Evaluating Population Projections: Insights from a Quality Assessment Made at Statistics Canada

Patrice Dion, Statistics Canada

The Demography Division of Statistics Canada recently initiated a review of its methodology for population projections. In the process, many important questions emerged as what should be considered when evaluating the quality of population projections. The goal of this paper is to share some insights gained in this review. We start with an overview of the context in which Statistics Canada makes population projections. This discussion will raise some conceptual issues, which must inevitably be solved before initiating a review of the quality of population projections. We then follow with an ex-post evaluation of the past projections. Finally, we look at different aspects that, in our opinion, should be at the center of any evaluation of population projections, including two crucial components: the plausibility of the assumptions and the validity of the methodology.

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Presented in Session 136: Evaluating Population Projections