3218.0 - Regional Population Growth, Australia and New Zealand, 2001-02  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 03/04/2003   
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Australia's estimated resident population at June 2002 was 19.7 million people, an increase of 249,500 people over June 2001. This represents an annual growth rate of 1.3%, slightly higher than the average annual growth rate of 1.2% for the five years to June 2001.

All states and territories experienced population growth in 2001-02, with the largest increases occurring in Queensland (up 78,200 people), Victoria (up 67,800 people) and New South Wales (up 65,100 people).

Three states recorded annual growth rates greater than Australia's overall growth rate in 2001-02. These were Queensland, which increased by 2.2%, and Victoria and Western Australia, which each increased by 1.4%.

The remaining states and territories recorded lower annual growth rates than Australia, with New South Wales increasing by 1.0%, the Australian Capital Territory by 0.8% and South Australia by 0.6%. Tasmania and the Northern Territory recorded only small increases of 0.2% and 0.1% respectively.

Of the 576 Local Government Areas (LGAs) in Australia with populations of greater than 1,000 people at June 2001, 59% (337 LGAs) experienced population growth of 0.3% or more in 2001-02 while 23% (134 LGAs) decreased by 0.3% or more. The remainder (18%, or 105 LGAs) experienced relatively little change in population size in 2001-02 (increasing or decreasing by 0.2% or less).


At June 2002, capital city SDs were home to nearly two-thirds (64%, or 12.5 million people) of Australia's population. Growth in the combined capital city SDs occurred at an annual rate of 1.3% in the year to June 2002.

Melbourne SD recorded the largest increase in population of Australia's capital city SDs in 2001-02 (up 52,500 people), followed by Sydney (up 42,700 people) and Brisbane (up 38,700 people).

Brisbane SD was the fastest growing capital city in 2001-02, increasing by 2.3%, followed by the Melbourne and Perth SDs (each up 1.5%).

Outer suburban growth

Much of Australia's growth occurred in the outer LGAs of capital city SDs. In Sydney SD, the LGAs of Blacktown (C), Baulkham Hills (A) and Liverpool (C) experienced large growth (up 5,300, 4,500 and 4,400 people respectively), while the largest growth within Melbourne SD occurred in the fringe LGAs of Casey (C), Melton (S) and Wyndham (C) (up 10,100, 5,900 and 5,500 people respectively).

Outer suburban areas in the smaller capital cities also experienced significant growth, such as occurred in the Brisbane Statistical Local Areas (SLAs) of Parkinson-Drewvale and Doolandella-Forest Lake. In South Australia the largest growth in LGA populations was recorded in the outer suburban LGAs of Salisbury (C) and Onkaparinga (C), while in Perth the fringe LGAs of Wanneroo (C), Swan (C) and Rockingham (C) experienced large growth. Palmerston (C), on the outskirts of Darwin, recorded the largest growth of any Northern Territory LGA, while Amaroo, on the northern fringe of Canberra, and Dunlop, to the north-west, experienced the largest growth amongst SLAs in the Australian Capital Territory.

Inner city growth

Many of Australia's inner city areas experienced high levels of growth during 2001-02. The LGA of Perth (C) recorded Australia's highest annual growth rate of 11.8%, while the LGAs of Sydney (C) and Melbourne (C) also experienced rapid growth, increasing by 6.8% and 6.5% respectively in 2001-02. Elsewhere in Australia, other inner city areas to experience high levels of growth were the Brisbane SLAs of City - Inner and Newstead, the Darwin SLA of City - Inner and the Canberra SLA of Braddon.


Generally, the largest growth outside capital city SDs occurred in coastal Australia. The city of Gold Coast in Queensland recorded the second largest increase in population of all LGAs in Australia during 2001-02 (up 14,800 people), while strong growth continued in many other Queensland coastal areas, such as Pine Rivers (S), Maroochy (S) and Caloundra (C).

In New South Wales, increases in population were recorded in every coastal LGA outside the Sydney SD, with the largest occurring in Shoalhaven (C), Hastings (A) and Tweed (A), while the Victorian LGAs of Bass Coast (S) and Surf Coast (S) continued to experience strong growth in 2001-02. In South Australia, the populations of Alexandrina (DC) and Victor Harbor (C) continued to grow, and in Western Australia the coastal LGAs of Busselton (S), Mandurah (C) and Broome (S) experienced continuing strong growth.


Various regional centres throughout Australia continued to gain population during 2001-02, such as the New South Wales LGAs of Maitland (C) and Queanbeyan (C), the statistical district of Albury-Wodonga on the New South Wales/Victorian border, and the Victorian LGAs of Greater Geelong (C), Greater Bendigo (C) and Ballarat (C). A number of coastal regional centres, such as Cairns (C) in Queensland and Port Lincoln (C) in South Australia, also experienced growth in 2001-02.


All of the twenty fastest decreasing LGA populations in Australia in 2001-02 were located in state and territory balances. The five fastest declining LGAs were Coober Pedy (DC) and Peterborough (DC) in the balance of South Australia (down 4.2% and 3.3% respectively), Bruce Rock (S) and Dalwallinu (S) in the balance of Western Australia (down 3.8% and 3.7% respectively), and West Coast (M) in the balance of Tasmania (down 3.0%).

The largest decline in population in 2001-02 occurred in the Sydney LGA of Canterbury (C), which decreased by 690 people, followed by Geraldton (C) in the balance of Western Australia (down 400 people), Waverley (A) in the Sydney SD (down 380 people), Mount Isa (C) in the balance of Queensland (down 360 people), and Whitehorse (C) in the Melbourne SD (down 330 people).


For Australia, this publication contains estimates of the resident population of Statistical Local Areas (SLAs), Local Government Areas (LGAs), Statistical Subdivisions (SSDs), Statistical Divisions (SDs), Statistical Districts, states and territories at June 1997, 2001 and 2002, according to the 2002 edition of the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC). Growth rates for these areas are also provided. Estimates for 1997 and 2001 are final estimates, based on results of the 2001 Census of Population and Housing, while 2002 estimates are preliminary.

Final estimates for Statistical Local Areas for all years between 1996 and 2001, according to the 2001 edition of the Australian Standard Geographical Classification, are scheduled for release on 23 May 2003 in Census of Population and Housing: Population Growth and Distribution, Australia, 2001 (cat. no. 2035.0).

For New Zealand, this publication contains final estimates of the resident population of Regional Councils and Territorial Authorities at June 1997 and 2001, and preliminary estimates for 2002, based on results of the New Zealand 2001 Census of Population and Dwellings. Growth rates for these areas are also provided.


For the first time, estimates of the resident population for 32 Queensland Aboriginal and Island Council Areas have been produced. For more detail see paragraph 14 of the Explanatory Notes.


In commentary based on statistics in this publication, it is recommended that the relevant statistics be rounded. All data are affected by errors in reporting and processing. While unrounded figures are provided in tables, accuracy to the last digit is not claimed and should not be assumed. No reliance should be placed on statistics with small values.