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3101.0 - Australian Demographic Statistics, Mar 2002  
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Special Article - Australia's regional population growth 1996-2001


Special article published in Australian Demographic Statistics, Australia, (Cat. No. 3101.0) March Quarter 2002

POPULATION CHANGE

Australia's estimated resident population at June 2001 was 19.5 million people. This represents an increase of 1.2 million people (or 6.4%) since June 1996, with an average annual growth rate of 1.3%. All states and territories experienced population growth between 1996 and 2001, with the exception of Tasmania which experienced a small decrease in population.

Of Australia's 624 Local Government Areas (LGAs), almost two-thirds (65%) gained population in the five years to June 2001 while the remaining LGAs (35%) decreased in population.

GROWTH IN CAPITAL CITIES

At June 2001, capital city SDs were home to nearly two-thirds (64%) of Australia's population, as in 1991 and 1996. Growth in the combined capital city SDs occurred at an average annual rate of 1.3% between 1996 and 2001 compared with 1.2% between 1991 and 1996.

Between 1996 and 2001, the largest growth occurred in Sydney (up 273,600) and Melbourne (up 205,500). For the same period the fastest average annual growth occurred in Darwin (up 2.5%) and Brisbane (up 1.7%).

Outer suburban growth

Much of Australia's growth between 1996 and 2001 occurred in the outer LGAs of capital cities. Large increases in population were recorded in the Sydney LGAs of Liverpool (C), Blacktown (C), Baulkham Hills (A), Wyong (A) and Camden (A), while the largest growth within Melbourne occurred in the fringe LGAs of Casey (C), Hume (C) and Mornington Peninsula (S).

Outer suburban areas within other capital cities also experienced significant growth in the five years to June 2001, such as Doolandella-Forest Lake and Parkinson-Drewvale in Brisbane, Onkaparinga (C) and Tea Tree Gully (C) in Adelaide, Wanneroo (C), Swan (C) and Rockingham (C) in Perth, Palmerston (C) in Darwin, and Ngunnawal and Nicholls in Canberra.

Inner city growth

Australia's inner city areas, especially in the larger cities, grew rapidly in the five years to June 2001. The LGA of the City of Sydney recorded Australia's highest average annual growth rate (up 18.1% per year), while the LGAs of Perth (up 7.3% per year) and Melbourne (up 5.6% per year) also experienced rapid growth between 1996 and 2001. The inner-Brisbane SLAs of Fortitude Valley - Inner and City - Inner were among the fastest-growing SLAs in Queensland over this period.

GROWTH ALONG THE COAST

Generally, the largest growth outside capital city SDs occurred in coastal Australia. Lake Macquarie (C), Tweed (A), Shoalhaven (C) and Hastings (A) in New South Wales, and Bass Coast (S) and Surf Coast (S) in Victoria experienced significant growth between 1996 and 2001. The City of Gold Coast in Queensland recorded the largest population increase of all LGAs in Australia between 1991 and 1996 and the second largest increase between 1996 and 2001, while growth also continued in the Queensland coastal areas of Maroochy (S) and Caloundra (C). In South Australia, Alexandrina (DC) and Victor Harbour (DC) continued to experience population growth, while in Western Australia the coastal LGAs of Mandurah (C), Busselton (S), Broome (C) and Albany (C) experienced growth.

GROWTH IN REGIONAL CENTRES

Population growth occurred in a number of regional centres in the five years ending June 2001. Centres such as Maitland (C) and Queanbeyan (C) in New South Wales, Greater Geelong (C), Greater Bendigo (C) and Ballarat (C) in Victoria, Cairns (C) in Queensland, Port Lincoln (C) in South Australia, and Albany (C) in Western Australia experienced growth over this period.

LARGEST GROWTH AND LARGEST DECLINE

Eight of the top ten growth LGAs in Australia between 1996 and 2001 were in the capital city SDs. The two LGAs to experience the largest growth were Brisbane (C) which grew by 74,000 people and Gold Coast (C) which grew by 69,000 people.

Six of the top ten largest declines in LGAs in Australia between 1996 and 2001 were in the balances of the states. However, the two largest declines occurred in Greater Dandenong (C) in the Melbourne SD which declined by 3,300 people and Marrickville (A) in the Sydney SD which declined by 2,500 people.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREAS WITH LARGEST POPULATIONS


ERP AT 30 JUNE
CHANGE


1991
1996
2001p
1991-96
1996-2001p
National
rank(a)
LGAPart of State
no.
no.
no.

no
.
%(b)
no.
%(b)

LARGEST INCREASES
1Brisbane (C)Brisbane
769,087
824,489
898,480
55,402
1.4
73,991
1.7
2Gold Coast (C)Qld Balance
282,329
356,441
425,418
74,112
4.8
68,977
3.6
3Liverpool (C)Sydney
101,360
124,292
159,627
22,932
4.2
35,335
5.1
4Casey (C)Melbourne
117,001
148,957
181,990
31,956
4.9
33,033
4.1
5 Blacktown (C)Sydney
218,200
239,818
266,072
21,618
1.9
26,254
2.1
6Baulkham Hills (A)Sydney
121,044
125,598
146,644
4,554
0.7
21,046
3.1
7 Wanneroo (C)Perth
46,631
64,999
84,374
18,368
6.9
19,375
5.4
8 Maroochy (S)Qld Balance
81,766
108,072
127,402
26,306
5.7
19,330
3.3
9 Sydney (C)Sydney
7,281
13,846
31,788
6,565
13.7
17,942
18.1
10 Pine Rivers (S)Brisbane
90,453
106,277
122,447
15,824
3.3
16,170
2.9

LARGEST DECLINES
1 Greater Dandenong (C)Melbourne
133,666
131,796
128,509
-1,870
-0.3
-3,287
-0.5
2 Marrickville (A)Sydney
80,867
79,876
77,375
-991
-0.2
-2,501
-0.6
3 Whyalla (C)SA Balance
26,382
24,371
22,209
-2,011
-1.6
-2,162
-1.8
4 Duaringa (S)Qld Balance
10,553
9,232
7,659
-1,321
-2.6
-1,573
-3.7
5Canterbury (C)Sydney
134,584
138,715
137,258
4,131
0.6
-1,457
-0.2
6 Waverley (A)Sydney
61,066
65,137
63,741
4,071
1.3
-1,396
-0.4
7 Ashburton (S)WA Balance
7,922
7,379
5,991
-543
-1.4
-1,388
-4.1
8 Launceston (C)Tas. Balance
65,370
63,896
62,510
-1,474
-0.5
-1,386
-0.4
9 Coolgardie (S)WA Balance
5,824
5,651
4,301
-173
-0.6
-1,350
-5.3
10 Mount Isa (C)Qld Balance
24,507
22,386
21,187
-2,121
-1.8
-1,199
-1.1

(a) Based on population change between 1996 and 2001.
(b) Average annual growth rate.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Further information about regional population growth and decline is available in Regional Population Growth, Australia and New Zealand, 1991 to 2001 (cat. no. 3218.0) released on 25 July 2002.


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