4102.0 - Australian Social Trends, April 2013  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 10/04/2013   
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10 April 2013
Embargoed: 11.30 am Canberra Time
Population boom in mining towns

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has today unveiled new analysis about towns of the mining boom using data from the 2011 Census.

The latest Australian Social Trends report has shown that Karratha, Roxby Downs, Newman and Middlemount are among the mining towns that have experienced the fastest population growth since the last Census.

ABS Director of Social and Progress Reporting Jane Griffin-Warwicke said "These high growth mining towns tend to have a lot of people on higher incomes, but they work long hours."

“These residents also sometimes pay quite high rents - for example the median rent for a separate house in Karratha rented from a private landlord was $1300 a week.

“Unlike the rest of Australia, where females outnumber males, high growth mining towns have more males. For example, more than two-thirds of people staying in Middlemount on Census Night were male.

"The majority of people in fast growing mining towns are in their prime working years between 25 and 54," she said.

The analysis also found that these towns tend not to have many older people with only 1 per cent of people in Roxby Downs on Census Night aged 65 or older.

All AST articles are available in full online at www.abs.gov.au/socialtrends

Media notes:
  • When reporting ABS data you must attribute the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or the ABS) as the source.

High growth mining towns between 2006 and 2011, Census Night population

Average annual increase

Karratha (WA)
13 257
20 061
Roxby Downs (SA)
4 037
5 817
Newman (WA)
4 746
6 761
Moranbah (Qld)
8 258
10 439
Port Hedland (WA)
12 912
16 054
Weipa (Qld)
3 140
3 823
Middlemount (Qld)
2 530
3 067
Emerald (Qld)
11 471
13 644
Clermont (Qld)
1 991
2 359
Dysart (Qld)
3 625
4 284
20 061 648
21 727 160

Note: Urban centres which experienced average annual Census enumerated population growth of at least 2% between August 2006 and August 2011, and which also had at least one in six employed people staying in the urban centre on Census Night in 2011 working in the mining industry in their main job in the week before Census Night.