3218.0 - Regional Population Growth, Australia, 2014-15 Quality Declaration 
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AUSTRALIA


POPULATION CHANGE

Australia's estimated resident population (ERP) reached 23.8 million at 30 June 2015, increasing by 317,100 people or 1.4% since 30 June 2014. This compared with a growth rate of 1.5% in 2013-14.

All states and territories experienced population growth between 2014 and 2015. New South Wales had the greatest growth (up by 104,300 people), followed by Victoria (99,400) and Queensland (58,900).

Victoria grew fastest, increasing by 1.7%, followed by New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory (both 1.4%), Western Australia (1.3%) and Queensland (1.2%). Tasmania and the Northern Territory had the slowest growth (both 0.4%), followed by South Australia (0.8%).

The vast majority of Australia's population growth in 2014-15 (83%) can be attributed to growth in our capital cities. Growth in Greater Capital Cities accounted for 94% of population growth in Western Australia, 93% in South Australia and 92% in Victoria and Tasmania.

Population growth tended to be most prominent in outer suburbs, inner cities, urban infill areas and along the coast. Areas that declined included regional areas and long-established suburbs within capital cities. This can be seen in the following map which shows the population change of Statistical Areas Level 2 (SA2s) over this period.


POPULATION CHANGE BY SA2, Australia - 2014-15
Diagram: POPULATION CHANGE BY SA2, Australia - 2014-15



STATE AND TERRITORY HIGHLIGHTS

New South Wales
  • Greater Sydney's population grew by 1.7% in 2014-15, which accounted for 80% of the total NSW growth. The rest of NSW grew by 0.8%.
  • Waterloo - Beaconsfield, in inner Sydney, had the largest increase of all SA2s in NSW (up by 3,100 people), while Cobbitty - Leppington in the outer south-west had the fastest growth (up by 26%).

Victoria
  • Greater Melbourne was both the largest-growing and fastest-growing capital city in Australia in 2014-15, up by 91,600 people (2.1%).
  • Greater Melbourne had seven of the ten SA2s with the largest growth in Australia in 2014-15, led by Cranbourne East in the outer south-east, which grew by 4,600 people (32%).


Queensland
  • Greater Brisbane grew by 1.6% in 2014-15, while the rest of Queensland grew by 1.0%, the fastest growth rate of all rest of state regions in Australia.
  • The SA2 of Upper Coomera - Willow Vale on the Gold Coast had the largest growth (up by 1,500 people) outside of Australia's capitals, while Pimpama (also on the Gold Coast) had the fastest (up by 20%).


South Australia
  • Seaford, a coastal SA2 in Greater Adelaide's south, had the largest growth in South Australia in the year to 2015, up by 760 people.
  • Munno Para West - Angle Vale in Adelaide's north had the fastest growth in the state, increasing by 5.7% to 10,500 people.


Western Australia
  • Baldivis SA2 in Greater Perth's south-west had the largest growth in the state in 2014-15, increasing by 2,800 people. North Coogee, a coastal suburb of Perth, had the fastest growth (up 23%).
  • Population declined in almost half (42%) of the SA2s in the Rest of WA during 2014-15.


Tasmania

  • Of all states and territories, Tasmania had the highest proportion of its population residing outside the Greater Capital City at June 2015 (57%).
  • The SA2 of Kingston Beach - Blackmans Bay, in Hobart's south, had the largest growth in Tasmania in 2014-15 (up by 220 people).

Northern Territory
  • Palmerston - South was the fastest-growing SA2 in the Northern Territory in 2014-15, up by 22%.
  • SA2s with the largest growth were Howard Springs (up by 810 people) and Darwin City (530).


Australian Capital Territory
  • In the 12 months to June 2015, the estimated resident population of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) increased by 5,400 people to reach 390,700.
  • Much of the population growth in the ACT occurred in the north, especially in new suburbs in the Gungahlin area.



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.



POPULATION DECLINE

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.


ESTIMATED RESIDENT POPULATION BY REMOTENESS STRUCTURE(a)

ERP AT 30 JUNE
CHANGE
2014r
2015p
2014r-2015p
no.
no.
no.
%

NSW
Major Cities
5 584 054
5 673 788
89 734
1.6
Inner Regional
1 443 015
1 457 180
14 165
1.0
Outer Regional
447 085
447 758
673
0.2
Remote
30 830
30 620
-210
-0.7
Very Remote
8 434
8 338
-96
-1.1
Total
7 513 418
7 617 684
104 266
1.4
Vic.
Major Cities
4 483 965
4 576 721
92 756
2.1
Inner Regional
1 105 246
1 113 055
7 809
0.7
Outer Regional
244 412
243 322
-1 090
-0.4
Remote
4 487
4 383
-104
-2.3
Total
5 838 110
5 937 481
99 371
1.7
Qld
Major Cities
2 933 651
2 981 330
47 679
1.6
Inner Regional
956 101
964 126
8 025
0.8
Outer Regional
691 278
695 155
3 877
0.6
Remote
79 517
79 262
-255
-0.3
Very Remote
59 378
58 981
-397
-0.7
Total
4 719 925
4 778 854
58 929
1.2
SA
Major Cities
1 238 950
1 250 319
11 369
0.9
Inner Regional
183 290
185 186
1 896
1.0
Outer Regional
202 587
202 273
-314
-0.2
Remote
45 792
45 968
176
0.4
Very Remote
14 931
14 914
-17
-0.1
Total
1 685 550
1 698 660
13 110
0.8
WA
Major Cities
1 966 435
1 995 302
28 867
1.5
Inner Regional
233 611
238 842
5 231
2.2
Outer Regional
188 283
188 683
400
0.2
Remote
103 766
103 813
47
-
Very Remote
64 951
63 619
-1 332
-2.1
Total
2 557 046
2 590 259
33 213
1.3
Tas.
Inner Regional
338 288
340 231
1 943
0.6
Outer Regional
165 988
165 985
-3
-
Remote
8 061
8 010
-51
-0.6
Very Remote
2 389
2 360
-29
-1.2
Total
514 726
516 586
1 860
0.4
NT
Outer Regional
139 621
142 258
2 637
1.9
Remote
49 284
49 073
-211
-0.4
Very Remote
54 463
52 976
-1 487
-2.7
Total
243 368
244 307
939
0.4
ACT
Major Cities
383 639
386 956
3 317
0.9
Inner Regional
1 707
3 750
2 043
119.7
Total
385 346
390 706
5 360
1.4
Australia(b)
Major Cities
16 590 694
16 864 416
273 722
1.6
Inner Regional
4 261 663
4 302 781
41 118
1.0
Outer Regional
2 079 254
2 085 434
6 180
0.3
Remote
321 737
321 129
-608
-0.2
Very Remote
207 346
204 017
-3 329
-1.6
Total
23 460 694
23 777 777
317 083
1.4

- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)
(a) See paragraphs 16, 17 and 19 of the Explanatory Notes.
(b) Includes Other Territories.


POPULATION DENSITY

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
Diagram: 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

Diagram: CENTRE OF POPULATION Australia - June 2005 and June 2015


ESTIMATED RESIDENT POPULATION, States and Territories - Greater Capital City Statistical Areas (GCCSAs)

ERP AT 30 JUNE
CHANGE
2014r
2015p
2014r-2015p
GCCSA
no.
no.
no.
%

NSW
Greater Sydney
4 837 661
4 920 970
83 309
1.7
Rest of NSW
2 675 757
2 696 714
20 957
0.8
Total
7 513 418
7 617 684
104 266
1.4
Vic.
Greater Melbourne
4 437 903
4 529 496
91 593
2.1
Rest of Vic.
1 400 207
1 407 985
7 778
0.6
Total
5 838 110
5 937 481
99 371
1.7
Qld
Greater Brisbane
2 273 474
2 308 720
35 246
1.6
Rest of Qld
2 446 451
2 470 134
23 683
1.0
Total
4 719 925
4 778 854
58 929
1.2
SA
Greater Adelaide
1 304 637
1 316 779
12 142
0.9
Rest of SA
380 913
381 881
968
0.3
Total
1 685 550
1 698 660
13 110
0.8
WA
Greater Perth
2 008 061
2 039 193
31 132
1.6
Rest of WA
548 985
551 066
2 081
0.4
Total
2 557 046
2 590 259
33 213
1.3
Tas.
Greater Hobart
219 240
220 953
1 713
0.8
Rest of Tas.
295 486
295 633
147
0.0
Total
514 726
516 586
1 860
0.4
NT
Greater Darwin
139 621
142 258
2 637
1.9
Rest of NT
103 747
102 049
-1 698
-1.6
Total
243 368
244 307
939
0.4
Australian Capital Territory
385 346
390 706
5 360
1.4
Other Territories
3 205
3 240
35
1.1
Australia(a)
Greater Capital City
15 605 943
15 869 075
263 132
1.7
Rest of Australia
7 854 751
7 908 702
53 951
0.7
Total
23 460 694
23 777 777
317 083
1.4

(a) Includes Other Territories.




SA3s WITH LARGEST AND FASTEST POPULATION GROWTH IN 2014-2015

ERP AT 30 JUNE
CHANGE
2014r
2015p
2014r-2015p
National rank & SA3(a) GCCSA
no.
no.
no.
%

LARGEST GROWTH

1 WyndhamGreater Melbourne
205 500
216 248
10 748
5.2
2 Whittlesea - WallanGreater Melbourne
201 329
210 573
9 244
4.6
3 Casey - SouthGreater Melbourne
151 636
160 210
8 574
5.7
4 Sydney Inner CityGreater Sydney
203 650
211 001
7 351
3.6
5 Melbourne CityGreater Melbourne
122 150
128 963
6 813
5.6
6 Melton - Bacchus MarshGreater Melbourne
145 135
150 743
5 608
3.9
7 GungahlinAustralian Capital Territory
61 715
66 756
5 041
8.2
8 Tullamarine - BroadmeadowsGreater Melbourne
151 863
156 834
4 971
3.3
9 Ormeau - OxenfordRest of Qld
110 979
115 864
4 885
4.4
10 Bringelly - Green ValleyGreater Sydney
92 122
96 669
4 547
4.9
11 North LakesGreater Brisbane
63 291
67 646
4 355
6.9
12 WannerooGreater Perth
184 554
188 804
4 250
2.3
13 SwanGreater Perth
123 470
127 518
4 048
3.3
14 CardiniaGreater Melbourne
87 220
91 073
3 853
4.4
15 RockinghamGreater Perth
125 138
128 962
3 824
3.1
16 Chatswood - Lane CoveGreater Sydney
110 439
113 986
3 547
3.2
17 ArmadaleGreater Perth
76 873
80 287
3 414
4.4
18 ParramattaGreater Sydney
142 750
146 163
3 413
2.4
19 PenrithGreater Sydney
136 129
139 475
3 346
2.5
20 Blacktown - NorthGreater Sydney
87 549
90 791
3 242
3.7

FASTEST GROWTH

1 Cotter - NamadgiAustralian Capital Territory
1 664
3 707
2 043
122.8
2 GungahlinAustralian Capital Territory
61 715
66 756
5 041
8.2
3 Serpentine - JarrahdaleGreater Perth
22 542
24 181
1 619
7.2
4 North LakesGreater Brisbane
63 291
67 646
4 355
6.9
5 Casey - SouthGreater Melbourne
151 636
160 210
8 574
5.7
6 LitchfieldGreater Darwin
22 033
23 269
1 236
5.6
7 Melbourne CityGreater Melbourne
122 150
128 963
6 813
5.6
8 WyndhamGreater Melbourne
205 500
216 248
10 748
5.2
9 Bringelly - Green ValleyGreater Sydney
92 122
96 669
4 547
4.9
10 Whittlesea - WallanGreater Melbourne
201 329
210 573
9 244
4.6
11 ArmadaleGreater Perth
76 873
80 287
3 414
4.4
12 CardiniaGreater Melbourne
87 220
91 073
3 853
4.4
13 Ormeau - OxenfordRest of Qld
110 979
115 864
4 885
4.4
14 CamdenGreater Sydney
59 660
62 270
2 610
4.4
15 BotanyGreater Sydney
44 714
46 587
1 873
4.2
16 KwinanaGreater Perth
35 747
37 149
1 402
3.9
17 Springfield - RedbankGreater Brisbane
79 115
82 180
3 065
3.9
18 Melton - Bacchus MarshGreater Melbourne
145 135
150 743
5 608
3.9
19 Blacktown - NorthGreater Sydney
87 549
90 791
3 242
3.7
20 Sydney Inner CityGreater Sydney
203 650
211 001
7 351
3.6

(a) National Rank based on population change between June 2014 and June 2015. See paragraphs 24 and 25 of the Explanatory Notes.


SA3s WITH LARGEST AND FASTEST POPULATION DECLINES IN 2014-2015

ERP AT 30 JUNE
CHANGE
2014r
2015p
2014r-2015p
National rank & SA3(a) GCCSA
no.
no.
no.
%

LARGEST DECLINES

1 East ArnhemRest of NT
15 788
13 982
-1 806
-11.4
2 TuggeranongAustralian Capital Territory
86 693
85 743
-950
-1.1
3 Weston CreekAustralian Capital Territory
23 234
22 462
-772
-3.3
4 GrampiansRest of Vic.
58 865
58 258
-607
-1.0
5 GoldfieldsRest of WA
44 362
43 791
-571
-1.3
6 Warrnambool - Otway RangesRest of Vic.
86 221
85 752
-469
-0.5
7 PilbaraRest of WA
66 304
65 859
-445
-0.7
8 Outback - SouthRest of Qld
20 408
19 977
-431
-2.1
9 Murray River - Swan HillRest of Vic.
36 800
36 380
-420
-1.1
10 Glenelg - Southern GrampiansRest of Vic.
35 319
34 966
-353
-1.0

FASTEST DECLINES

1 East ArnhemRest of NT
15 788
13 982
-1 806
-11.4
2 Weston CreekAustralian Capital Territory
23 234
22 462
-772
-3.3
3 Outback - SouthRest of Qld
20 408
19 977
-431
-2.1
4 GoldfieldsRest of WA
44 362
43 791
-571
-1.3
5 Murray River - Swan HillRest of Vic.
36 800
36 380
-420
-1.1
6 TuggeranongAustralian Capital Territory
86 693
85 743
-950
-1.1
7 GrampiansRest of Vic.
58 865
58 258
-607
-1.0
8 Glenelg - Southern GrampiansRest of Vic.
35 319
34 966
-353
-1.0
9 Broken Hill and Far WestRest of NSW
21 826
21 632
-194
-0.9
10 WodenAustralian Capital Territory
34 714
34 426
-288
-0.8

(a) National rank based on population change between June 2014 and June 2015. See paragraphs 24 and 25 of the Explanatory Notes.