1367.5 - Western Australian Statistical Indicators, Dec 2001  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 17/01/2002   
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January 17, 2002
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)
New Statistics Highlight Increasing Housing Density in Perth

A recent study of building approvals data by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) indicates that nearly one quarter of new dwellings approved since July 1998 in the Perth metropolitan area are medium density developments.

The findings of the study are contained in a special report released today in the publication Western Australian Statistical Indicators, December Quarter 2001.

ABS Acting Regional Director for Western Australia, Dave Roarty, said: "This study identified a significant number of approved houses that were planned to be constructed as grouped dwellings - a form of multiple housing development on a single parcel of land".

This view of medium density housing indicates that nearly one in four (or 9,696) of new dwellings approved over the three years to 2000-01 comprise medium density (or clustered) developments.

The highest proportion of new clustered dwelling approvals comprised 5 or more dwelling units (41%) and 2 dwelling units (30%)

The average gross site area (GSA) per dwelling decreased as the number of dwellings within each clustered dwelling development type increased. For clustered developments comprising 2 dwellings, the largest proportion (31%) had an average GSA per dwelling in the range 400–499 square metres whereas the average GSA per dwelling for the largest proportion (38%) of developments comprising 5 or more dwellings was down to 200–299 square metres. By comparison, the largest proportion (31%) of single house approvals had an average gross site area in the range 600–699 square metres.

There were four notable suburb groups within which clustered dwellings comprised 48% or more of new dwelling approvals:
  • North Coastal - including the suburbs of Scarborough and Innaloo;
  • North Central - including the suburbs of Tuart Hill and Joondanna;
  • Perth South - including the suburbs of South Perth and Como;
  • Fremantle South - including the suburbs of Hilton and Hamilton Hill.

The results point to an increase in urban infill occurring across the Perth metropolitan area, particularly in the more established residential suburbs as depicted in the attached map.

Mr Roarty said: "The findings from the study have the potential to better inform planning, and assist in the identification of infrastructure required to support areas of increased housing and population density".

Details are in Western Australian Statistical Indicators, December Quarter 2001 (cat. no. 1367.5).


Many Western Australians are continuing with, or returning to, formalised learning beyond the compulsory years. This is one of the findings contained in a special report released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) in the publication Western Australian Statistical Indicators, December Quarter 2001.

The report traces patterns of participation in education and training by Western Australians across the life stages - from childhood, through youth and adulthood, to the retirement years. It shows that:
  • Western Australia's school population is growing. In August 2000, there were 317,761 full-time students attending schools, an 11.5% increase compared with August 1990. The number of Indigenous students enrolled in Western Australian schools increased by 46% during the same period to 17,227 - just over 5% of the overall school population.
  • During this past decade, the trend has been towards greater participation in the non-government school sector, the proportion of students undertaking schooling in this sector growing from 24.4% to 29.0% (an increase of 22,419 people).
  • Young Western Australians (aged 15-24 years) were more likely to be participating in post compulsory education and training in May 2000 than those in the same age group a decade earlier. Between 1990 and 2000, the education participation rate for young Western Australians rose by almost one third (30%), an increase of 41,273 students. Nationally, the participation rate for young people grew by 23% during the same period.
  • People aged 25-64 years made up a substantial proportion (35%) of all Western Australian students in May 2000, despite participating in education and training at a lower rate than young people. In May 2000, there were over 80,000 students aged 25-64 years attending educational institutions in Western Australia, almost half (48%) of which were aged 25-34 years.
  • Between 1990 and 2000, the education participation rate for 25-34 year olds increased by 34% compared with a 30% growth in the rate of participation among 15-24 year olds.
  • In May 2000, 72% of students aged 25-64 years studying for a recognised qualification were also in paid employment compared with 48% of students aged 15-24 years. Of the working students aged 25-64 years, 60% were full-time workers undertaking part-time study while 23% were part-time workers undertaking part-time study.
  • Just over one in ten (or 18,080) older Western Australians (aged 65 years and over) were attending an educational institution in August 1996. Between 1991 and 1996, their education participation rate increased by 13%.

Details are in Western Australian Statistical Indicators, December Quarter 2001 (cat. no. 1367.5).