2030.3 - Brisbane ... A Social Atlas, 2001  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 06/12/2002   
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  • Explore your capital city - Brisbane 2001 Census Social Atlas launched today (Media Release)


December 6, 2002
Embargoed 11:30am (AEST)

Explore your capital city - Brisbane 2001 Census Social Atlas launched today

The Australian Bureau of Statistics' (ABS) 2001 Census Social Atlas for the city of Brisbane was launched today by Professor Peter Spearritt of The Brisbane Institute.

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

The Queensland Regional Director of the ABS, Brian Doyle said the atlas was a rich source of information for everyone living in Brisbane.

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

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

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

"The 2001 Census received excellent support from the Australian public", he said.

Media please note:

A comprehensive information kit containing the Brisbane Social Atlas and CD ROM of broadcast/print quality versions of the maps can be made available to the media on request for reporting purposes.

The atlases for Perth, Sydney, Adelaide and Hobart have already been released. Social atlases for Canberra, Melbourne and Darwin will be released over the coming months.

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

The atlas features colour maps of the key social, demographic and economic characteristics of Brisbane, at the time of the 2001 Census.

Some points of interest for Brisbane were:


The Brisbane Atlas area contains 41.6% of the population of Queensland and grew by 8.8% (over 120,000 people) between the 1996 and 2001 Censuses. Brisbane and Darwin shared the highest growth rates of all Australian capital cities in 2001.

Age Groups

Brisbane has the second highest percentage of children aged 0 - 4 years (6.8% or 101,362 people) in 2001 after Darwin. Areas with high percentages of 0 - 4 year olds were primarily located in the outer regions of the Brisbane area.

Brisbane also recorded the second highest percentage of people aged 15 to 24 years of all Australian capital cities after Canberra (15.4% or 229,523 people).

The percentage of people aged 60 or older in Brisbane in 2001 was 14.6% in 2001 compared with 14.7% in 1991. This is contrary to the trend for Queensland, which was an increase from 15.9% in 1991 to 16.7% in 2001.

Indigenous Australians

The median age of Indigenous people in Brisbane was 19 years compared with a median age of 33 years for all people in Brisbane.

People born Overseas

In 2001 just over 22% of the Brisbane population was born overseas, compared with almost 21% in 1991. Overseas born people were found primarily in the outer west and outer southern suburbs of Brisbane.

Of the overseas born population, 27.7% were born in the United Kingdom or Ireland, 19.3% in New Zealand, 10.6% in South- East Asia and 5.7% in the Pacific region.


There was an increase in the number of people with university qualifications. They made up 19.7% of the labour force in 2001, compared with 11.8% in 1991.

There was a minor decrease in those people who had skilled vocational qualifications (for example tradespeople) from 14.7% of the labour force in 1991 to 14.6% in 2001.

Living Arrangements

There has been an increase in people reported as living alone from 6.5% (19.2% of households) in the 1991 Census to 8.7% (22.8% of households) in 2001. The largest group was aged 65 years or older (34.3% of all people living alone) of which 74.3% were females.

Almost 48,000 families were one-parent families with dependent children. This family type increased from 9.5% in 1991 to 12% in the 2001 Census.

The proportion of DINKS (double income, no kids) has decreased from 7.3% of all families in 1991 to 7% in 2001.


Almost 22% of households in Brisbane reported a weekly income of less than $400 in the 2001 Census.

There were 100,151 high income households in Brisbane with weekly incomes of $1,500 or more. This was 20.4% of all households. Areas with high-income households also had very high incidences of people with university qualifications, home ownership and low levels of unemployment.

Working arrangements

Areas with high levels of unemployment occurred in the southern and south-western suburbs of Brisbane City, Logan City, the Gold Coast in parts of Ipswich, Inner city areas and pockets to the north of Brisbane.


At the 2001 Census, 355,861 dwellings were either owned by their occupants or being purchased which represented 65.9% of all occupied private dwellings. Of these, 54.1% were owned outright by the occupant. Home ownership in Brisbane has decreased from 71% in 1991. There were very low percentages of home ownership in the inner-city suburbs, which tended to contain high percentages of privately owned rented dwellings.

Of all Australian capital cities, Brisbane has the second highest percentage of privately owned rented dwellings, after Darwin.