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How do we make sense of a population as spread out and diverse as Australia? For years, we’ve looked to demographers to carve up, label, and stratify the public into groups and categories, in the hope that these overlapping identifiers might help us understand the shape of the nation. Such complex data rarely makes the front page, but can inform policy decisions that affect all of our lives. So how does it all work, and how can demography help us understand contemporary Australia?