Ludi Simpson

About Ludi Simpson

Ludi Simpson has worked for local and national government, in university posts, and independently. He is honorary Professor of Population Studies at the University of Manchester, designer of the demographic software POPGROUP, was President of the British Society for Population Studies 2011-2013, and chair of the local authorities advisory group on population statistics to the Office for National Statistics 1993-2003. He writes and teaches on methods and issues in demographic forecasting, and contributes to current projects in the UK, Latin America and Australia, focused on sub-national demography and local planning. He co-authored Statistics in Society, Sleep-walking to segregation?, Making local population statistics and Ethnic identity and inequalities in Britain.

The Future of Estimating Housing Requirements. How Can Demographic Forecasting Help Plan for Housing?

I would like to outline four themes that may be helpful to promote future work on housing requirements in the UK. First, what is the role of forecasting within planning? I think a two part formulation is a useful guide to what planners need. Forecasters should predict that part of the future which planners don’t control, so that they can concentrate on what they can control; and forecasters should predict the consequences of a plan. In our context, the ‘trend-based’ official projections encapsulate business as usual without the impact of future-changing plans, and in particular deal with fertility, mortality and international migration which are considered outside the planners’ control. Continue reading