×N3. Demographic and health modelling: the impact of COVID-19

Demographic modelling and projections are fundamental to understanding future population trends and play a vital role in policy development and planning. Accurate modelling of significant shocks such as COVID-19 on components of population change is critical in facilitating the adaptation required in economic and social policies.

While the number of deaths directly attributed to COVID-19 in Australia is relatively low at the per-capita level, the lockdowns implemented with varying degree and intensity across time and places in the country can be expected to have direct and indirect effects on demographic outcomes, the burden of selected health conditions and health services utilisation.

In this session, we present three papers focusing on modelling the impact of COVID-19 on Australian demography in both the short and long term. The first paper examines the indirect impact of COVID-19 on mortality from injury and non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in Australia. While COVID itself is an infectious respiratory disease, the strict lockdown measures and stressed health system may indirectly impact individuals with other medical conditions. By analysing the causes of death before and after the start of the pandemic, this paper shines a light on the indirect impact of the pandemic on the burden of NCDs and Injury in Australia.

The second paper examines how COVID affects health utilisation patterns in Australia, an essential factor for modelling the population's long-term health needs. Using daily hospital discharge data, the paper analyses the change in long-term population health due to Australia's extensive lockdown measures. Just like in the first paper, this study also focuses on service utilisation related to NCD, mental health and injuries.

The third paper examines the demographic effects of COVID-19 in Australia. This paper evaluates how the formation and dissolution of marriage and fertility patterns have been affected by the COVID-19 with birth registration data from different states. The results from analyses will be relevant for future population projection as this relies heavily on assumptions on fertility and family formation patterns.

Key topics: Demographic models, COVID-19, Demographic behaviour, Health care utilisation