3218.0 - Regional Population Growth, Australia, 2005-06  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 27/02/2007   
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  • Australia’s estimated resident population (ERP) at June 2006 was 20.6 million, which was an increase of 265,700 since June 2005. This represents an annual growth rate of 1.3%, which was higher than the average annual growth rate (1.2%) for the five years to June 2006.
  • All states and territories experienced population growth in 2005-06, with the largest increases occurring in Queensland (up 76,400 people), Victoria (up 68,500 people) and New South Wales (up 58,800 people).
  • Queensland’s population passed the 4 million mark in 2005-06.
  • Western Australia, Queensland, Northern Territory and Victoria recorded annual growth rates higher than Australia's overall annual growth rate in 2005-06. Western Australia recorded the fastest population increase of all states and territories, with an annual growth rate of 2.0%. Queensland’s population increased by 1.9%, the Northern Territory's by 1.6% and Victoria's by 1.4%.
  • The remaining states and territories recorded lower annual growth rates than Australia overall. The Australian Capital Territory and New South Wales both increased by 0.9%, while South Australia increased by 0.8% and Tasmania by 0.7%.
  • In each state and territory, the areas with the largest or fastest population growth tended to be outer suburbs, inner areas of capital cities and certain regional centres, especiallyalong the coast.

SLA POPULATION CHANGE, Australia - 2005-06
Diagram: SLA POPULATION CHANGE, Australia—2005–06

  • Selected SLAs are referred to in some of the following text and tables, particularly where LGAs cover multiple SLAs, such as in Brisbane (C) and Darwin (C), and in unincorporated areas within the Northern Territory and Australian Capital Territory. Estimates of the resident population of all SLAs in Australia are available in spreadsheets accompanying this release on the ABS web site <www.abs.gov.au>.

  • It is important to recognise that sub-state/territory population estimates in this publication and the accompanying spreadsheets are produced using mathematical models and are subject to error. Caution should be exercised when using the estimates, especially for areas with very small populations. For more information see paragraphs 18 to 21 of the Explanatory Notes.

  • At 30 June 2006, capital city Statistical Divisions (SDs) were home to over 13 million people, around two-thirds (64%) of Australia’s population. The combined population of capital city SDs increased by 163,000 people in 2005-06, accounting for 61% of Australia’s annual growth.
  • Melbourne SD recorded the largest growth of capital cities in 2005-06, increasing by 49,000 people, followed by Sydney SD (up 37,200 people), Perth SD (29,900 people) and Brisbane SD (29,500).
  • The population growth in the Melbourne SD in 2005-06 equated to an average increase of about 940 people per week.
  • The fastest growing capital cities in 2005-06 included Darwin SD, Perth SD and Brisbane SD each of which grew faster than 1.5%.
  • Overall, the rate of growth of the capital city SDs in 2005-06 (1.3%) was faster than the average annual growth rate for the five years to 30 June 2006 (1.2%). Brisbane SD recorded the fastest average annual growth since June 2001 (2.2%); however, it was also the only capital city SD to grow at a slower rate in the last 12 months (1.6%) than its average rate of growth for the past five years.

Outer suburban growth
  • Many outer Local Government Areas (LGAs) within capital city SDs continued to experience large increases in population in 2005-06. In Sydney SD, the LGAs of Blacktown (C) and Bankstown (C) experienced strong growth (up 5,000 and 2,900 people respectively). Within Melbourne SD, the largest growth occurred in the fringe LGAs of Melton (S) (up 6,800 people), Wyndham (C) (6,700) and Casey (C) (6,400).
  • Some outer suburban areas in the smaller capital cities also experienced significant growth, such as in the Brisbane Statistical Local Areas (SLAs) of Parkinson-Drewvale, Wakerley, Pallara-Heathwood-Larapinta and Doolandella-Forest Lake. In Adelaide SD, the outer suburban LGAs of Salisbury (C) and Onkaparinga (C) experienced the largest and second largest population increases in the state. In Perth, the LGAs of Wanneroo (C), Rockingham (C), Swan (C) and Gosnells (C) also experienced strong growth. Clarence (C) and Kingborough (M), recorded the top two population increases of Tasmanian LGAs, while Palmerston (C), on the outskirts of Darwin, recorded the largest growth of all Northern Territory LGAs. The Australian Capital Territory SLA of Gungahlin recorded the largest growth of SLAs in the territory, while Ngunnawal (bordering Gungahlin) also experienced strong growth.

Inner city growth
  • Many inner city areas in Australia experienced rapid growth during 2005-06. Perth (C) recorded the fastest growth rate of all LGAs in Australia, with a 12.4% increase. Melbourne (C) recorded the second fastest growth of all inner city LGAs, with an annual growth rate of 3.3%. The population of Adelaide (C) increased by 3.0%, making it the fastest growing LGA in South Australia. Sydney (C) increased by 2.0%, which was the fastest growth of all LGAs in the Sydney SD.
  • Other inner city areas to experience high levels of growth were the Brisbane SLAs of City - Remainder and Milton (both 12.8%) and Kelvin Grove (9.6%). The Darwin SLAs of Bayview-Woolner and City - Inner increased by 20.2% and 6.3% respectively. The Canberra SLAs of Kingston and Braddon also experienced relatively large and fast growth, increasing by 670 people (30.8%) and 590 people (16.0%) respectively.
  • Excluding capital city SDs, coastal Australia continued to experience the most prominent growth, as a general rule.
  • Many coastal Queensland LGAs experienced strong growth in the year to June 2006. Gold Coast (C) recorded the second largest increase in population of all LGAs in Australia (up 13,600 people), behind Brisbane, which increased by 14,000 people. Large population increases continued in many other Queensland coastal areas such as Cairns (C), Maroochy (S) and Caloundra (C).
  • In New South Wales, strong population growth occurred in most coastal LGAs outside the Sydney SD, with the largest increases recorded in Tweed (A), Shoalhaven (C), Coffs Harbour (C) and Newcastle (C).
  • The Victorian LGAs of Greater Geelong (C) and Surf Coast (S) continued to experience strong growth in 2005-06. In South Australia, the populations of Streaky Bay (DC), Alexandrina (DC), Lower Eyre Peninsula (DC), Copper Coast (DC) and Yankalilla (DC) were among the fastest growing LGAs in the state. In Western Australia, the coastal LGAs of Mandurah (C) (located between Perth and Bunbury), Busselton (S) (south-west of Bunbury) and Capel (S) (south of Bunbury) experienced strong growth.

Statistical Districts outside capital cities
  • Statistical Districts consist of selected, significant, predominantly urban areas in Australia which are not located within a capital city Statistical Division. In 2005-06, nine of the ten fastest growing Statistical Districts were located on the coast, with the Western Australian Statistical Districts of Bunbury (up 5.1%) and Mandurah (up 4.9%) recording the fastest growth, along with Queensland's Hervey Bay (also up 4.9%). The Queensland Statisical Districts of Cairns (up 3.3%), Mackay (3.1%) and Townsville (3.0%) also experienced fast population growth. Gold Coast-Tweed, which straddles the Queensland/New South Wales border increased by 2.7%, followed by the Queensland Statistical Districts of Sunshine Coast (up 2.4%) and Bundaberg (up 2.2%).
  • Large regional LGAs throughout inland Australia continued to increase in population during 2005-06, such as the New South Wales LGAs of Maitland (C), Wagga Wagga (C) and Queanbeyan (C), the Victorian LGAs of Greater Bendigo (C) and Ballarat (C), the Queensland LGA of Toowoomba (C) and the South Australian LGA of Murray Bridge (RC).
  • The four fastest growing inland Statistical Districts were all located within Victoria, with Mildura increasing by 2.2%, followed by Bendigo (up 2.0%), Ballarat and Shepparton (both up 1.9%). The Queensland Statistical District of Toowoomba experienced a population increase of 1.8%, while Warrnambool (located in Victoria) increased by 1.7%.
  • The LGA that experienced the largest decline in population in 2005-06 was the New South Wales LGA of Campbelltown (C), which decreased by 520 people, followed by the Queensland LGA of Johnstone (S) (which suffered extensive damage from Tropical Cyclone Larry in March 2006) and the New South Wales LGA of Blue Mountains (C), both decreasing by 510 people. The Western Australian LGAs of Esperance (S) and Manjimup (S) recorded the fourth and fifth largest decreases in population in Australia, both down by 190 people.
  • Of LGAs with populations greater than 2,000 people at June 2005, all of the 20 fastest decreasing LGAs in Australia in 2005-06 were located in state and territory balances (that is, those areas outside the capital city SDs). The fastest decreasing LGA, Moora (S) in Western Australia, declined by 4.1%. The population of Johnstone (S) in Queensland recorded the second fastest rate of population decline in 2005-06, decreasing by 2.6%.