2016.0 - Census of Population and Housing: Selected Characteristics for Urban Centres, Australia, 2001  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 26/03/2003   
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This publication contains data from the 2001 Census of Population and Housing (conducted on 7 August 2001) for Australian Urban Centres.
The tables in this publication provide a selection of data for the population and their housing arrangements, for the top 200 Urban Centres. The Urban Centre/Locality (UC/L) geographic structure classifies areas according to size of population and covers only part of Australia. Refer to the Glossary for more information about the definition of UC/L.

The data are presented on the basis of where people were counted on Census Night ('as enumerated'), and therefore data for each geographic area include visitors to that area, but exclude those people who were away on Census Night. All tables exclude overseas visitors unless otherwise stated.

Data released in the Selected Social and Housing Characteristics series of publications (cat.no's 2015.0-8) provide characteristics for Statistical Divisions (SDs), Statistical Subdivisions (SSDs) and Statistical Local Areas (SLAs). Refer to Appendix 2-Census Products and Services for more information.


Census counts should not be confused with the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) official population estimate, the Estimated Resident Population (ERP) which is used for electoral purposes and in assisting in the distribution of government funds to state and local governments. The ERP is the definitive population estimate and is derived from the census counts. For a fuller description of population measures and the derivation of ERP, please see paragraphs 6, 7 and 8 of the Explanatory Notes. Appendix 1-Estimated Resident Population includes a table showing census counts and ERP for each state and territory.

One of the important features of the Census is that it describes the characteristics of Australia's population and housing for small geographic areas and small population groups. While not available in this publication, data at the smallest geographic level (Collection District) are available in a range of census products. For more information on these products, please refer to Appendix 2-Census Products and Services. Concepts and definitions used in this publication are explained in the Glossary and more detailed information is available in the 2001 Census Dictionary (cat.no. 2901.0). The Explanatory Notes in this publication provide a discussion of the scope and coverage of the Census, the different measures of population, and the limitations of census data.

Similar publications are also available for each state and territory (cat.no's2016.1-7), providing data for Urban Centres and Localities and Section of State geographic areas. See Appendix 2-Census Products and Services for more information.



This publication presents the 200 Urban Centres with the highest values for selected topics. Information for every Urban Centre and Locality in each state and territory is published in Selected Characteristics for Urban Centres and Localities (cat. no's 2016.1-7).

Largest Urban Centres

In 2001, populations over one million were recorded in Sydney (NSW) (3,455,110), Melbourne (Vic.) (3,132,900), Brisbane (Qld) (1,490,475) and Perth (WA) (1,162,716). Populations between 200,000 and one million were recorded in Adelaide (SA) (995,955), Gold Coast - Tweed Heads (Qld/NSW) (406,619), Canberra - Queanbeyan (ACT/NSW) (336,805), Newcastle (NSW) (278,773), Central Coast (NSW) (254,579) and Wollongong (NSW) (227,522). In all, there were 57 Urban Centres with populations of over 20,000.

Rate of increase in number of persons enumerated

The highest rate of growth was recorded in the Urban Centre of Ellenbrook in WA (847.5%). This very high percentage can be attributed to a rapidly developing housing estate in Ellenbrook, where the population rose from 575 in 1996 to 5,448 in 2001.

Other increases, in excess of 100%, were recorded in St Arnaud (140%), Launching Place (136.7%), Woori Yallock (131.4%), and NewGisborne(128.3%) in Victoria, Braidwood (121.9%) in NSW, and Kuranda (116.0%) and Moore Park (106.9%) in Queensland.

Further increases, in excess of 50%, were recorded in Mount Macedon (76.6%), Bannockburn (73.5%), Riddells Creek (65.2%), Kinglake (57.9%), and Inverloch (53.7%) in Victoria, Cooloola Village (71.3%), Agnes Water (58.7%), Palmwoods (54.4%), and Sandstone Point (53.7%) in Queensland, Golden Bay - Singleton (64.7%) and The Vines (60.4%) in WA, and Palmerston (68.0%)in the NT.

Rate of decrease in number of persons enumerated

The highest rate of population decrease was recorded in the Urban Centre of Paraburdoo in WA (39.2%), where the population fell from 1,975 in 1996 to 1,201 in 2001. Decreases over 20% were recorded in Norseman (30.0%), Newman (26.3%), Leinster (23.9%) and Kambalda West (20.8%) in WA, Dysart (28.3%) in Queensland, Rosebery (22.8%) in Tasmania and on Christmas Island (23.6%).

Rates of decrease over 10% were recorded in Tom Price (19.7%), Coolgardie (13.8%) and East Bullsbrook (12.7%) in WA, PortKeats(18.6%) and Tennant Creek (16.3%) in the NT, Blackwater (17.0%), Clermont (14.4%) and Monto (14.0%) in Queensland, Culcairn (12.0%), Narrandera (11.8%), Bombala (11.5%) and Finley (10.7%) in NSW, Heyfield (10.7%) in Victoria, and Queenstown (10.5%) and Bridgewater-Gagebrook (10.1%) in Tasmania.

Proportion of males

The highest proportions of males were generally recorded in Urban Centres based on a particular industry such as mining in Leinster (70.4%) and Leonora (63.2%) in WA, and Weipa (56.6%) in Queensland, tourism in Perisher Village (55.7%) and Jindabyne (55.2%) in NSW, and defence in Forest Hill (61.8%) in NSW.

Proportion of females

The highest proportion of females was recorded in Woodford (63.8%) in Queensland, partly attributable to the female detention centre. Other areas with high proportions of females were recorded in Wollongbar (54.6%) and Alstonville (54.5%) in NSW, Hahndorf (54.3%) in SA and Maleny (54.3%) in Queensland.

Proportion of persons aged 0-14 years

High proportions of persons aged 0-14 years were recorded outside major towns and cities, predominantly in Queensland and the NT. The highest proportion was recorded in NSW in Berridale (46.0%), and other high proportions were recorded in the Indigenous communities of Cherbourg (41.3%), Yarrabah (38.3%) and Doomadgee (36.2%) in Queensland, and Port Keats (39.1%), Maningrida (36.2%) and Galiwinku (35.3%) in the NT.

Proportion of persons aged 65 years and over

The highest proportions of persons aged 65 years and over were recorded along the NSW coast in Camden Haven (37.2%), Iluka (36.7%), Harrington (35.0%), Dalmeny (34.1%), Sussex Inlet (33.5%), Hawks Nest (32.7%) and Merimbula (31.7%). The other three of the top ten were also coastal, St Leonards (34.1%) and Portarlington (32.4%) in Victoria, and Victor Harbor in SA (32.9%).

Proportion of personal computer users

The highest proportions of personal computer use at home were recorded in Bellbowrie (66.5%) in Queensland, Murrumbateman (60.4%) and Galston (59.6%) in NSW, Crafers-Bridgewater (58.6%) in SA, Mount Macedon (57.2%) and Beaconsfield Upper (56.8%) in Victoria, Stoneville (55.7%) in WA and Canberra-Queanbeyan (55.6%) in ACT/NSW.

The highest proportions of Internet use were recorded in Perisher Village (61.0%) and Murrumbateman (55.7%) in NSW, and Bellbowrie (58.6%) in Queensland.

Proportion of families with dependent children

The highest proportions of families with dependent children were recorded in Port Keats (80.3%), Galiwinku (73.3%) and Maningrida (69.5%) in the NT, Cherbourg (77.4%), Palm Islands (77.3%), Doomadgee (75.6%), Yarrabah (73.0%) and Tieri (68.3%) in Queensland, and Leinster (69.4%) and Halls Creek (69.3%) in WA.

Proportion of employed persons

The highest proportions of employed persons in the labour force were recorded in Middlemount (99.0%) and Hamilton Island (98.0%) in Queensland, Leinster (98.7%) and Paraburdoo (97.8%) in WA, Thredbo Village and Perisher Village (both 98.6%) in NSW, Galiwinku (98.5%) and Yulara (98.0%) in the NT, Penola (98.1%) in SA and Charlton (97.8%) in Victoria. Most of these were recorded in Urban Centres that had developed around a particular industry such as mining in Leinster and tourism in Thredbo Village, Perisher Village and Hamilton Island.

Unemployment rate

The highest unemployment rates were recorded in Bridgewater-Gagebrook (31.5%) in Tasmania, Curra (26.3%), Cooloola Village (25.4%), Mount Morgan (24.8%) and Russell-Mcleay Islands (21.3%) in Queensland, and Woolgoolga (21.0%), Nambucca Heads (19.8%), Manilla (19.7%) and Iluka (19.4%) in NSW.

Number of occupied private dwellings

The largest numbers of occupied private dwellings were recorded in Sydney (1,256,732) and Melbourne (1,173,616).
The highest proportions of fully owned dwellings were recorded in Camden Haven (60.9%), Broken Hill (58.2%), Ulladulla (55.5%), Forster-Tuncurry (54.5%) and Alstonville (54.2%), all in NSW.

The highest proportions of rented dwellings were recorded in Bridgewater-Gagebrook (63.4%) in Tasmania, Katherine (55.6%) in the NT, and Karratha (53.0%) and Port Hedland (50.2%) in WA.

Median household income

The highest median weekly incomes were recorded in Thredbo Village ($1,821) and Perisher Village ($1,700) in NSW, Paraburdoo ($1,751) in WA, and Tieri ($1,721) and Middlemount ($1,693) in Queensland.

Median housing loan repayments

On a monthly comparison basis, the highest proportions of household income spent on housing loan repayments were recorded in Bowral (34.6%), Wollongong (31.0%) and Lennox Head (31.6%)in NSW, Broome (33.0%) in WA, and Airlie Beach (30.7%) in Qld.

Rent payments (weekly)

As a proportion of median weekly incomes, the highest rent payments were recorded in Jindabyne (30.5%), Perisher Village (29.4%), Thredbo Village (27.5%) and Lennox Head (25.9%) in NSW, and Airlie Beach (27.2%) in Qld.