WESTERN AUSTRALIA STATISTICAL SUMMARY
Population and Social Trends
Employment and Earnings
- By 31 March 2009, Western Australia's estimated resident population had exceeded 2.22 million. The quarterly population growth of 0.9% was the highest of all Australian states and territories.
- In 2008, the number of crime victims recorded by Western Australia Police decreased from the previous year for sexual assault, robbery, assault, homicide and related offences, kidnapping/abduction, and blackmail/extortion but increased for motor vehicle theft, other theft and unlawful entry with intent.
- In 2008, just over a half (52%) of all 15-24 year olds in Western Australia were participating in education. This was the lowest rate of all states and territories and below the national participation rate for this age group (59%). However, apparent retention rates for full-time school students from Year 7/8 to Year 12 increased for both males and females between 2007 and 2008.
- From 2006 to 2007, the number of students in Western Australia attending a Vocational Education and Training institution increased by 3.7%, to 142,300 and the number of higher education students rose by 5.3% to 106,200. In the five years to 2006, the proportion of overseas students attending higher education institutions in the state has doubled (from 15% to 30%).
- In the ten years to 2008, the median age at first marriage in Western Australia increased to 29.9 years for males and 27.8 years for females.
- Since 2002, the total fertility rate (TFR) has trended upwards from 1.7 to 2.0 babies per woman. This increase is the result of higher fertility among women aged 30 years and over.
- The most recent statistics on causes of death indicate that the main causes were cancer (malignant neoplasms), ischaemic heart disease and stroke, which together accounted for more than half (54%) of all deaths in Western Australia in 2007.
- In seasonally adjusted terms, Western Australia's unemployment rate increased to 5.8% in September 2009, up from 5.4% in August. In trend terms, the September figure of 5.7% is the highest unemployment rate for Western Australia since January 2004.
- In the August quarter 2009, job losses occurred in the Retail trade and Public administration and safety industries while Accommodation and food services; Education and training; and the Construction industries all experienced employment growth. Over the same period, the average number of hours worked by Western Australian employees decreased by one hour to 33.5 hours per week.
- In the May quarter 2009, the average weekly total earnings for all employees increased by 1.5% to $1052.20 (trend).
- In seasonally adjusted terms, Western Australia's state final demand in the June quarter 2009 increased by 1.6% to $35.6 billion.
- In trend terms, state final demand fell by 0.1% over the same period.
- After two quarters of negative growth, Perth's Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased by 0.8% in the June quarter 2009. Clothing and footwear (7%) was the most significant contributor to this increase after a substantial decrease (-5.4%) in March 2009. Within this group, men's clothing, men's outerwear and accessories all rose between 11% and 13%.
- After five consecutive quarters of decrease, the established homes index for Western Australia increased by 2.7% in the June quarter 2009. The project homes index showed a very slight increase of 0.1%.
- In the June quarter 2009, the Wage Price Index (WPI) for Western Australia increased by 0.5% from the previous quarter, with Government administration and defence showing the largest increase (1.8%). In the year to June 2009, the Western Australian WPI increased by 4.6%.
International merchandise trade
- In seasonally adjusted terms, monthly retail turnover in Western Australia increased by 0.4% in August 2009 after small decreases in June and July.
- Sales of new motor vehicles increased slightly (0.6%) in seasonally adjusted terms in the month of August 2009. However, the August figure was still 17% lower than the corresponding figure for August 2008.
Investment and finance
- In the June quarter 2009, Western Australia's trade surplus was $11.1 billion, 8% lower than the surplus in the June quarter 2008.
- China has continued to be the state's main export destination, receiving goods from Western Australia to the value of $6.6 billion in the June quarter 2009. This was $918 million higher than in the same quarter of the previous year.
- The value of exports to Japan, the second major export destination, again fell in the June quarter 2009, having dropped by $1.2 billion from the June quarter. Over the year, the value of exports to India rose by 48% to $2.2 billion.
- In the June quarter 2009, Western Australia received its largest value of imports from the United States of America ($790 million), followed by Thailand ($630 million) and Japan ($592 million).
- Western Australia's private new capital expenditure, in seasonally adjusted chain volume terms, was $7.3 billion in the June quarter 2009, up 6.5% from the March quarter 2009. Investments increased in buildings and structures, accounting for $5.3 billion of this new expenditure.
- In July 2009, the number of dwellings financed (trend) continued to steadily rise, exceeding 7,500 for the first time since February 2008. The number of dwellings financed (trend) was 0.7% higher than in June 2009 and 19.5% higher than in July 2008.
Mining and energy
- The number of residential building approvals (1,804) rose by 1.3%, in seasonally adjusted terms, for the month of August 2009. This followed several months of volatility, with the lowest seasonally adjusted figure (1,280) recorded in November 2008. In trend terms, the number of building approvals increased in August 2009 for the seventh consecutive month.
- The number of dwellings commenced in the March quarter 2009 was 10% lower than in the same quarter of the previous year. Over this period there was an increase in new house commencements (up 1.6%) while commencements of other residential buildings decreased considerably (down 46%).
- In seasonally adjusted terms, total expenditure on mineral exploration fell by 3.6% in the June quarter 2009, following a much larger decrease in the previous quarter.
- In the June quarter 2009, the quantity of iron ore produced increased significantly both in comparison with the previous quarter and with the same quarter of the previous year (up 24% and 12% in original terms).
- The June quarter 2009 saw a 17% increase in the number of overseas visitors compared with the same quarter of the previous year. The largest increases in terms of visitor numbers were from Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong and Indonesia.
- The top five countries of origin in the June quarter 2009 were the United Kingdom; Singapore; Malaysia; Japan and New Zealand.
- The top destinations for Western Australians travelling abroad on holiday in the June quarter 2009 were Indonesia (31%), Thailand (12%), Singapore and Malaysia (both over 7%). New Zealand was also a popular destination with over 6% of overseas departures.
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