1386.0 - What's New in Regional Statistics, Jun 2009  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 24/06/2009   
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In 2007-08, population growth in Australia was most prominent in capital city areas, the outer suburbs and along the coast. This article will explore these areas of growth in further detail and provide key findings for each state and territory in Australia using the latest available Estimated Resident Populations from Regional Population Growth, Australia, 2007-08 (cat. no. 3218.0), which was released on 23 April 2009.

Capital cities

Growth in capital city Statistical Divisions (SDs) accounted for around two-thirds (67%) of Australia's total population growth in 2007-08. It is within these SDs that both the largest and the fastest increase in Local Government Area (LGA) populations occurred, with Brisbane (C) increasing by 17,400 people and Perth (C) growing at a rate of 10.8%.

Top 5 Largest Increases, Local Government Areas - 2007-08
Graph: Top 5 Largest Increases, Local Government Areas—2007–08

Top 5 Fastest Increases, Local Government Areas - 2007-08
Graph: Top 5 Fastest Increases, Local Government Areas—2007–08

In 2007-08, Melbourne SD recorded the largest growth of all capital city SDs, increasing by 74,600 people, followed by Sydney SD (55,000), Brisbane SD and Perth SD (both up by 43,400). Darwin SD and Perth SD were the fastest growing capital city SDs, both recording population growth rates of 2.8% in 2007-08. The Greater Hobart SD had the lowest growth rate at 0.9%.
Outer suburbs

Many LGAs which experienced large and/or rapid growth were located on or near the boundaries of capital city SDs, where land is often available for subdivision and housing development. For example, in Victoria the largest growth in the state occurred on the fringe of the Melbourne SD, with LGAs such as Wyndham (C), Casey (C) and Melton (S) each increasing in population by more than 6,000 people. The fastest growth in the state, at around 7.0%, was also experienced in Wyndham (C) and Melton (S).

SLA POPULATION CHANGE, Victoria, 2007-08
Diagram: SLA population change, Victoria, 2007-08

Coastal areas

Away from capital cities, growth was generally strongest along the coast. Several LGAs on Queensland's seaboard experienced large population increases, including the Gold Coast (C) (up 13,200 people) and Sunshine Coast (C) (8,700) in the state's south-east, and Cairns (C) (6,000) and Townsville (C) (5,100) further north. These LGAs were also among the fastest growing in Queensland, particularly Cairns (C) which grew at a rate of 3.9%.

SLA POPULATION CHANGE, Queensland, 2007-08
Diagram: SLA population change, Queensland, 2007-08

Within Australia's states and territories, key findings from the data include:

New South Wales
  • Nine of the ten LGAs with the largest population growth in NSW were within the Sydney SD. These include Blacktown (C) (up 5,300 people), Parramatta (C) (4,000 people) and Baulkham Hills (A) (3,300 people).
  • All NSW coastal LGAs outside the Sydney SD increased in population. The largest and fastest growth was in Tweed (A) (up 2,200 people or 2.6%).

  • The LGA of Wyndham (C), located on the south-western suburban fringe of Melbourne SD, experienced the largest and fastest growth (8,900 people or 7.2%) of all Victorian LGAs.
  • The fastest population growth outside of the Melbourne SD continued to occur in coastal areas including the LGAs of Surf Coast (S) (3.6%) and Bass Coast (S) (2.3%).

  • The three most populous LGAs in Australia recorded the largest increases in population. Brisbane (C) increased by 17,400 people (1.7%), the Gold Coast (C) by 13,200 people (2.7%), and Moreton Bay (R) by 11,800 people (3.4%).
  • Outside of south-east Queensland, the LGA of Cairns (R) had the largest and fastest population growth, with an increase of 6,000 people (3.9%).

South Australia
  • Victor Harbor (C), on the southern Fleurieu Peninsula, and Mount Barker (DC), in the Mt Lofty Ranges east of Adelaide, were the two fastest-growing LGAs in SA, increasing by 3.5% and 2.9% respectively.
  • The two LGAs with the largest population growth in the state were in the northern suburbs of the Adelaide SD. Salisbury (C) grew the most (2,400 people), followed by neighbouring Playford (C) (2,000 people).

Western Australia
  • Five LGAs in the Perth SD each grew by more than 3,000 people. These were Wanneroo (C), Swan (C), Rockingham (C), Stirling (C) and Cockburn (C).
  • Outside of the Perth SD, Ravensthorpe (S) grew at the fastest rate (9.1%) and Mandurah (C) gained the most people (3,200).

  • Sorell (M) (2.8%) and Brighton (M) (2.5%) were the fastest growing LGAs in Tasmania.
  • The largest growth occurred in Kingborough (M) (630 people) and Launceston (C) (400).

Northern Territory
  • Palmerston (C) had the fastest population growth (5.5%) of all Northern Territory LGAs.
  • Outside of Darwin SD, the fastest growing LGAs were Central Desert (S) (2.2%), Roper Gulf (S) (2.1%) and Barkly (S) (2.0%).

Australian Capital Territory
  • Population growth was largest in northern suburban Canberra, especially in the SLAs of Harrison (1,500 people), Bruce (810 people) and Gungahlin (500 people).

More information about population growth in your area can be found in Regional Population Growth, Australia, 2007-08 (cat. no. 3218.0). The Main Features section of this publication provides an overview of regional trends in Australia's population growth as well as detailed commentary for each state and territory, including maps to assist with interpreting the data. The data can be also be downloaded in an Excel spreadsheet or SuperTABLE, allowing you to conduct analysis at the geographic level of your interest.

For further information about the statistics in the publication, contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070 or Andrew Howe on Adelaide (08) 8237 7370.