2030.2 - Melbourne ... A Social Atlas, 2001  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 11/02/2003   
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February 11, 2003
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)

2001 Census Social Atlas for Melbourne Launched

The Australian Bureau of Statistics' 2001 Census Social Atlas for Melbourne was officially launched today by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer, Senator Ian Campbell.

The Social Atlas features colour maps of the key social, demographic and economic characteristics of Melbourne at the time of the 2001 Census.

Senator Campbell said the series was a rich source of information for all Australians.

"The extensive range and depth of information will be a very useful resource for many different organisations and groups in the community, particularly schools," he said.

"The Social Atlas really is a great way to discover Melbourne."

The launch of the Melbourne atlas completes the series of Social Atlases for each Australian city, which have been released progressively since the end of last year. Social Atlases for Canberra and Darwin were also released today.

All of the social atlases feature a common set of maps on topics such as population, ethnicity, education, families, income, labour force and dwellings. They also include maps highlighting unique characteristics of individual capital cities.

"The census is a major project conducted every five years to gather information critical for the planning of our nation," Senator Campbell said.

"The 2001 Census received excellent support from the Australian public."

Media please note:

The Social Atlas for Melbourne was released at today's launch. A fact sheet summarising the main findings accompanies this media release. A comprehensive information kit containing a hard copy publication of the Social Atlas and CD ROM of broadcast/print quality versions of the maps is available to the media on request for reporting purposes.


The 2001 Census Social Atlas for Melbourne was released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics today.

The social atlas features colour maps of the key social, demographic and economic characteristics of your capital city, at the time of the 2001 Census.

Some of the points of interest for Melbourne were:

Population growth:

Melbourne's population of 3,203,088 is nearly 70% of the population of Victoria, and has grown by more than 218,000 people or 7.2% between the 1996 and 2001 censuses. More than half this population growth reflected residential developments in the outer and fringe suburbs such as Caroline Springs in the west, Roxburgh Park in the north and Narre Warren South in the south-east.

In addition, redevelopments in the city centre, and inner suburbs such as Docklands and Southbank, also contributed to an increase in population in these areas, and reversed the population decline in the inner city areas. Population growth in the local government areas of Melbourne and Port Phillip represented 12% of Melbourne's overall growth between 1996 and 2001. As with all capital cities in Australia part of this inner city growth is associated with an increase in medium or high density housing.

Population ageing:

As for all Australian capital cities, the proportion of younger persons to the total population is steadily declining. The average across all capital cities of the proportion of people aged under 25 years was 35.2% in 2001, compared with 39% in 1991. In Melbourne, people aged under 25 years comprised 34% of the population in 2001, compared with 38% in 1991.

University qualifications:

There was an increase in the proportion of people with university qualifications in Melbourne. They made up 24% of the labour force in 2001, compared with 14.6% in 1991. This is consistent with the national trend where all Australian capital cities reported an increase in the proportion of people with university qualifications since the 1991 census. The average across all Australian capital cities of the proportion of people with university qualifications was 22.0% of the labour force in 2001 compared with 14% in 1991. Melbourne remains higher than the national average.

People living alone:

More than 270,400 people lived alone in Melbourne. People living alone increased from 6.9% of the total population in 1991 to 8.6% in 2001. More than 36% of all people living alone were people aged 65 years or older.

Travel to work:

In Melbourne, more than 76% of employed people travelled to work by car. Less than 13% of employed people used public transport to get to work, and this group was most concentrated within 8 kilometres of the city centre, in an area serviced by an extensive tram network, as well as by trains and buses.

Internet use:

34% of the Melbourne population aged 5 years or older used the internet at home in the week before census night and nearly 60% of these people were aged less than 35 years. People attending school or undertaking tertiary studies comprised 38% of all internet users.