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1308.8 - In fACT - Statistical Information on the ACT and Region, Aug 2010  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 25/08/2010   
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FEATURE ARTICLE 1: SCHOOL AGE POPULATION WITHIN THE ACT


As the population grows in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), the age profile is also changing. For a number of years both the number and proportion of young people have been falling. However, projections indicate that while the proportion of young people in the ACT will continue to fall, their actual numbers are projected to increase. To highlight this issue, this article will focus on the demographics of the Primary school age group (people aged 5 to 12 years) and the Secondary school age group (people aged 13 to 18 years) broken down by Statistical Subdivision (SSD). Population projections, using 2006 as the base year, will indicate the projected year in which the population is likely to surpass the levels of 30 June 1999 for each age group. The number of births registered in the ACT by SSD will provide an indication of which areas are likely to grow.


Demographics of Primary school age group within the ACT

At 30 June 2009, the estimated resident population of the ACT Primary school age group was 33,300 people, a decrease of 900 (-2.6%) since 30 June 2004. In the five years to June 2009, the Primary school age group has declined an average of 0.5% per year, compared to an average annual increase of 1.7% for the total ACT population.

At 30 June 2009, the Primary school age group made up 9.5% of the total population for ACT. This was lower than the national proportion of 10.0%.

Using Series B (Footnote 1) to project the population of people in the Primary school age group, 2008 is the projected low and this age group is projected to increase each year after. From 2007-09, the estimated resident population is slightly higher than the projected population. Population projections, with base year from 2006, are not expected to reach the equivalent estimated resident population of 30 June 1999 until 2015.

POPULATION, Primary school age group - ACT
Graph: ERP vs Population projection, Primary school age group, ACT


In the five years to 30 June 2009, the population of the Primary school age group of Gungahlin-Hall SSD grew by 1,000 people, North Canberra SSD by 200 and Woden Weston SSD by 100, while Tuggeranong SSD fell by 2,000 people and Belconnen SSD by 100. Gungahlin-Hall SSD had the highest average annual growth of 4.6% for the five years to June 2009, while Tuggeranong SSD decreased by 3.5% on average per year.

For 30 June 2009, Tuggeranong SSD (30.0%) had the largest proportion of people in the Primary school age group in the ACT. This was followed by Belconnen SSD (25.3%), Woden Weston SSD (15.5%), Gungahlin-Hall SSD (14.9%), North Canberra SSD (8.9%) and South Canberra SSD (5.4%). Tuggeranong SSD (38.6%) had largest proportion of Primary school age group in the ACT as at June 1999. Followed by Belconnen SSD (25.9%), Woden Weston SSD (15.2%), North Canberra SSD (7.9%), Gungahlin-Hall SSD (6.6%) and South Canberra SSD (5.7%).

ESTIMATED RESIDENT POPULATION, Primary school age group - ACT: By SSD
Graph: ERP, Primary school age group, By SSD, ACT


Some quick facts on the Primary school age group for each SSD in the ACT:
  • North Canberra's population fluctuated between 2,800 and 3,000 people from 1999 to 2009.
  • South Canberra's population decreased by 200 people from 1999 to 2009.
  • Woden Weston's population reached a ten year low in 2005 before growth from 2006.
  • Belconnen's population decreased each year from 2000 to 2006 before growth from 2007.
  • Tuggeranong's population decreased each year from 1999 to 2009.
  • Gungahlin-Hall's population increased each year from 1999 to 2009.


Demographics of Secondary school age group within the ACT

At 30 June 2009, the ACT Secondary school age group numbered 27,200 people, a decrease of 800 (-2.8%) since 30 June 2004. Between June 2004 and 2009, the population in this age group decreased by an average of 0.6% per year. In comparison, the ACT total population increased 1.7% on average per year over this period.

At 30 June 2009, the Secondary school age group made up 7.7% of the total population of the ACT. This was lower than the national proportion of 8.0%.

Using Series B (Footnote 1), the population of the Secondary school age group is projected to continue in decrease to a low in 2016. From 2007-09, the estimated resident population is slightly lower than projected population estimates. Population projections are not expected to reach the equivalent estimated resident population of 30 June 1999 until 2021.

POPULATION, Secondary school age group - ACT
Graph: ERP vs Population projection, Secondary school age group, ACT


In the five years to 30 June 2009, the population of the Secondary school age group of Gungahlin-Hall SSD grew by 1,000 people, while Tuggeranong SSD fell by 900 people, Belconnen SSD fell by 700, Woden Weston SSD fell by 100 and South Canberra SSD by 100. North Canberra SSD remained the unchanged. Gungahlin-Hall SSD had the highest average annual growth of 8.3% for the five years to June 2009, while both Tuggeranong SSD and Belconnen SSD decreased by 1.9% on average per year.

As at 30 June 2009, Tuggeranong SSD (32.5%) had the largest proportion of people of Secondary school age group in the ACT. This was followed by Belconnen SSD (24.8%), Woden Weston SSD (15.2%), Gungahlin-Hall SSD (11.4%), North Canberra SSD (9.6%) and South Canberra SSD (6.5%). Tuggeranong SSD (33.9%) had the largest proportion of people of the Secondary school age group in the ACT as at 30 June 1999. This was followed by Belconnen SSD (29.2%), Woden Weston SSD (16.2%), North Canberra SSD (9.4%), South Canberra SSD (6.5%) and Gungahlin-Hall SSD (4.7%).

ESTIMATED RESIDENT POPULATION, Secondary school age group - ACT: By SSD
Graph: ERP, Secondary school age group, By SSD, ACT


Some quick facts on the Secondary school age group for each SSD in the ACT:
  • Both North Canberra's and South Canberra's population remained steady.
  • Both Woden Weston's and Belconnen's population has steadily decreased since 1999.
  • Tuggeranong's population went through a period of growth reaching a high in 2003 before a steadily declining.
  • Gungahlin-Hall's population continues to grow at a steady rate.


Births registered as ACT residents

In 1998, there were 4,000 births registered as ACT residents. Between 1998 and 2005, ACT resident births have fluctuated between 3,900 and 4,200 births registered each year. Since 2005, the numbers of births have increased to reach a high of 4,800 births in 2008.

BIRTHS REGISTERED AS ACT RESIDENTS
Graph: Births, ACT, 1998 to 2008


Between 1998 and 2008, Gungahlin-Hall (+90.9%) had the largest increase in births, which is related to the growth in the population of the SSD and the number of women of reproductive-age. North Canberra (+54.6%), South Canberra (+40.3%), Belconnen (+33.7%) and Woden Weston (+20.3%) also had increases, while Tuggeranong (-17.1%) decreased.

BIRTHS REGISTERED AS REMAINDER ACT RESIDENTS, By SSD
Graph: Births, By SSD, ACT, 1998, 2003, 2008


Some quick facts on the births for each SSD in the ACT:
  • Births of North Canberra residents increased gradually since 2000.
  • Births of South Canberra residents remained steady over the period from 1998 to 2005 before increasing to a ten year high in 2008.
  • Births of Woden Weston residents remained steady over the period from 1998 to 2008.
  • Births of Belconnen residents were steady between 1998 and 2004 but had risen in recent years before declining in 2008.
  • Births of Tuggeranong residents had been steadily declining till 2005 but have since increased.
  • Births of Gungahlin-Hall residents have continued to grow at a steady rate.


Looking forward

While demographics of the younger population are changing throughout the ACT, the numbers of both primary and secondary aged group is projected to increase beyond the levels of 10 years ago. Established SSDs, such as North and South Canberra, are remaining steady while Tuggeranong and Belconnen are experiencing declines. The demographics of the younger population in the ACT will continue to change with the introduction of more and more suburbs being developed. The ACT population, with an average annual growth of 1.6% for the previous year to June 2009, will continue to grow. 'This growth has had a positive effect on the ACT's economy and share of the Commonwealth Grants Commission funding, but it has outlined the population increase will place increased pressure on housing supply, health services and other infrastructure. The ACT Government is taking the recent population growth, and the rate of regional population projections and is working to identify the elements of the regional economic catchment.' (End Note 1) What will be interesting to see is how the estimated resident population of the younger population evolves over time.


Please note

1. Population estimates up to 2006 are final, estimates for June 2007 and June 2008 are revised and estimates for June 2009 are preliminary.
2. For the purposes of this article, Woden Weston SSD is the combination of the Woden Valley and Weston Creek-Stromlo SSDs.


End Note

1. The Canberra Plan: Towards our Second Century, Chief Minister's Department, Page 17

Footnote

1. Series B largely reflects current 2006-07 trends in fertility, life expectancy at birth, net overseas migration and net interstate migration.


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