Australian Bureau of Statistics

Rate the ABS website
ABS Home > Statistics > By Catalogue Number
ABS @ Facebook ABS @ Twitter ABS RSS ABS Email notification service
1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2012  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 24/05/2012   
   Page tools: Print Print Page RSS Feed RSS Bookmark and Share Search this Product

Population

GEOGRAPHIC DISTRIBUTION OF THE POPULATION

Most of Australia’s population is concentrated in two widely separated coastal regions the south-east and east, and the south-west. Of the two regions, the south-east and east is by far the largest in area and population. The population within these regions is concentrated in urban centres, particularly the capital cities.

Australia's population density at June 2010 was 2.9 people per square kilometre (sq km) compared with 2.6 people per sq km in 2005. Of the states and territories, the Australian Capital Territory had the highest population density at June 2010 with 150 people per sq km (reflecting the fact that the city of Canberra constitutes a large proportion of the Australian Capital Territory's area) followed by Victoria with 24 people per sq km. The Northern Territory had a population density of only 0.2 people per sq km, the lowest of all the states and territories (reflecting more recent settlement, distance from areas settled earlier, large arid areas and, perhaps, climate).

Population density at June 2010 was highest in the city centres, particularly in the Sydney Statistical Division where the most densely populated Statistical Local Area (SLA) in Australia was located. This was Sydney (C) East (with 8,800 people per sq km). The neighbouring Sydney (C) West (7,900) and Waverley (A) (7,500), which is located just east of the Sydney (C) LGA and contains the beach-side suburbs of Bronte and Bondi, had the third and fourth highest population densities in Australia. The most densely populated SLA in Victoria was Melbourne (C) Inner with 8,000 people per sq km, making it the second most densely populated SLA in the country. Port Phillip (C) St Kilda, which is on the shores of the bay just south of the city centre, with 6,400 people per sq km, North Sydney (A), with 6,200 people per sq km, and Sydney (C) Inner, with 6,100 people per sq km, complete the list of Australian SLAs that had more than 6,000 people per sq km at June 2010. At the other extreme, there were almost 250 SLAs in Australia with less than 1 person per sq km, close to one-third of which were located in Western Australia. The density of Australia's population at June 2010 is shown in map 7.14.



7.14 POPULATION DENSITY—June 2010



REGIONAL POPULATION CHANGE

At June 2010, capital city Statistical Divisions (SDs) were home to 14.3 million people, or around two-thirds (64%) of Australia's population. The capital city SD of Melbourne experienced the largest increase in population of capital cities between 2005 and 2010, followed by Sydney and Brisbane. However, in terms of percentage growth, Darwin was the fastest growing capital city between 2005 and 2010, with an average annual growth rate of 2.8% per year. Perth experienced the next highest average annual growth rate over this period (2.7%). Table 7.15 illustrates the changes in population of Australia's major regions over the five-year period 2005–10.

Generally, the largest growth outside capital city SDs occurred in Australia's coastal regions. Of these regions, the largest increase in population between 2005 and 2010 occurred in the Statistical District of Gold Coast – Tweed, up by an average 16,900 people per year (or 3.1% per year). Hervey Bay recorded the fastest rate of growth over the same period, with an average growth rate of 4.7% per year. This growth rate was also faster than any capital city. Mandurah and Bunbury, south of Perth, also had average annual growth rates above 4.0% during the same period.


7.15 ESTIMATED RESIDENT POPULATION, By major regions(a)

June 2005
June 2010
Change 200510

no.
no.
no.
%(b)

CAPITAL CITY STATISTICAL DIVISION
Sydney
4 245 045
4 575 532
330 487
1.5
Melbourne
3 680 609
4 077 036
396 427
2.1
Brisbane
1 822 074
2 043 185
221 111
2.3
Adelaide
1 134 513
1 203 186
68 673
1.2
Perth
1 485 823
1 696 065
210 242
2.7
Greater Hobart
203 467
214 705
11 238
1.1
Darwin
111 258
127 532
16 274
2.8
Canberra
329 865
358 222
28 357
1.7

STATISTICAL DISTRICT
Newcastle (NSW)
512 658
546 788
34 130
1.3
Wollongong (NSW)
276 171
292 190
16 019
1.1
Nowra-Bomaderry (NSW)
32 013
34 479
2 466
1.5
Lismore (NSW)
31 099
32 494
1 395
0.9
Coffs Harbour (NSW)
49 170
53 401
4 231
1.7
Port Macquarie (NSW)
40 998
44 313
3 315
1.6
Tamworth (NSW)
43 696
47 595
3 899
1.7
Dubbo (NSW)
35 617
38 037
2 420
1.3
Wagga Wagga (NSW)
54 019
58 610
4 591
1.6
Bathurst (NSW)
31 758
34 303
2 545
1.6
Orange (NSW)
36 970
39 329
2 359
1.2
Albury-Wodonga (NSW/VIC)
99 493
106 052
6 559
1.3
Geelong (Vic.)
165 666
178 650
12 984
1.5
Warrnambool (Vic.)
31 053
33 922
2 869
1.8
Ballarat (Vic.)
87 079
96 097
9 018
2.0
Bendigo (Vic.)
83 325
91 713
8 388
1.9
Shepparton (Vic.)
45 822
49 859
4 037
1.7
Latrobe Valley (Vic.)
75 337
81 001
5 664
1.5
Mildura (Vic.)
46 841
50 522
3 681
1.5
Sunshine Coast (Qld)
217 491
251 081
33 590
2.9
Bundaberg (Qld)
61 680
69 036
7 356
2.3
Hervey Bay (Qld)
48 260
60 807
12 547
4.7
Rockhampton (Qld)
71 608
77 878
6 270
1.7
Gladstone (Qld)
44 163
51 158
6 995
3.0
Mackay (Qld)
74 220
85 700
11 480
2.9
Townsville (Qld)
148 454
172 316
23 862
3.0
Cairns (Qld)
126 419
150 920
24 501
3.6
Toowoomba (Qld)
119 327
131 258
11 931
1.9
Gold Coast-Tweed (Qld/NSW)
507 212
591 473
84 261
3.1
Mandurah (WA)
69 407
85 814
16 407
4.3
Bunbury (WA)
55 605
68 248
12 643
4.2
Kalgoorlie/Boulder (WA)
29 835
32 390
2 555
1.7
Geraldton (WA)
32 761
36 958
4 197
2.4
Launceston (Tas.)
102 700
106 153
3 453
0.7
Burnie-Devonport (Tas.)
79 366
82 567
3 201
0.8
Canberra-Queanbeyan (ACT/NSW)
376 243
410 419
34 176
1.8

(a) Based on 2010 Australian Standard Geographical Classification boundaries.
(b) Average annual growth rate.
Source: Regional Population Growth, Australia (3218.0).


INTERSTATE MIGRATION

A key contributor to change in the distribution of Australia's population is internal migration. During 2009–10, 331,400 people moved from one state or territory to another. This is an 8% drop from the same period one year earlier (359,900).

In 2009–10, Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia and Tasmania all recorded net interstate migration gains, while New South Wales, South Australia, Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory had net interstate migration losses. Queensland has recorded positive net interstate migration for more than 30 years; in contrast, New South Wales has had net losses every year since 1978–79. However, as table 7.16 illustrates, any losses due to net interstate migration in 2009–10 were offset by growth due to natural increase (births minus deaths) and net overseas migration.

Queensland was the most popular destination for Australians moving interstate, receiving the largest number of arrivals during 2009–10 (86,400 persons). New South Wales and Victoria followed with 83,000 and 63,100 arrivals respectively.

The most common moves were between the three most populous states: New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria. The largest interstate flow was from New South Wales to Queensland (42,000 persons), while the counter flow from Queensland to New South Wales was the second largest (35,400 persons), followed by the flow from New South Wales to Victoria (22,700 persons).

There were also significant movements between bordering states and territories. This is especially apparent between the Australian Capital Territory and surrounding New South Wales, with 10,100 arrivals to the Australian Capital Territory from New South Wales and 9,900 departing from the Australian Capital Territory to New South Wales in 2009–10.

The largest net flow in 2009–10 was between New South Wales and Queensland, with Queensland gaining a net 6,700 people from New South Wales, and the second largest net movement was between New South Wales and Victoria with Victoria gaining a net 2,600 from New South Wales.


7.16 COMPONENTS OF POPULATION GROWTH RATE—200910
NSW
Vic.
Qld
SA
WA
Tas.
NT
ACT
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%

Natural increase
0.70
0.67
0.90
0.47
0.84
0.44
1.35
1.04
Net overseas migration
0.93
1.11
0.90
0.95
1.26
0.36
0.57
0.76
Net interstate migration
–0.15
0.05
0.22
–0.18
0.09
0.06
–0.37
–0.02
Total population growth
1.48
1.82
2.01
1.24
2.19
0.86
1.55
1.78

Source: Migration, Australia (3412.0).


WHAT'S NEW?

The ASGS

From July 2011, the ABS is replacing the nation's official statistical geography, the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC), with the new Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS). The ASGS defines more stable, consistent and meaningful units than the ASGC and will become the essential reference for understanding and interpreting the geographical dimension of ABS statistics. For more information about the ASGS, including maps, labels and codes, see Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS): Volume 1 Main Structure and Greater Capital City Statistical Areas, July 2011 (1270.0.55.001).

Population estimates and the implementation of the Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS)

An ABS Information Paper titled Population Estimates under Australia's New Statistical Geography (3219.0.55.001) was released on 26 August 2011. The purposes of the paper are to:
  • provide a broad overview of the ASGS
  • inform users of the availability of population estimates under the new geography
  • inform users of the historical estimates that will be prepared
  • provide key dates for the release of these estimates under the ASGS, and
  • outline the methodology that will be used to prepare population estimates under the ASGS.

How will birth and death statistics be affected by the implementation of the Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS)?

Changing statistical geography will result in Births, Australia (3301.0) and Deaths, Australia (3302.0) releasing sub-state data on Statistical Area Level 2 (roughly equivalent to SLAs). As the ASGS will be a more stable and more flexible geography, there will be minimal revisions required to time series data during an intercensal period. The first release of birth and death data on ASGS will be in October/November 2012 for the 2011 reference year and will include a concorded SA2 time series going back 5 or 10 years (dependent on data quality). Birth and death statistics will continue to be released on Local Government Areas (LGAs) in line with official gazetted boundaries.

Information about the changes to the geography are available in appendices attached to the 2010 publications of Births, Australia (3301.0) and Deaths, Australia (3302.0), released in October and November 2011 respectively. Resources to support the transition to the new geography are located in the ABS Geography portal.

Regional internal migration estimates

An ABS Discussion Paper titled Assessment of Methods for Developing Estimates for Regional Internal Migration (3405.0.55.001) was released in November 2011. The purpose of the paper is to summarise a method to convert postcode-based migration data to ASGC boundaries using a population-weighted concordance, discuss challenges with this approach and identify potential solutions to these challenges. Users and stakeholders have the opportunity to provide feedback and to ensure that issues associated with producing experimental internal migration estimates are adequately considered before the ABS produces a regular series of regional internal migration estimates.

 

Previous Page | Next Page


Statistics contained in the Year Book are the most recent available at the time of preparation. In many cases, the ABS website and the websites of other organisations provide access to more recent data. Each Year Book table or graph and the bibliography at the end of each chapter provides hyperlinks to the most up to date data release where available.

Bookmark and Share. Opens in a new window

Commonwealth of Australia 2014

Unless otherwise noted, content on this website is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Australia Licence together with any terms, conditions and exclusions as set out in the website Copyright notice. For permission to do anything beyond the scope of this licence and copyright terms contact us.