Understanding our local populations

Richard Wilson from Sandwell PCTAt the Observatory’s recent event to launch the State of the Region dialogue on population change, Richard Wilson from Sandwell PCT spoke about some of the problems with population data. However, with help from quotes from David Brent to Albert Einstein, Richard argued that these problems should not lead to ‘data paralysis’ where problems with data become reasons for not making decisions.

Richard said that although population change is nothing new, it is important to understand how our population is changing by understanding, for example, which age groups are changing quickest, what the new family structures are and where new people are coming from.


Richard also spoke about the need to get behind the population numbers to try to understand the people that make up our local populations and also the importance of  organisations working together and sharing information to better understand their populations.

Richard’s presentation (with accompanying audio) can be viewed below:

This event was the first step in the dialogue between policy makers and researchers to understand what evidence on population change is needed by policy makers to inform their decisions.

If you would like to get involved in this dialogue, or if Richard’s presentation raises any questions or issues, please feel free to add a comment below.

Other speakers at this event included Chris Allen from brap, who presented on moving the equalities agenda forward.

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