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STATE AND TERRITORY HIGHLIGHTS
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory
CAPITAL CITY GROWTH
At June 2013, 15.3 million people, close to two-thirds of Australia's population, resided in a Greater Capital City. The combined population of Greater Capital Cities increased by 313,400 people in the 12 months to 2013.
Melbourne had the largest growth of all Greater Capital Cities, increasing by 95,500 people, followed by Sydney (81,000), Perth (67,500) and Brisbane (45,100). Melbourne grew by an average of more than 1,800 people per week, while Sydney increased by over 1,500 people per week.
The population of Australia's Greater Capital Cities grew by 2.1%, faster than the rest of the country (1.2%). Perth had the fastest growth of all Greater Capital Cities, up by 3.5%, ahead of Darwin (3.0%) and Melbourne (2.2%). The slowest-growing Greater Capital City was Hobart, at 0.5%.
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. South Morang, on the northern outskirts of Greater Melbourne, had the largest growth in the country in 2012-13, increasing by 5,700 people. Point Cook, on the southern fringe of Greater Melbourne, and Craigieburn - Mickleham in the north, also had large growth, each growing by 3,200 people.
The SA2 in New South Wales with both the largest and fastest population increase was Parklea - Kellyville Ridge in the north-west growth corridor of Greater Sydney, which grew by 3,400 people (13%).
In Western Australia, the SA2s of Baldivis on the southern outskirts of Greater Perth, and Ellenbrook in the north-east, recorded the largest growth in the state, increasing by 3,200 and 2,500 people respectively.
In Queensland, the outer suburban SA2 of North Lakes - Mango Hill in the north of Greater Brisbane had growth amongst the largest in the state, up by 1,900 people. Lockyer Valley - East (up by 860 people) and Springfield Lakes (850), both in the SA4 of Ipswich, also had relatively large growth.
Outer suburban areas in the smaller capital cities also had some of the strongest growth in their states or territories. In the Australian Capital Territory, the northern fringe suburbs of Bonner (up by 1,200 people), Casey (830) and Harrison (700) had the largest growth. In South Australia, the outer-Adelaide SA2s of Munno Para West - Angle Vale and Seaford both grew by 630 people. Rosebery - Bellamack on the outskirts of Greater Darwin also added 630 people, giving it the largest growth in the Northern Territory. In Tasmania, outer suburban Margate - Snug had the largest growth in the state, increasing by 140 people.
The inner-city SA2s of Melbourne and Southbank had population increases amongst the largest in Australia between 2012 and 2013, increasing by 5,400 and 2,100 people respectively. Other inner-city areas to experience large growth included Perth City (up by 1,700 people), Waterloo - Beaconsfield (1,100) in Greater Sydney, and the SA2s of Docklands (990), North Melbourne (970) and Carlton (940), which all surround Melbourne's central business district.
Of all inner-city SA2s, Melbourne was the fastest-growing, increasing by 23% to 29,300 people. Also in Greater Melbourne, the inner-city areas of Docklands and adjoining Southbank grew rapidly, both up by 15%.
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.
In addition to some inner-city areas, urban infill contributed to strong population growth in 2012-13 in SA2s such as Concord West - North Strathfield (up by 1,300 people) and Parramatta - Rosehill (1,600) in New South Wales, and Footscray (930) and Dandenong (920) in Victoria. Other areas where urban infill contributed to large growth included Cannington - Queens Park (up by 1,000 people) and Nollamara - Westminster (760) in Western Australia, and Woodville - Cheltenham (470) in South Australia.
GROWTH ALONG THE COAST
Generally, the most prominent growth outside of capital cities between 2012 and 2013 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 2,100 people. This was followed by Deeragun, west of Townsville's central business district, which grew by 1,500 people. Several other SA2s on Queensland's Gold Coast experienced large growth, including Coomera (up by 770 people), Ormeau - Yatala (650) and Pacific Pines - Gaven (620).
In Western Australia, the southern coastal areas of Busselton and Australind - Leschenault grew by 1,000 and 800 people respectively, while in the north, Karratha increased by 1,000 people and Broome by 800.
The coastal SA2 of Torquay in Geelong had the largest growth in Victoria outside of Greater Melbourne, up by 800 people. The nearby SA2s of Highton (up by 660 people), Leopold and Grovedale (both 520) also had large increases.
In New South Wales, the coastal areas of Wollongong and Shellharbour - Flinders, both in the Illawarra region, increased by 530 and 510 people respectively.
GROWTH IN INLAND AREAS
Some inland SA2s outside of capital cities had large growth in the 12 months to 2013, including Wodonga in Victoria, which increased by 630 people. Also in Victoria, large inland growth occurred in Drouin (590) in West Gippsland, and Mildura (510), while in New South Wales, Bathurst and Orange - North increased by 480 and 470 respectively. Other inland areas to experience large growth included the Queensland town of Emerald (up by 600 people) in the Fitzroy region, and Northam (570) in Western Australia's northern wheatbelt region.
Rapid growth also occurred in some of the country's inland SA2s, including Bannockburn (up by 7.6%), Alfredton (5.4%) and White Hills - Ascot (4.9%) in Victoria, and Chittering (5.6%) and Northam (5.1%) in Western Australia.
Many of the largest population declines in 2012-13 were in regional areas, including the SA2s of Wagga Wagga Region (down by 240 people), which surrounds the town of Wagga Wagga, and Grafton (down by 220), both in New South Wales. Other regional SA2s with large declines included Glenelg (down by 170 people) and Moe - Newborough (down by 160) in Victoria, and Burdekin (down by 140) in Queensland.
A number of long-established areas within Australia's greater 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 Melbourne's south-east, Endeavour Hills declined by 210 people, while on the northern outskirts of Melbourne, Mill Park - North and Mill Park - South each decreased by 190. Other SA2s with large declines included Claymore - Eagle Vale - Raby (down by 190 people) in Sydney's outer south-west, Kambah (down by 160) in the Australian Capital Territory's south, and Redwood Park (down by 90) in Adelaide's north-east.
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 2013, 71% of the population resided in Major Cities. In comparison, just 2.3% lived in Remote or Very Remote Australia. Major Cities were the fastest-growing type of RA in Australia, up 2.0% in the year to June 2013. The remaining RAs grew slower than Australia as a whole (1.8%), with Outer Regional areas growing at the lowest rate (0.9%).
The state or territory (excluding the Australian Capital Territory) with the highest proportion of its population living in Major Cities was Western Australia at 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 (57%), which includes Darwin, as well as Remote (21%) and Very Remote (23%) 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 2013 was 3.0 people per square kilometre (sq km), the same as at June 2012. Among the states and territories, the Australian Capital Territory had the highest population density, at 160 people per sq km, followed by Victoria with 25, New South Wales with 9.3, and Tasmania with 7.5. 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.
Population density at June 2013 was highest within Greater Capital Cities, particularly in Greater Sydney. Eight of the country's top ten most densely-populated SA2s were in Greater Sydney, including Pyrmont - Ultimo, which had the highest, at 14,300 people per sq km, Potts Point - Woolloomooloo (13,600), Darlinghurst (13,300) and Surry Hills (13,100). These areas all surround Sydney's central business district.
Within Greater Melbourne, the SA2s with the greatest population densities were inner-city Melbourne (12,400 people per sq km) and neighbouring Carlton (9,000). In Greater Brisbane, New Farm (6,300 people per sq km) and nearby Kangaroo Point (6,000) had the highest population densities.
At the other end of the scale, around 200 SA2s in Australia had population densities of less than 1 person per sq km, the majority of which were in Queensland (45 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 four SA2s with the largest increases in population density were all within Greater Melbourne. Inner-city Melbourne had the largest increase, adding an extra 2,300 people per sq km. This was followed by nearby Southbank (up by 670 people per sq km), Abbotsford (610) and Carlton (520).
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 2013 was 29 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 27 kilometres north-west between 2003 and 2013. This shift reflects rapid population growth in Queensland and Western Australia over this period.
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