Creating a sense of ‘CLOSURE’: Providing confidence intervals on some recent estimates of indigenous populations

Boyd H. Hunter, Mardi H. Dungey


The error of closure is the population growth that cannot be accounted for
by either natural increase or quantifiable non-demographic factors, and is
an issue that is particularly pronounced for indigenous peoples. This paper
estimates Australia’s indigenous population using the dual system
estimation method, and compares these to those produced using the
standard undercount method. The main conclusion is that dual system
estimates of the indigenous population appear to be reasonably accurate at
the national level, which provide an appreciation of the reliability of
existing estimates. Notwithstanding, policy makers need to take into
account that population statistics are merely estimates.

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