2016 Census: Western Australia

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MEDIA RELEASE
27 June 2017
068/2017


Western Australia home to Australia's fastest growing region - again!

Western Australian, Australia’s geographically largest State, is home to the country’s fastest growing region for the second Census running, with Serpentine Jarrahdale taking the mantle in 2016, from East Pilbara in 2011, according to 2016 Census data released today.

It has been less than 10 months since the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) took the pulse of the nation to find out who we are, how we live, what we do, and where we’re headed.

The Census was used to update Western Australia’s estimated resident population, which at 31 December, 2016 had grown to 2,567,788 people.

The 2016 Census counted 2,474,410 usual residents of Western Australia on Census night, an 11 per cent increase from 2011.

Located approximately 45 kilometres from the Perth CBD in the picturesque forested hills of the Darling Scarp, Serpentine Jarrahdale showed a population increase of 51 per cent to 27,000 people – up from 18,000 people in 2011.

The coastal region of Kwinana, south of Perth, was the State’s second fastest growing region, with its population increasing to 39,000 people from 29,000 (up 33 per cent).

Looking at the vast open spaces of Western Australia, people are heading south, with the Augusta – Margaret River – Busselton region population growing by 21 per cent since 2011, while Bunbury (7.8 per cent) and Albany (6.9 per cent) were also booming.

Residents of the Local Government Area of Ashburton in the State’s Pilbara mining region recorded the State’s highest weekly median income at $2,381 per week.

The State’s median income ($724 per week) is higher than the national median income ($662 per week). Similarly, weekly rent ($347) and monthly household mortgage repayments ($1,993) are both higher than the national medians – $335 and $1,755 respectively.

Western Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population continued to grow in 2016, with 75,978 people reported being of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander origin, an increase of 9.1 per cent from 2011.

The Wildflower State is also home to the largest number of residents born outside of Australia, with almost a third of the state’s population (32 per cent) reporting they were born overseas, an increase from 31 per cent in 2011.

Mandarin (1.9 per cent), Italian (1.2 per cent) and Vietnamese (0.8 per cent) were the most commonly reported languages other than English spoken in Western Australian homes.

Christianity was the most commonly reported religion in Western Australia, accounting for half the State’s population – 1.2 million people – while 33 per cent of people reported they had ‘No religion’.

Australian Statistician David W. Kalisch said Census data is high quality, thanks to the participation of Australians.

“The Independent Assurance Panel I established to provide extra assurance and transparency of Census data quality concluded that the 2016 Census data can be used with confidence,” Mr Kalisch said.

“The 2016 Census had a response rate of 95.1 per cent and a net undercount of 1.0 per cent. This is a quality result, comparable to both previous Australian Censuses and Censuses in other countries, such as New Zealand, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

“Furthermore, 63 per cent of people completed the Census online, embracing the digital-first approach and contributing to faster data processing and data quality improvements.

“2016 Census data provides a detailed, accurate and fascinating picture of Australia, which will be used to inform critical policy, planning and service delivery decisions for our communities over the coming years,” he said.

Census data is available free online. Use one of our easy tools such as QuickStats and Community Profiles to access the latest data for your area or topic of interest.

You can also attend one of our free Seminars. To find out more about Census Data Seminar series, or to register, go to the ABS website.



Western Australia

2016
2011

Usual resident count
2,474,410
2,239,170

Population growth
10.5%

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
75,978
69,664

Median age
36
36

Sex
Male
50.0%
50.3%
Female
50.0%
49.7%

Born overseas
796,355 (32.2%)
683,296 (30.5%)

Country of birth (top 5 outside Australia) %
1.
England – 194,163 (7.8%)
England – 191,932 (8.6%)
2.
New Zealand – 79,221 (3.2%)
New Zealand – 70,734 (3.2%)
3.
India – 49,385 (2.0%)
South Africa – 35,326 (1.6%)
4.
South Africa – 41,008 (1.7%)
India – 29,915 (1.3%)
5.
Philippines – 30,835 (1.2%)
Scotland – 27,185 (1.2%)

Languages spoken at home (top 4) %
1.
English – 1,861,041 (75.2%)
English – 1,775,951 (79.3%)
2.
Mandarin – 47,840 (1.9%)
Italian – 31,449 (1.4%)
3.
Italian – 29,401 (1.2%)
Mandarin – 28,032 (1.3%)
4.
Vietnamese – 20,247 (0.8%)
Cantonese – 18,006 (0.8%)

Religious affiliation (top 3) %
1.
No Religion – 804,268 (32.5%)
No Religion – 560,428 (25.0%)
2.
Catholic – 530,361 (21.4%)
Catholic – 529,118 (23.6%)
3.
Anglican – 354,790 (14.3%)
Anglican – 421,092 (18.8%)

Registered marital status (over 15 years old) %
Married
975,062 (48.8%)
876,747 (48.7%)
Separated
63,205 (3.2%)
53,816 (3.0%)
Divorced
167,361 (8.4%)
150,802 (8.4%)
Widowed
88,619 (4.4%)
83,175 (4.6%)
Never married
703,482 (35.2%)
634,567 (35.3%)

Median income (weekly)
Individual
$724
$662
Family
$1,910
$1,722
Household
$1,595
$1,415

Family composition %
Couple with children
45.3%
44.9%
Couple without children
38.5%
38.8%
One parent families
14.5%
14.5%
Other family types
1.7%
1.8%

*All numbers based on Place of Usual Residence



Dwellings
2016
2011

Occupied private dwellings
866,767
794,159
Median household rent (weekly)
$347
$300
Median household mortgage repayments (monthly)
$1,993
$1,950
Median bedrooms per household
3.3
3.3
Average number of people per household
2.6
2.6

Household composition %
Family households
72.7%
72.2%
Single (or lone) person households
23.6%
23.8%
Group households
3.8%
4.0%

*All numbers based on Place of Enumeration, excludes visitor only and other non-classifiable households