2030.7 - Darwin and Palmerston ... A Social Atlas, 2001  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 11/02/2003   
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  • Explore your capital city - Darwin Social Atlas released today (Media Release)


February 11, 2003
Embargoed 11:30am (AEST)

Explore your capital city - Darwin Social Atlas released today

The 2001 Census Social Atlas for the city of Darwin was released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

The Social Atlas features colour maps of key social and economic characteristics for Darwin and Palmerston at the time of the 2001 Census. It provides a comprehensive picture of the city in one atlas.

The ABS Regional Director for the Northern Territory, Robyn Elliott said the atlas was a rich source of information for everyone living in Darwin and Palmerston.

"The extensive range and depth of information will be a very useful resource for many different organisations, businesses and groups in our community", she said.

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

"It allows you to visualise in map form the unique characteristics of Darwin. Maps range from topics such as population, ethnicity, families and income to Internet use, dwellings and much more.

"The census is a major project conducted every five years to gather information critical for the planning of Darwin and indeed our nation.

"The 2001 Census received excellent support from the people of Darwin", she said.

Media please note:

The Darwin Social Atlas is available to the media on request for reporting purposes.

Completing the Social Atlas series picture, Senator The Hon Ian Campbell, Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer officially launched the atlas for Melbourne today. The Social Atlas for Canberra was also released today.

Networks requiring coverage of the Melbourne event will need to arrange this through their affiliates.

Atlases for Perth, Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane and Hobart have already been released.

Some points of interest from the Darwin Social Atlas released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics:


Darwin and Palmerston's population of 89,199 people is 44.0% of the population of the Northern Territory, and has grown by more than 7,400 people or 8.8% between the 1996 and 2001 Censuses.

Age groups

In the Darwin and Palmerston area, children under 15 years were mostly in the growth areas of Palmerston, while 15-24 year olds were more likely to be in Brinkin (which contains the Casuarina campus of NT university) and nearby northern suburbs.

Children under 15 years represented 22.8% of the Darwin and Palmerston population, compared with 20.4% average across all capital cities.

Older people (those aged 65 years or older) accounted for 5.2% of the Darwin and Palmerston population in 2001, an increase from 4.2% of the population in 1991. In 2001, Darwin and Palmerston had the lowest percentage of people in this age group of all Australian capital cities.

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 39.1% in 1991. In Darwin and Palmerston, people aged under 25 years comprised 37.4% of the population in 2001, compared with 42.2% in 1991.


The number of people born overseas in Darwin and Palmerston was 17,393 and accounted for 21.3% of the total population. Just under a quarter (24.7%) of those born overseas came from South-East Asia and 24.2% from the UK & Ireland.


There was an increase in the number of people with university qualifications in Darwin and Palmerston. They made up 18.8% of the labour force in 2001, compared with 12.4% in 1991.

People with university qualifications were generally found in the northern suburbs of Darwin and those surrounding the city centre while the defence bases and Palmerston contained high proportions of people with skilled vocational qualifications.

The proportion of people without qualifications fell from 59.8% of the labour force in 1991 to 49.4% in 2001, and people without qualifications were most likely located in Palmerston and in the Darwin suburbs of Malak, Wagaman, Karama and Winnellie.


At the 2001 Census, the average household size in Darwin and Palmerston was 2.6 people a fall from 3.0 people in 1991.

More than 6,300 people lived alone in Darwin and Palmerston. People living alone increased from 5.3% of the total population in 1991 to 7.5% in 2001. Unlike most Australian capital cities, where people living alone tended to be 60 years or older, people living alone in Darwin and Palmerston were more likely to be aged between 35 and 49 years (30.5% of people living alone).

In Darwin and Palmerston lone parent families with dependent children accounted for 14.0% of all families, while couples with dependent children accounted for 41.2% of families in 2001.

DINKs (double income, no kids) comprised 9.7% of all families in Darwin and Palmerston, the highest proportion of all Australian capital cities. The highest percentages of DINKs were noted around the city centre of Darwin and neighbouring suburbs.


Of all households in the Darwin and Palmerston area, 11.9% received a weekly income of $2,000 or more, while 21.1% had a weekly income of less than $500.

Working arrangements

The highest rates of unemployment in the city of Darwin occurred in the industrial suburbs of Winnellie and Berrimah, although the overall numbers were low. High levels of unemployment were also noted in The Narrows, Parap, Ludmilla, Coconut Grove, Wagaman and Malak.

Managers, administrators, professionals and associate professionals comprised over 43.0% of all employed people in Darwin and Palmerston, and were highly concentrated in the city centre and surrounding inner suburbs.

More than 15.0% of the labour force (47,564 people) were mothers with dependent children. High proportions of mothers in the labour force were found in Palmerston.


In Darwin and Palmerston, more than 79.0% of employed people travelled to work by car, while 4.1% of employed people used public transport to get to work.


The 2001 Census showed that, 5,544 (18.8%) dwellings in Darwin and Palmerston were owned outright by their occupants.

Dwellings being purchased accounted for over 32.0% of all occupied private dwellings in Darwin and Palmerston. High levels of dwellings being purchased were noted in Palmerston.

The proportion of dwellings rented from government agencies has fallen considerably from 29.7% of all occupied private dwellings (54.5% of rented dwellings) in 1991 to 17.5% of all occupied private dwellings (37.7% of rented dwellings) in 2001.

Privately-owned rented dwellings in 2001 comprised 26.7% of all occupied private dwellings and 57.6% of all rented dwellings. High levels of privately-owned rented dwellings were concentrated in Darwin's city centre and adjacent suburbs.

Of all Australian capital cities, Darwin and Palmerston had the highest percentage of both government-owned and privately-owned rented dwellings.

Internet use

In Darwin and Palmerston almost a third (31.8%) of the population aged 5 years or older used the Internet at home in the week before Census Night and more than half (54.3%) of these people were aged less than 35 years. People attending school or undertaking tertiary studies comprised 32.2% of all Internet users.