1367.5 - Western Australian Statistical Indicators, Dec 2009  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 28/01/2010   
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  • The preliminary estimated resident population of Western Australia at 30 June 2009 was 2.237 million, an increase of 0.6% from March 2009 and 3% from the previous year.
  • For the 12 months ending June 2009, Western Australia recorded the largest percentage gain (3%), ahead of Queensland (2.6%), Northern Territory (2.3%) and Victoria (2.1%). Nationally, the population grew 2.1% to 21.9 million persons.

  • Of all the states and territories, Western Australia had the highest annual proportional increase (9.2%) the number of births, rising from 29,200 in 2007 to 31,800 in 2008.
  • Since 2002, when fertility reached an historic low of 1.70 babies per woman, the total fertility rate (TFR) of Western Australian women has trended upwards, reaching 2.12 babies per woman in 2008. This was the highest TFR recorded for this state since 1976.
  • In line with national trends, the recent increase in the TFR is the result of higher fertility among older women. Women aged 30-34 years recorded the highest fertility rates of all age groups.
  • Life expectancy has continued to rise for both sexes. The life expectancy of a child born between 2006 and 2008 was estimated to be 79.3 years for boys and 84.0 years for girls. A decade ago, life expectancy at birth was three years lower for boys (76.1) and two years lower for girls (81.9).

  • During the last decade, the crude death rate has remained fairly constant, at around 5.9 per 1,000 of the total Western Australian population, However, the infant mortality rate has continued to decline, dropping from 4.7 in 1998 to just 3.5 in 2008. Over the same period, the Indigenous infant mortality rate has fallen from 16.9 to 10.1.
  • Cancer (malignant neoplasms), ischaemic heart disease and stroke continue to be the main causes of death. Together, these accounted for more than half (54%) of all deaths in Western Australia in 2007.

Marriages and Divorces
  • In the ten years to 2008, the median age at first marriage in Western Australia increased to 29.9 years for males and 27.8 years for females.
  • The divorce rate has decreased over the past decade, falling from 2.9 divorces per 1,000 of the estimated resident population in 1998 to 2.2 in 2008.

Education and Training
  • The apparent retention rates to Year 12, in 2008, increased to almost 74% for all full-time school students in 2008. While the retention rate for Indigenous students continued to be considerably lower than that of all students, it increased from 29% to 40% from 2007 to 2008.
  • In 2008, almost six in ten Western Australians aged 25-64 years had obtained a non-school educational qualification. Of the total population in this age group, 23% had a Bachelor degree or above and 36% had an Advanced diploma or below.

Crime and Justice
  • In 2008, the number of crime victims, recorded by Western Australia Police, decreased from the previous year for sexual assault, robbery, assault, homicide and related offences, kidnapping/abduction, and blackmail/extortion.
  • Over the same period, there was an increase in the number of victims of motor vehicle theft, other theft and unlawful entry with intent.
The following link takes you to the Excel data cube:

Statistical Summary (Social)


Employment and Earnings
  • Western Australia's unemployment was unchanged from January to February 2010, remaining at 5.0% in both trend and seasonally adjusted terms and below the national figure of 5.3%.
  • In the August quarter 2009, the average weekly total earnings for all employees rose to $1,018 (0.7%) in seasonally adjusted terms and $1,020 (1.0%) in trend terms.

State Accounts
  • State final demand (trend chain volume measures) in Western Australia increased for the third consecutive quarter in December 2009 (up by 1.4%), matching domestic final demand growth at the national level.
  • Contributing to this increase was a strong quarterly growth in public gross fixed capital formation (4.8% in trend and 16% in seasonally adjusted terms).

  • Perth's Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased 0.8% in the September quarter 2009. This was identical to the June quarter increase, which followed two quarters of decline.
  • In the December quarter 2009, the Wage Price Index (WPI) for Western Australia increased by 0.8% in original terms, which was similar to the national increase (0.7%). Of the states and territories, the Northern Territory (1.2%) had the largest increase while New South Wales had the lowest (0.4%).
  • In the September quarter 2009, the established house price index rose for the second consecutive quarter. The preliminary index figure was 4.5% higher than for the previous quarter and 4.4% higher than for the same quarter of 2008.
  • The project house price index rose marginally (0.3%) in the September quarter 2009.

  • In seasonally adjusted terms, monthly retail turnover in Western Australia increased by 0.7% in November 2009, to nearly $2.2 billion, after an increase of 1.1% in the previous month.
  • In January 2010, sales of new motor vehicles increased for the seventh consecutive month. In seasonally adjusted terms, total sales were almost 5% higher than in the previous month and over 14% higher than in January 2009.

International Merchandise Trade
  • In September 2009, the value of exports from Western Australia fell back to 17.4 billion. However, this was $1.6 billion higher than the pre-GFC value (September 2007).
  • China was the main export destination, receiving goods from Western Australia to the value of more than $6 billion in the September quarter 2009.
  • The total value of imports to Western Australia was 23% lower in the September quarter 2009 than in the same quarter of the previous year ($6.6 billion compared with $8.6 billion).
  • Non-monetary gold, in the form of leaf, foil, bullion and other fabricated gold products, which are sent to Western Australia for processing, continue to be the largest contributor to the total value of imports.

Investment and Finance
  • In December 2009, the total number of dwelling commitments for owner-occupied housing decreased marginally (down 0.2%) in trend terms. This was the first monthly decrease since August 2008.
  • Total new capital expenditure for Western Australia fell in the December quarter (chain volume terms) by 2.3% (trend) and 2.6% (seasonally adjusted).
  • A large fall in the capital expenditure on building and structures in the December quarter (4.4% trend, 6.7% seasonally adjusted) was offset by a strong increase in capital expenditure on equipment, plant and machinery, recording growth of 3.0% in trend and 6.3% in seasonally adjusted terms.
  • After large increases in the previous two months, commercial finance commitments fell by 2% in December 2009. The December value of just under $3.1 billion was 0.8% higher than the value in the same month of the previous year.
  • In December 2009, the value of personal finance commitments increased by almost 4% to over $1.1 billion; this was 15% higher than for the same month of the previous year.

  • The seasonally adjusted value of all building work done in the June quarter 2009 was estimated to be around $2.5 billion. This was almost 4% lower than for the previous quarter and almost 5% lower than for the June quarter 2008.
  • The value of residential building work done in the June quarter fell by 0.5% to $1.6 billion. This was nearly 6% lower than for the same quarter of 2008.
  • The total number of dwelling commencements fell by 1.2% in the June quarter 2009 and by 28% from the corresponding quarter of 2008, the largest annual decrease since June 2001.
  • Residential building approvals continued to rise steadily in January 2010, increasing by 1.0% in trend terms to 2114, after increases of 1.7% in November and 1.1% in December 2009.

Mining and Energy
  • In the September quarter 2009, mineral exploration expenditure was down 22% in seasonally adjusted and 27% in trend terms on the same quarter of the previous year.
  • Expenditure on iron ore exploration remained steady in the September quarter, equating to almost 45% of the total minerals exploration expenditure in Western Australia.
  • The quantity of iron ore produced in the September quarter 2009 was almost 8% higher than in the previous quarter and 14% higher than in the September quarter 2008.
  • Energy production, in the form of both crude oil and natural gas, increased in the September quarter 2009 (up by 5.7% and 1.4% respectively in original terms). Natural gas production was 27% higher than in the September quarter of 2008.

  • In the December quarter 2009, almost 78,000 overseas visitors arrived in Western Australia on holiday, an increase of 1.9% on the same quarter of 2008. The most common country of origin was the United Kingdom, closely followed by Singapore and Malaysia.
  • In the December quarter 2009, 157,000 residents left Western Australia for overseas holidays, up by 35% on the same quarter of 2008.
  • The popular destination of Indonesia received 91% more visitors from this state, in comparison with the December quarter of the previous year. Japan and Malaysia saw increases of 46% and 42% respectively.

The following links will take you to the Excel data cube:

Statistical Summary (Economic)

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