1387.3 - Queensland in Review, 2003  
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Contents >> General >> 2000 Queensland Regional Statistics Overview

The following is an extract from Regional Statistics, Queensland 2000 (cat. no. 1362.3)


Queensland is a vast and diverse state. It is the second largest state in Australia based on area. The east coast is characterised by sandy beaches and the Great Barrier Reef. Across the northern peninsula and east of the Great Dividing Range are large expanses of rainforest and eucalypt forests. This contrasts with west of the Great Dividing Range which is noted for minerals, livestock and grain crops.


Queenslanders enjoy an outdoor lifestyle in what is known as the Sunshine State. Queensland has one of the highest annual daily averages of sunshine for Australia. During October, 5% of Queensland has more than 10 hours a day of sunshine while the remainder of the state records at least 8 hours a day.

Weather conditions vary from the subtropical south to the tropical north and from the drier inland to the relatively wet coastal plains. Average annual rainfall in Queensland varies from 150mm a year in the desert of the extreme south-western corner of the state to 4,000mm a year in parts of the north-eastern coast, where sugar cane abounds. The north-eastern coast also has the highest rainfall of any area in Australia.


In the 12 months to 30 June 2000, the south-east corner of Queensland had Australia's two largest increases in population of any local government area. Brisbane City, the most populous LGA in Australia, increased by 14,686 persons (1.7%) while Gold Coast City increased by 13,252 people (3.4%).

The Brisbane Statistical Division accounted for 45.6% of the total Queensland population at 30 June 2000. This was lower than the Australian average proportion of people who resided in capital city statistical divisions (63.9%).

The level of population growth of many regions in Queensland is determined mainly by net internal migration. Declining rural and increasing urban populations are a continuing trend across Queensland. However, in the 12 months ending June 1999, notable growth occurred in a number of regional centres providing goods and services to surrounding regions including Townsville (C), Toowoomba (C) and Emerald (S).

Coastal areas are popular with older retired people and younger people wanting a change in lifestyle or who are attracted by service-based employment opportunities associated with tourism. Most coastal areas in Queensland experienced population increases. In 1999-2000, eight of the ten fastest growing local government areas in Queensland were coastal.


The Moreton and Brisbane Statistical Divisions had the lowest proportions of children aged under 15 years, with 19.9% and 20.6% respectively, at 30 June 1999. The highest proportions of children in this age group were in the North West and South West Statistical Divisions with 26.2% and 24.5%, respectively. Shires where the proportion of children exceeded 30% were Torres, Aurukun, Burke and Duaringa.

The lowest proportions of people aged 65 years or more occurred in the North West (5.7%) and Mackay (8.2%) Statistical Divisions. The highest proportions of people aged 65 years or more occurred in the Wide Bay - Burnett and Moreton Statistical Divisions, 14.5% and 13.9%, respectively, while the Brisbane Statistical Division recorded 10.8%.


There were 46,503 births registered in Queensland in 1999. The total fertility rate was 1.8, which was below the Australian replacement level of 2.1. Regional and urban Queensland have quite different birth and fertility characteristics. Most births occurred in the urban and coastal areas, with 45.5% of births registered in Brisbane Statistical Division and 16.9% in the Moreton Statistical Division. However, these areas had the lowest fertility rates, 1.7 for both Brisbane and Moreton Statistical Divisions. The highest fertility rates occurred in the rural areas of the South West and the North West Statistical Divisions (2.5 each).


In 1999, there were 22,849 deaths in Queensland. The indirect standardised death rate (ISDR) averaged over the 3 years 1997 to 1999 was 6.0 deaths per 1,000 population. This rate was higher in the remote sparsely populated areas of the South West, Northern, Fitzroy and Far North Statistical Divisions. The ISDR for the indigenous population was 14.0. The median age at death for indigenous males and females was 48.9 years and 60.3 years, respectively, compared with 74.2 years and 81.2 years, respectively, for non-indigenous males and females.

The major causes of death in Queensland were consistent with the rest of Australia. Most deaths in Queensland were attributed to diseases of the circulatory system (40.9%) and cancer (27.6%). Skin cancers caused 1.4% of all deaths. Although the incidence of skin cancer has increased dramatically over the last 40 to 50 years (up to four times the incidence in males and twice the incidence in females) the rate of mortality has remained quite stable.


Queensland had a total of 15,939 hospital beds, in 1998-99. Of these, 10,643 beds were in public hospitals and 5,296 were in private hospitals (including day surgery hospital beds). The total number of hospital beds in Queensland represented 4.6 beds per 1,000 persons. This rate compares with 4.1 beds per 1,000 persons in New South Wales and 3.8 in Victoria.

Nationally, rural regions1 generally had a higher number of hospital beds per 100,000 people than capital cities or other metropolitan areas. This does not reflect the proximity of hospitals to the surrounding population. Expenditure per bed in the rural areas was considerably lower than capital city or metropolitan areas. The number of medical specialists per 100,000 persons was similar in capital cities and large rural centres throughout Australia with 108.1 and 113.4, respectively. Small rural centres were decidedly lower at 44.3.


Total net migration contributed to over half of Queensland's population growth (59%) in 1999-2000. Queensland had the largest net migration of all states (35,288) with gains from both interstate and overseas migration.

Queensland was the third most popular choice for permanent settlers arriving in Australia in 1999-2000, with 17,286 settler arrivals. Of these, 46.7% were from New Zealand, 15.6% from South-East and North-East Asia and 11.7% were from the United Kingdom.

The most popular choice for people migrating within Australia during 1999-2000 was Queensland, one of only two states or territories with a net gain from interstate migration. There was a 10% increase in net interstate migration from the previous year breaking the downward trend that Queensland had been experiencing since its record net inflow during 1992-93 (49,200 persons). Over half of the arrivals to Queensland were from New South Wales.


In September 1998, there were 201,337 business locations in the state, giving Queensland the third highest industry base in Australia. Over 58% of Queensland's industry was located in the Brisbane and Moreton Statistical Divisions. Agriculture, forestry and fishing were predominant outside the Brisbane and Moreton Statistical Divisions. Industries with over 70% of their business locations in the combined Brisbane and Moreton Statistical Divisions were: Finance and insurance, Manufacturing, Property and business services and Wholesale trade.

In 1999-2000, agriculture, mining, manufacturing and construction industries contributed 28.1% to Queensland's gross state product (agriculture 4.6%, mining 5.7%, manufacturing 10.8% and construction 7.0%). The remaining 71.9% was contributed by the services sector. This compared with national figures for agriculture 3.2%, mining 4.7%, manufacturing 13.1% and construction 6.4% and the services sector 72.5%.

Over the past 5 years Queensland's major export was coal. This was valued at over $5,235m in 1999-2000. Other exports of note were meats and meat preparations, non-ferrous metals, sugar and sugar preparations and metalliferous ores and metal scrap.

In 1999-2000, the Brisbane Statistical Division accounted for 45.1% of the value of non-residential buildings approved and was one of seven statistical divisions which recorded a fall in the value of non-residential building approvals. The statistical divisions which recorded growth were Darling Downs, Fitzroy, Northern and the Central West. Dwelling unit approvals in the Brisbane Statistical Division in 1999-2000 accounted for 43.2% of the state total.


Tourism is an important part of the Queensland economy with takings from accommodation of $1,091m in 1999-2000. Takings were highest in the Moreton Statistical Division (which includes the Gold Coast) and the Far North Statistical Division (which includes Cairns and the Atherton tablelands). The Brisbane and Moreton Statistical Divisions combined accounted for 53% of Queensland's total takings from accommodation. This contrasted with the western statistical divisions of North West, Central West and South West, which together accounted for only 1.6%. Room occupancy rates were highest in the Northern Statistical Division (62.5%) and lowest in the North West Statistical Division (51.2%).

The industries of accommodation, cafes and restaurants represented 3.9% of Queensland's business locations in September 1998 and provided 6.6% of the state's total employment.

Of the 4.4 million overseas visitors to Australia in 1999, 29.4% specified Queensland as their 'main state of intended stay' (an increase from 21.3% in 1989). The most popular Tourism Regions2 for international visitors within Queensland were the Gold Coast, Tropical North Queensland and Brisbane. The Gold Coast Tourism Region was the third most popular national destination. The Sunshine Coast, Whitsunday Islands, Hervey Bay / Maryborough, Northern and Fitzroy Tourism Regions were ranked in the top 20 tourism regions visited by international visitors in Australia in 1999.


Cinema was the most popular cultural venue attended by Queenslanders aged 15 years and over, in both metropolitan and non-metropolitan Queensland in the 12 months prior to April 1999. Attendance numbers were lowest for the opera.

Botanic gardens and libraries had higher participation rates in the Brisbane Statistical Division than the rest of the state. Participation rates were higher outside of Brisbane Statistical Division for animal and marine parks, dance, circus and other performing arts.


Commonwealth, state/territory and local governments are the major funding source for cultural activities. In 1998-99, the Queensland State Government provided $285.1m ($81.90 per capita) in cultural funding and local governments provided a further $152.9m ($43.90 per capita). This was an increase of 35.6% from 1994-95 with major gains for performing arts venues, arts centres and museums.


In 1999-2000, 54.5% of Queensland's population aged 18 years and over participated in sport or physical activity. This was less than the previous year (60.9%) and was similar to most other states. The most popular activities in Queensland and Australia were walking, swimming, golf, aerobics/fitness, tennis, fishing and cycling.

For Queenslanders in the 18 to 34 year age group, the most popular activities undertaken were walking, swimming and aerobics/fitness. For those aged 35 years and over in the Brisbane Statistical Division, participation was highest in walking followed by swimming whereas for the rest of the state, it was walking followed by golf.

During the 12 months to April 1999, 42.9% of the Queensland population aged over 15 years attended a sporting event. Attendance at sporting events remained stable across Queensland between 1995 and 1999. The most popular sporting events were rugby league, horse racing and motor sports. Females had lower attendance rates than males at all major sports except netball and tennis. The most popular spectator sport in Australia is Australian Rules with an attendance rate of 16.8% in 1999. Attendance rates for Australian Rules in Queensland has increased from 2.8% in 1995 to 4.4% in 1999.


In 1999, 45% of Queensland households had access to a computer and 21% had access to the Internet. In the Brisbane Statistical Division, 48% of households had access to a computer and 26% had access to the Internet while access to computers and the Internet for the rest of the state was lower with 42% and 16%, respectively. These figures were slightly lower than most other states. Nationally, 52% of capital city statistical division households had access to computers and 26% had Internet access while 41% of non-metropolitan households had computers and 15% had Internet access.

There were 922,000 Internet users aged over 18 years in Queensland in 1999. Of these, 100,000 used the Internet to purchase or order goods or services for their private use, representing 4% of the Queensland population aged 18 years and over. This is lower than the national figure of 5%.

The use of information technology among Australian businesses continues to rise. Of the Queensland businesses with Internet access, 30% use the Internet for selling-related activities and 19% for activities associated with buying goods or services; over a third (36%) were using on-line banking facilities and 22% used the Internet for email and/or information searches only.


1 The three zone/seven category Rural, Remote and Metropolitan Area classification (RRMA) was developed in 1994 jointly by the Commonwealth Department of Primary Industries and Energy and the Commonwealth Department of Human Services and Health. The seven RRMA categories are 'capital cities', and 'other metropolitan centres' within the metropolitan zone, 'large rural centres', 'small rural centres' and 'other rural centres' within the rural zone, and 'remote centres' and 'other remote centres' within the remote zone. ('Health in rural and remote Australia', Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, Canberra, AIHW cat. no. PHE 6.)

2 Tourism regions are defined by relevant state and territory Tourist Commissions or equivalent organisations. Details of the composition of tourism regions, including maps, are available on request from the ABS and the concordance between statistical local areas of the ASGC and the Queensland Tourism Regions may be found in Tourist Accommodation, Small Area Data, Queensland (cat. no. 8635.3.40.001).

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