Census data takes a different look at NSW v QLD rivalry

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12 July 2017
Embargoed: 11:30 am (Canberra time)

Census data takes a different look at NSW v QLD rivalry

With Queensland and New South Wales home to 52.1 per cent of Australia’s total population according to the 2016 Census of Population and Housing (Census), it’s no surprise the State of Origin always draws huge interest.

Tonight, the New South Wales Blues and Queensland Maroons will settle the final grudge match of the series in the cauldron of Brisbane’s iconic Lang Park.

In recognition of this year’s Origin decider, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has examined which state would win on a different battlefield – the battlefield of statistical dominance.

NSW certainly has the numbers on their side, outnumbering Queensland residents by close to three million people (7,480,228 to 4,703,193), but Queensland is making a strong play with a faster growth rate of 8.6 per cent, compared with 8.1 per cent for NSW.

Queensland has owned the past decade of Origin football. Their dominance is made all the more impressive considering they have 38 per cent fewer NRL-aged males (18-35 years) residing in the State to draw from – Queensland has 567,954 males aged between 18-35 years, while NSW has 920,642.

Looking at the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations, both NSW and Queensland have strong representations of Indigenous players and coaches. The 2016 Census tells us there are 28,864 Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people in NSW aged 18-35 years, just edging out Queensland with 25,053.

Between the two battling states, it seems the Cockroaches are the bigger earners, with NSW households earning a median income of $1,486 per week compared to $1,402 per week for a household in Cane Toad country. However, Queensland residents gain an edge with household costs – their median monthly mortgage repayment is $253 cheaper than it is south of the border, while the Sunshine State’s median weekly rent is $50 less.

The Maroon State also tend to work more in the home, with a higher rate of people engaging in unpaid domestic work (71 per cent in Queensland to 68 per cent in NSW) and child care (28 per cent in Queensland to 27 per cent in NSW). However, the Blue State has a higher rate of providing unpaid care for a person with a disability (12 per cent in NSW to 11 per cent in Queensland).

With the contest going down to the wire, we turn to technology to settle the score – 64.9 per cent of persons in NSW embraced the digital Census, completing their Census form online (above national average), just edging Queensland, where 62.9 per cent of persons used the online Census form (below national average).

In the end, after some tight competition, it’s very hard to determine which state comes out on top statistically. However one thing is for sure, thanks to the Australian public’s completion of the 2016 Census, everyone’s a winner.

Note: All data presented is based on Place of Usual residence data in the 2016 Census

Media inquiries: Census Media (02) 6252 6617 or census.media@abs.gov.au