3218.0 - Regional Population Growth, Australia, 1998-99  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 08/02/2000   
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Capital cities dominate regional population growth

The Australian Bureau of Statistics estimates that 60% of Australia's 627 Local Government Areas (LGAs) gained in population in the year to June 1999. Australia's centre of population in June 1999 was situated just inside the LGA of Central Darling in western NSW. It has moved 10 km northward since 1994 as a result of Queensland's population growing faster than that of the southern States.

Most (72%) of Australia's population growth occurred in the State and Territory capital cities. At June 1999, 64% of Australians resided in capital cities compared to 63% in 1994. Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth were each home to 73% of their respective State populations compared to 63% for Sydney, 46% each for Brisbane and Darwin and 41% for Hobart.

The two most populous LGAs in Australia - the cities of Brisbane and Gold Coast - had the two largest increases, up by 15,700 and 12,800 people respectively.

Population growth occurred in a number of regional centres such as the cities of Maitland, Queanbeyan, Tamworth and Griffith in New South Wales, the cities of Greater Geelong, Ballarat and Mildura in Victoria and the cities of Townsville and Toowoomba in Queensland.

Numerous coastal regions continued to make population gains in 1998-99. In New South Wales, these included Lake Macquarie, Hastings, Wollongong, Tweed, and Shoalhaven. In Victoria, Surf Coast was the fastest growing Victorian LGA outside of Melbourne. Queensland examples include Gold Coast, Maroochy and Hervey Bay, while in South Australia Victor Harbour was the second fastest growing LGA in that State. The West Australian coastal LGAs of Busselton, Bunbury, Broome and Augusta-Margaret River all had considerable population gains in 1998-99.

In Tasmania, a fringe area near Launceston - Meander Valley - experienced the largest increase in population while in the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory the largest population gains were made in Palmerston and Nicholls, respectively. Both of these areas contain new residential developments.

Details are in Regional Population Growth, Australia (cat. no. 3218.0) available from ABS bookshops.

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