POPULATION PROJECTIONS PROJECT
Comments

As it turns out, not surprisingly, the method developed for the Population Projection Project is one of the oldest still used to create population projections (because it makes sense). This method goes by many names. I first called it the Population Change Signature method; however, referring to the older UN's term "census survival rates", Dr. David A. Swanson, states ...

"We also apply census survival rates, although we prefer to use the more general term "cohort change ratios"." ("Using cohort change ratios to estimate life expectancy in populations with negligible migration: A new approach", David A. Swanson, Lucky Tedrow, 2012)

I agree.

The cohort change ratios method provides an opportunity to see what future population projection scenarios look like if current (1996 to 2011) demographic trends continue. This method provides a reference that makes sense and as Dr. Swanson points out ...

"is very useful ... transparent and easy to explain to a wide range of audiences." ("Forecasting the Population of Census Tracts by Age and Sex." David A. Swanson, Alan Schlottmann, Bob Schmidt, 2009, p. 60).

... adding:

"the resulting projections not only have internal validity but, also, ‘‘face validity’’" ("State and local population projections: Methodology and analysis." Smith, S., Tayman, J., & Swanson, D., 2001, pp. 282-285).

Thank you to those of you who wrote:

"It sounds like an excellent idea you have to implement a training programme to increase skills in this area - more people with a working knowledge of how population projections are constructed and the issues inherent with them will never be a bad thing, and I agree that such a course could be a valuable part of a number of social science and quantitative methods courses both at high school and university levels.
... but sadly even in human geography (the traditional home for this sort of thing) it is very unlikely that students will be taught population projection." (Royal Society Population Geography Research Group Communications Officer, Adam Dennett, PhD, December 2012)
"Your project sounds very interesting and certainly the Centre could be involved in helping you to share this information widely. Thanks for informing me about this project." (Director of the Centre on Ageing (University of Victoria), Holly A. Tuokko, PhD, December 2012)
"interesting" "We do less of this than we should" (Mark Ellis, PhD, Director, Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology, and Director, Northwest Census Research Data Center (University of Washington) November 2012).

Adam Dennett adds

"Again, I really like the idea of developing courses / accreditation for projection methods, although I can see it being a considerable amount of work to set up.
"if you develop some as part of your postgraduate studies I'd be happy to disseminate via our website." (Royal Society Population Geography Research Group Communications Officer, Adam Dennett, PhD, January 15, 2013)

Jochen Meyer, PhD in Historical Geography and Political Sociology at the University of Edinburgh, and currently teaching at the School of Social and Political Science, Author of "On the Geographies of Official Statistics" wrote ...

"Your Population Projection Project looks fascinating and, I think, is of eminent civic importance. This points in the direction of a statistical citizenship." (February 24, 2013)

William (Bill) A. V. Clark, PhD, D.Sc., and recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Population Specialty Group at the Association of American Geographers, Los Angles, USA wrote to say:

" ... an interesting project.- the graphs and animations are creative." (April 2013)

Well known Demographer and Author of such important papers as "Demography in a new key: a theory of population theory" and "Computer simulation and statistical modelling: rivals or complements?", Thomas Burch PhD, kindly remarked:

"Your work is interesting and beautifully presented." (November 2012).

Maxwell D. Hartt, PhD Student, School of Planning and Graduate Instructional Developer at the University of Waterloo, a fellow presenter at the Methods for Projections session, hosted by the Canadian Population Society, at the 2013 Congress for the Humanities and Social Sciences writes about the Population Projection Project:

"I think its a tremendous idea. As we both know, the average amount of knowledge on this subject from many people in fields that use projection regularly is shockingly low. I think courses like this could go a long way in helping many elected officials, staff and students." (June 2013).

Thank you to everyone who commented on the alpha version. Suggestions for further refinements are appreciated.

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