2030.8 - Canberra ... A Social Atlas, 2001  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 11/02/2003   
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  • Explore your capital city - Canberra 2001 Census Social Atlas released today (Media Release)


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

Explore your capital city - Canberra 2001 Census Social Atlas released today

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

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

The ACT Regional Director of the ABS, Tracy Stewart said the atlas was a rich source of information for everyone living in Canberra and Queanbeyan.

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

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

“It allows you to visualise in map form the unique characteristics of Canberra. 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 Canberra and indeed our nation.

"The 2001 Census received excellent support from Canberrans", she said.

Media please note:

The Canberra 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 Darwin-Palmerston was also released today.

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

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

The Australian Bureau of Statistics released the 2001 Census Social Atlas for Canberra today.

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

Some points of interest for Canberra-Queanbeyan were:


Canberra-Queanbeyan's population of 339,595 on Census night 2001, grew by almost 17,000 people or 5% between 1996 and 2001. Areas with the greatest population growth were in the more recently established outer suburbs of Canberra and the outskirts of Queanbeyan.

Age groups

In the Canberra-Queanbeyan area, children under 15 years were mostly in the developing outer suburbs, while 15-24 year olds were more likely to be closer to the city centre or education and training institutions. There were high concentrations of older people (aged 65 years or older) in the established suburbs closer to the city centre.


The number of people born overseas in the Canberra-Queanbeyan area was 71,989 or 22% of the population. Over one-quarter of those born overseas came from the UK & Ireland, 29% from the rest of Europe, 12% from South-East Asia and 6% from North-East Asia and New Zealand respectively.


There was an increase in the number of people with university qualifications in Canberra-Queanbeyan. They made up 31% of the labour force in 2001, the highest percentage of any Australian capital.

The proportion of people without qualifications fell from 54% of the labour force in 1991 to 43% in 2001. People without qualifications were most likely to live in the outer suburbs of Canberra and the older established areas of Queanbeyan.


At the 2001 Census, the average household size in Canberra-Queanbeyan was 2.6 people, a decrease from 2.9 people in 1991.

People living alone increased from 6% in 1991 to 9% in 2001. More than one-quarter of all people living alone were aged 65 years or older.

Canberra-Queanbeyan had the highest proportion of couples with dependent children of all Australian capitals.

DINKs (double income, no kids) comprised 8% of all families


Of all households in the Canberra-Queanbeyan area, 17% received a weekly income of $2,000 or more, while 20% had a weekly income of less than $500.

Working arrangements

Almost one-fifth (17%) of the labour force (33,245 people) were mothers with dependent children. High proportions of mothers in the labour force were located in areas that have undergone extensive development over the last 15 years in Tuggeranong, Gungahlin-Hall and Queanbeyan.


In Canberra-Queanbeyan 81% of employed people travelled to work by car. Meanwhile, 6% of employed people used public transport to get to work, compared with 9% in 1991.

On Census day in 2001, 6% of employed people in Canberra-Queanbeyan walked or cycled to work.


More than one-third (41,884 or 34%) of dwellings were owned outright by their occupants. The proportion of owner-occupied dwellings increased from 26% in 1991.

Dwellings being purchased accounted for 34% of all occupied private dwellings in Canberra-Queanbeyan compared with 39% in 1991. High levels of privately-owned rented dwellings were located near universities and town centres.

Internet use

Almost half (43%) of the population aged 5 years or older used the Internet at home in the week before census night, the highest proportion of all capital cities.