3106.0 - Demography News, Jun 2003  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 08/07/2003   
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More than eight in ten Australians (85%) lived within 50 kilometres of the coastline in 2001. 87% of people lived in urban areas with a population greater than 1000 people. Apart from the Australian Capital Territory, where the city of Canberra accounted for 99.3% of the population, the highest levels of urbanisation occurred in New South Wales and Victoria (89% each).

In 2001, 97% of Australia's total population lived in either major cities, inner regional areas or outer regional areas, while 3% lived in remote or very remote areas. 74% of the Indigenous population lived in major cities, inner regional areas or outer regional areas in 2001, while 26% lived in remote or very remote areas. In the Northern Territory, 81% of the Indigenous population lived in either remote or very remote areas.

Between 1996 and 2001, 6.8 million people (42% of the population) changed their address within Australia, with younger adults, recent overseas migrants and the Indigenous Australians being the most mobile population groups. The only states or territories to experience a net gain through interstate migration between 1996 and 2001 were Queensland (with 92,200 people), Victoria (6,400) and Western Australia (2,900).

Further information is available from
Census of Population and Housing: Population Growth and Distribution, Australia (cat. no. 2035.0). This publication provides information about population change in Australia between the 1996 and 2001 Censuses. It includes information on the growth, location and mobility of the population at the national, state and regional levels. A major focus of the publication is the characteristics and volume of interstate and intrastate movement between 1996 and 2001.

For more information please contact Jacqui Cristiano on (02) 6252 7117 or jacqui.cristiano@abs.gov.au