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STATE AND TERRITORY HIGHLIGHTS
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory
CAPITAL CITY GROWTH
At June 2011, more than 14.7 million people, close to two-thirds of Australia's population, resided in a capital city. The combined population of capital cities increased by 2.1 million people in the ten years to 2011.
Greater Melbourne recorded the largest growth of all capital cities between 2001 and 2011, increasing by 647,200 people, followed by Greater Sydney (up 477,600 people) and Greater Brisbane (432,300). Greater Melbourne grew by an average of more than 1,200 people per week, while the population of Greater Sydney increased by over 900 people per week.
The population of Australia's capital cities grew by 17% between 2001 and 2011, faster than the remainder of Australia (11%). Greater Perth had the fastest growth of all capital cities at 26%, ahead of Greater Brisbane (25%). The slowest growth was in Greater Hobart (9.1%) and Greater Adelaide (9.4%).
OUTER SUBURBAN GROWTH
Many areas which experienced large growth were located on the fringes of capital cities, where more land tends to be available for subdivision and housing development. The five SA2s with the largest growth in the country between June 2001 and June 2011 were all on the outskirts of Greater Melbourne. The population of South Morang increased by 32,200, followed by Point Cook (up 31,300 people), Caroline Springs (21,400), Tarneit (21,000) and Craigieburn - Mickleham (19,200).
Among the SA2s in New South Wales with the largest population increases over the ten years to 2011 were the adjoining Parklea - Kellyville Ridge (up 18,700 people), Kellyville (11,900), and Rouse Hill - Beaumont Hill (9,300). These areas are all located on the north-western fringes of Sydney.
In Western Australia, the SA2s of Ellenbrook to the north-east of Perth's central business district, and Canning Vale - East to the south, recorded large growth in the ten years to 2011, increasing by 17,700 and 15,600 people respectively.
In Queensland, the largest growth between 2001 and 2011 occurred in the outer suburban SA2 of North Lakes - Mango Hill (up 17,100 people) in the north of Greater Brisbane. Springfield Lakes, south-west of Brisbane's central business district, also had large growth, increasing in population by 10,600.
Outer suburban areas in the smaller capital cities also experienced some of the strongest growth in their states or territories in the ten years to 2011. Among the areas with the largest population increases in South Australia were the outer Adelaide SA2s of Pooraka (up 10,100 people) and Aldinga (6,100). In the Australian Capital Territory, the neighbouring SA2s of Gungahlin and Harrison, on the territory's northern fringe increased by 5,800 and 4,500 people respectively while on the outskirts of Greater Darwin, the population of both Rosebery - Bellamack and nearby Palmertson - North increased by 3,000 people. In Tasmania, the outer suburban Kingston - Huntingfield had the largest growth in the state, increasing by 2,600 people.
The inner-city SA2s of Melbourne and Perth City had population increases among the largest in Australia between June 2001 and June 2011, increasing by 14,200 and 13,900 people respectively. Other inner-city SA2s to experience large growth included Waterloo - Beaconsfield (up 11,500 people), to the south of Sydney's central business district, and Sydney - Haymarket - The Rocks (10,500). Inner-city areas also had some of the largest growth in the other states and territories. The SA2 of Darwin City had the largest growth in the Northern Territory, increasing by 3,000 people while Adelaide (up 7,000 people) had the second-largest growth in South Australia.
Docklands, which adjoins Melbourne's central business district, was the fastest-growing of all inner city SA2s, increasing from 160 to 6,200 people (or almost 50% per year) in the ten years to 2011. Brisbane City (up from 2,800 to 9,400) and Melbourne (up from 7,700 to 21,900) also had rapid growth.
Urban infill is the development of a site within an already-developed area, either by building housing on land that was previously vacant or used for non-residential purposes, or by replacing low-density housing with higher-density dwellings. Infill development is becoming more common on transport corridors, near commercial hubs and in suburbs where there are older houses on large blocks of land.
In addition to some inner-city areas, urban infill contributed to large population growth in SA2s such as Kingsbury (up 4,800 people) and Maribyrnong (4,700) in Victoria, Pyrmont - Ultimo (8,700) and Parramatta - Rosehill (7,200) in New South Wales and Nollamara - Westminster (4,500) and Stirling - Osborne Park (4,300) in Western Australia.
GROWTH ALONG THE COAST
Generally, the most prominent growth outside of capital cities occurred along the coast of Australia, particularly in Queensland. Several SA2s on Queensland's Gold and Sunshine Coasts experienced large growth in the ten years to June 2011, including Upper Coomera - Willow Vale (up 16,800 people), Pacific Pines - Gaven (11,500) and Caloundra - West (9,900). Deeragun, west of Townsville's central business district, also had a large increase in population, up 8,000 people.
On Australia's western seaboard, Gelorup - Dalyellup - Stratham (up 7,200 people) and Busselton (5,800), both to the south of Greater Perth, and Karratha (6,600) to the north had large growth. Gelorup - Dalyellup - Stratham also had the fastest growth outside of Greater Perth, increasing at an average annual rate of 13% between 2001 and 2011.
In New South Wales, Shellharbour - Flinders had both the largest and fastest increase in population outside of Greater Sydney, increasing by 5,700 people or 69% in the ten years to 2011. Other SA2s with large growth included Wollongong (up 4,700 people) and Tweed Heads - South (4,600). The largest growth in Victoria outside of Greater Melbourne was in the neighbouring Geelong SA2s of Grovedale (up 5,400 people) and Torquay (5,000) while in South Australia, the seaside areas of Victor Harbor and Goolwa - Port Elliott both increased by more than 2,500 people.
GROWTH IN INLAND AREAS
Some inland areas outside of capital cities had strong growth in the ten years to June 2011. Large inland growth occurred in the Highfields SA2 (up 4,900 people) in Queensland's Toowoomba region, Queanbeyan Region (4,200) which borders the Australian Capital Territory, Toowoomba - West (3,800) and Traralgon (3,800) in Victoria's Latrobe Valley.
Rapid growth also occurred in some of the country's inland areas, with a number of SA2s including Highfields in Queensland, Strathfieldsaye and Maiden Gully which surround the town of Bendigo in Victoria, and Newman and Chittering in Western Australia, all increasing by more than 50% between 2001 and 2011.
Population declines between June 2001 and June 2011 were most prominent in inland, rural areas, particularly in New South Wales and Victoria, and well-established areas within capital cities.
The largest declines in the ten years to 2011 were in the SA2s of Broken Hill (down 2,000 people) in far west New South Wales, and Griffith Region (down 1,700) in the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area. Also in New South Wales, Walgett - Lightning Ridge, Moree and Orange each declined by more than 1,400 people. In north-west Victoria, the SA2s of Gannawarra and Yarriambiack, declined by 1,200 and 1,100 people respectively. Many of these areas have been affected by drought during this ten year period.
A number of well-established areas within capital cities also had large declines in population. This can happen as the population of these areas gets older and households move through the life cycle. The SA2 of Modbury Heights in Greater Adelaide's north-east declined by 1,700 people between 2001 and 2011. Other established areas with large declines over this period included Minto - St Andrews (down 1,600 people) in Greater Sydney's outer south-west and Wheelers Hill (down 1,600) and Kings Park (down 1,500) within Greater Melbourne.
Some of the fastest population declines in the country occurred inland, including the rural SA2s of Outback (down 27%) in South Australia, Mildura Region (down 21%) in north-west Victoria, and Narrabri Region (down 20%) in northern New South Wales.
POPULATION CHANGE BY REMOTENESS AREAS
The Remoteness Structure of the Australian Standard Geographical Classification breaks Australia down into five Remoteness Area (RA) categories, ranging from Major Cities to Very Remote. As at June 2011, 69% of the population resided in Australia's major cities. In comparison, just 2.3% lived in remote or very remote Australia. Major cities were the fastest-growing RAs in Australia, up 17% in the ten years to June 2011. The remaining RAs grew slower than Australia as a whole (15%), with remote areas growing at the slowest rate (3.8%).
The Australian Capital Territory (99.8%), Victoria (76%) and New South Wales and South Australia (both 73%) had the greatest proportion of their populations living in the major cities RA while Tasmania had the highest percentage (65%) living in inner regional Australia, which includes Hobart. The Northern Territory had the highest proportion of its population living in outer regional Australia (56%), which includes Darwin, as well as remote and very remote Australia (both 22%).
Between 2001 and 2011, major cities were the fastest-growing RAs in Queensland (27%), Victoria (18%) and New South Wales (11%), while inner regional areas were the fastest-growing in Western Australia (41%), South Australia (16%) and Tasmania (8.6%). Outer regional RAs had the fastest growth in the Northern Territory (21%).
Population density varies greatly across Australia, ranging from very low in remote areas to very high in inner-city areas. Australia's population density at June 2011 was 2.9 people per square kilometre (sq km). Among the states and territories, the Australian Capital Territory had the highest population density at 160 people per sq km, followed by Victoria with 24, New South Wales with 9.0 and Tasmania with 7.5. The remaining states and territories all had population densities below the Australian figure, with the Northern Territory having the lowest at just 0.2 people per sq km.
Population density at June 2011 was highest within capital cites, particularly in Greater Sydney. Eight of the top ten most densely-populated SA2s were in Greater Sydney, including Pyrmont - Ultimo and Potts Point - Woolloomooloo, which had the highest population densities in Australia (both 13,500 people per sq km), and Darlinghurst and Surry Hills (both 12,800). These areas all surround Sydney's central business district.
Within Greater Melbourne, the SA2s with the greatest population densities were inner-city Melbourne (9,200 people per sq km) and the neighbouring Carlton (8,400). In Greater Brisbane, New Farm (5,900) and Kangaroo Point (5,800) had the highest population densities.
At the other end of the scale, there were over 200 SA2s in Australia which had population densities of less than one person per sq km at June 2011, over two-fifths of which were in Queensland and Western Australia.
In the ten years to 2011, the SA2 with the largest increase in population density was inner-city Melbourne, which added an extra 6,000 people per sq km. This was followed by Pyrmont - Ultimo (5,800) and Waterloo - Beaconsfield (3,200), both in Greater Sydney.
CENTRE OF POPULATION
The centre of population is one way in which the spatial distribution of Australia's population can be described. This point marks the average latitude and longitude around which the population is distributed.
Australia's centre of population at June 2011 was 39 kilometres east of the small service town of Ivanhoe, in western New South Wales. This reflects the concentration of population in south-east Australia. The centre of population moved 21 kilometres north-west in the ten years from 2001 to 2011. This shift reflects strong population growth in Queensland and Western Australia over this period.
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