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Sources of data for settlement level analyses in sparsely populated areas
Research in areas such as demography, social sciences and population health normally utilise secondary population data sources to address key questions. Large and nationally representative datasets are usually the sources for such analyses. These datasets have allowed for broader generalisations to be drawn and in-depth analysis of changes at settlements level, as well as for population sub-groups. Such datasets, which include national censuses and survey programmes, are administered by national statistical agencies (NSAs) covering topics like demographic characteristics, employment and health. While large and nationally representative datasets are considered the 'gold standard' for research, it is recognised they have limitations for understanding demographic change at small scales of geography and for population sub-groups, in particular for those residing in sparsely populated areas (SPAs) and Indigenous peoples (Axelsson, 2010; Taylor et al., 2011).