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POPULATION CHANGE BY SA2, Australia - 2014-15
STATE AND TERRITORY HIGHLIGHTS
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory
CAPITAL CITY GROWTH
At June 2015, 15.9 million people, around two-thirds of Australia's population, lived in a Greater Capital City. The combined population of Greater Capital Cities increased by 263,100 people in the 12 months to 2015.
Melbourne had the largest growth of all Greater Capital Cities, increasing by 91,600 people, followed by Sydney (83,300), Brisbane (35,200) and Perth (31,100). Melbourne grew by an average of more than 1,760 people per week, while Sydney increased by over 1,600 people per week.
The population of Australia's Greater Capital Cities grew by 1.7%, faster than the rest of the country (0.7%). Melbourne also had the fastest growth of all Greater Capital Cities, up by 2.1%, ahead of Darwin (1.9%) and Sydney (1.7%). The slowest-growing Greater Capital City was Hobart, at 0.8%, followed by Adelaide (0.9%).
OUTER SUBURBAN GROWTH
Many areas which experienced strong growth were located on the fringes of capital cities, where more land tends to be available for subdivision and housing development. In the year to 2015, six of the ten SA2s with the largest population growth in Australia were outer suburbs of Greater Melbourne. Cranbourne East, on the south-eastern outskirts of Melbourne, had the largest growth in the country in 2014-15, increasing by 4,600 people. South Morang and Epping, both to the north of the city, also had large growth, increasing by 4,200 and 3,300 people respectively. Cranbourne East also had the fastest growth in Victoria - and the second fastest in Australia (up 32%) - followed by Truganina (15%) in the outer west and Beaconsfield - Officer (14%) in the south-east.
In Western Australia, the SA2 of Baldivis on the south-western outskirts of Greater Perth, recorded the largest growth in the state (increasing by 2,800 people), followed by Forrestdale - Harrisdale - Piara Waters in the south-east (up by 2,600) and Ellenbrook in the north-east (up by 2,400). The coastal SA2 of North Coogee had the fastest growth in the state (up by 23%).
The SA2 in New South Wales with the fastest population increase was Cobbitty - Leppington (up by 26%), which includes the expanding land releases around Oran Park in Sydney's south-west. This SA2 also had the second highest population increase in the state (up by 2,600 people), behind Waterloo - Beaconsfield in inner Sydney (up by 3,100).
In Queensland, the outer suburban SA2 of North Lakes - Mango Hill in the north of Greater Brisbane had the largest growth in the state, up by 2,500 people (9.7%), whilst in South Australia the largest growth was in the SA2 of Seaford (up by 760 people or 3.5%), in Adelaide's outer south.
INNER-CITY GROWTH & URBAN INFILL
The inner-city SA2 of Waterloo - Beaconsfield in Sydney had one of the largest population increases in Australia between 2014 and 2015, growing by 3,100 people. Other inner-city SA2s to experience large growth included Melbourne (up by 2,600 people), nearby Southbank (1,300), and Mascot - Eastlakes in Sydney's inner south (1,300).
Waterloo - Beaconsfield was also the fastest-growing inner-city SA2, increasing by 11% to 29,800 people. The inner Melbourne SA2s of Docklands, Collingwood, Melbourne and Southbank also had fast growth, each increasing by 8.0% or more. Much of this growth can be attributed to strong infill development activity. Urban infill is the development of a site within an already-developed area, either by building housing on land that was previously vacant or used for non-residential purposes, or by replacing low-density housing with higher-density dwellings. Infill development is becoming more common on transport corridors, near commercial hubs, and in suburbs where there are older houses on large blocks of land.
GROWTH ALONG THE COAST
Generally, the most prominent growth outside of capital cities between 2014 and 2015 occurred along the coast of Australia, particularly in Queensland. The SA2 of Upper Coomera - Willow Vale on the Gold Coast had the largest increase outside of Australia's capitals, up by 1,500 people. This was followed by Deeragun, west of Townsville's central business district, and Pimpama (also on the Gold Coast), which grew by 1,300 and 1,000 people respectively. Pimpama was also the fastest-growing SA2 in Queensland, increasing by 20% in 2014-15. This was the fastest growth in Australia outside of the country's capital cities.
In Western Australia, Busselton (up by 610 people) and Australind - Leschenault (600), both on the state's south-west coast, had large growth.
In New South Wales, Wollongong (up 590 people), Shellharbour - Flinders (500) on the South Coast and Kingscliff - Fingal Head (480) in the Tweed Valley also experienced high growth.
In Victoria, the coastal SA2s of Ocean Grove - Barwon Heads and Torquay near Geelong had large growth (increasing by 700 and 680 people respectively).
GROWTH IN INLAND AREAS
Some inland SA2s outside of capital cities had large growth in the 12 months to 2015, especially those in and around regional centres. In Victoria, the SA2 of Grovedale, a southern suburb of Geelong, grew by 950 people. In New South Wales, the population of Maitland - West in the Hunter Valley increased by 660 people.
Other inland areas to experience large growth included the SA2s of Wodonga on the Victoria - New South Wales border (up by 480 people), White Hills - Ascot in Bendigo (460) and Cessnock (430) in the New South Wales Hunter Valley.
Many of the largest population declines in 2014-15 were in Australia's regional areas. A number of SA2s with the biggest declines were in the Northern Territory, including Nhulunbuy (down by 1800 people, the largest decline in Australia, due to curtailed production at the alumina refinery) and Charles in Alice Springs (down 270).
Other regional SA2s with large declines included Newman (down by 410) in Western Australia's Pilbara region, Broadsound - Nebo (down by 310) in Queensland's Bowen Basin, and Leinster - Leonora (down by 300) in the Western Australian outback.
A number of long-established areas within Australia's capital cites also declined in population. One explanation for this is that the population of these areas has aged and as households have moved through the life cycle, they have reduced in size as children have moved away from home.
In the Australian Capital Territory, a number of older suburbs in the Tuggeranong region experienced decline, including Kambah (down by 200) and Wanniassa (down by 140). In Greater Melbourne there were declines in the established outer and middle-ring suburbs of Rowville - Central (down by 270 people), Endeavour Hills (down by 260) and Eltham (down by 250). Sydney's suburb of Auburn, near Parramatta, experienced a decline of 180 people, while the Greater Brisbane SA2s of Slacks Creek (outer southern) and Cleveland (outer eastern) both decreased by 200 people.
POPULATION CHANGE BY REMOTENESS AREAS
The Remoteness Structure of the Australian Statistical Geography Standard identifies five Remoteness Area (RA) categories for Australia, ranging from Major Cities to Very Remote. As at June 2015, 71% of the population resided in Major Cities. In comparison, just 2.2% lived in Remote or Very Remote Australia. Major Cities were the fastest-growing type of RA in Australia, up 1.6% in the year to June 2015. In contrast, Very Remote areas declined in population (down 1.6%).
Excluding the Australian Capital Territory, the states with the highest proportion of their population living in Major Cities were Victoria and Western Australia (both 77%), while Tasmania was the state with the highest proportion living in Inner Regional areas (66%), which includes Hobart. Of all the states and territories, the Northern Territory had the highest proportion in Outer Regional areas (58%), which includes Darwin, as well as Remote (20%) and Very Remote (22%) areas.
Within the states and territories (excluding the Australian Capital Territory), Major Cities had the fastest growth in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland. In South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania, Inner Regional areas were the fastest-growing, while in the Northern Territory, Outer Regional areas grew the fastest.
Population density varies greatly across Australia. Australia's population density at June 2015 was 3.1 people per square kilometre (sq km), which remained unchanged from June 2014. Among the states and territories, the Australian Capital Territory had the highest population density, at 170 people per sq km, followed by Victoria (26), New South Wales (9.5), and Tasmania (7.6). The remaining states and territories all had population densities below the Australian figure, with the Northern Territory having the lowest at just 0.2 people per sq km.
Eight of the ten most densely-populated SA2s in the country were in Sydney, including Pyrmont - Ultimo, which had the highest, at 15,100 people per sq km, Potts Point - Woolloomooloo (13,800), Surry Hills and Darlinghurst (both 13,500). These areas all surround Sydney's central business district.
Within Melbourne, the SA2s with the greatest population densities were inner-city Melbourne (14,100 people per sq km) and neighbouring Carlton (9,800). In Brisbane, New Farm (6,500 people per sq km) and nearby Kangaroo Point (6,400) had the highest population densities.
At the other end of the scale, 200 SA2s in Australia had population densities of less than 1 person per sq km, the majority of which were in Queensland (46 SA2s), Western Australia (43) and New South Wales (38). The Northern Territory had the highest proportion of SA2s with less than 1 person per sq km, at 26%, followed by Western Australia (17%).
The inner-city SA2 of Melbourne had the largest increase in population density in 2014-15, adding an extra 1,100 people per sq km. This was followed by Waterloo - Beaconsfield (up by 850 people per sq km) in inner Sydney, Harrison in Canberra and Collingwood in inner Melbourne (both up by 530).
POPULATION DENSITY BY SA2, Australia - June 2015
CENTRE OF POPULATION
The centre of population is one way in which the spatial distribution of Australia's population can be summarised. This point marks the average latitude and longitude around which the population is distributed.
Australia's centre of population at June 2015 was 32 kilometres east of the small service town of Ivanhoe in western New South Wales. This location reflects the concentration of population in south-east Australia. The centre of population moved 31 kilometres north-west between 2005 and 2015. This shift reflects rapid population growth in Queensland and Western Australia over this ten-year period.
CENTRE OF POPULATION Australia - June 2005 and June 2015
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