECD countries to identify the best formulation of temporary population statistics, and current international practice respectively. The article concludes by proposing two related concepts for temporary populations: population present and person-time, which overcome a number of issues currently impeding progress in this area and discuss their potential implementation.

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