High resolution demographic projections for infrastructure planning

Authors: Nik Lomax*, University of Leeds, Andrew P Smith, University of Leeds
Topics: Population Geography
Keywords: demographic, projection, high resolution, infrastructure
Session Type: Paper
Scheduler ID: THU-064-1:20 p.m.
Day: 4/12/2018
Start / End Time: 1:20 PM / 3:00 PM
Room: Bayside A, Sheraton, 4th Floor


Demographic projections, for both people and households, are produced by statistical agencies around the world. These projections are essential for planning the delivery of services and the allocation of resources to sub-national areas. With a few exceptions, projections are limited to larger administrative areas (e.g. local authorities in the UK, states in the USA) because of a lack of suitable data and/or user requirements: for example national funding allocation is usually to administrative areas, not small sub-administrative units. The Infrastructure Transitions Research Consortium, a collaboration of seven UK universities, is looking at future infrastructure demand across a range of sectors (transport, water, waste, energy, digital). The consortium requires higher resolution (i.e. finer spatial scale) projections than those which are currently available to more accurately assess and plan for infrastructure delivery in the future. This paper outlines two methods for producing high resolution projections of people and households in the UK using (1) a static microsimulation constrained to official projections; and (2) a dynamic microsimulation which borrows strength from survey and census data as well as supply data from new build and housing stock information. In both models, people are allocated to households, who are then distributed to housing units. We argue that the static model is easier to explain but limited by prior distributions of the population. The dynamic model allows for more variation but needs careful calibration and validation.

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