2011 Census data shows Qld population previously over-estimated – implications for GST carve up

Queensland Treasury bean counters wouldn’t have been happy when they saw the new ABS population estimates, which incorporate 2011 census data, and which contain a downward revision in Queensland’s estimated population (by 106,000 people) and share of Australia’s total population (from 20.3% to 20.1%). All other things equal, this has implications for Queensland’s share of GST revenue, and could cost Queensland up to $100 million (based on a back-of-the-envelope calculation I probably shouldn’t have attempted at this time of the day).

The re-basing of population estimates to reflect the 2011 Census is described in an informative ABS feature article. The ABS notes these are preliminary estimates, and Queensland Treasury will hope they are substantially revised when the final estimates are released in June next year.

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