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AUSTRALIAN POPULATION GRID 2011
Please Note: This publication can be viewed in three formats:
This release presents the first time population data has been published in 1kmē grid format by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. The grid displays Usual Resident Population (URP) from the 2011 Census of Population and Housing using 1kmē grid cells across Australia. The 1kmē resolution of the grid therefore offers a measure of population density for Australia. The data has been modelled from perturbed Mesh Block level URP values.
The grid offers a consistently sized spatial unit and gives a refined model of population distribution, particularly for the non-urban areas of Australia. Another spatial unit, known as Mesh Block, was previously the most detailed geographic unit available. Figure 1 is a population density map using Mesh Blocks. Figure 2 is a population density map using the the 1 kmē grid.
Australia's most densely populated residential area in 2011 based on the grid was in Sydney around the suburbs of Potts Point and Woolloomooloo. The 1 kmē grid cell covering these suburbs had a usual resident population of 14,747 in 2011.
Figure 1. Mesh Block Population Density August 2011
The consistent sized cells of the grid format lend themselves to comparison of regions. Figure 3 compares the population grid for Sydney and Melbourne. It shows that Sydney had more areas in the highest density range shown in the map with 21kmē exceeding 8,000 people per square kilometre compared to Melbourne which only had one grid cell exceeding 8,000 people per square kilometre, around the suburb of Carlton. Sydney also had larger and more widely spread areas of the second highest density class with 93kmē of between 5,000 and 8,000 people per square kilometre, while Melbourne had 33kmē in the same range. Brisbane was the only other capital city to register in these higher density categories with 3kmē between 5,000 and 8,000 people per square kilometre.
Table 1 shows the area within each Greater Capital City Statistical Area (GCCSA) under 6 population density classes, from no population to very high. These areas are calculated from the Population Grid and the classes are based on the ranges used in Figures 2 and 3. The Brisbane GCCSA had the largest area of very low population density (less than 500 people per square kilometre) at 9,275kmē in 2011. This highlights the spread of low density population around Brisbane and also the relatively large extent of the Brisbane GCCSA when compared with other capital cities.
Figure 3. Population Density 1kmē Grid August 2011 - Melbourne and Sydney
Figure 4 presents the maximum population density found in each of the Australian capital cities in 2011. Sydney and Melbourne clearly had the highest densities, both exceeding 10,000 people per square kilometre in the most densely populated areas. Brisbane had the next highest density at 6,216 people per square kilometre. Perth, Adelaide, Canberra and Hobart had comparable maximum population densities around 3,000 people per square kilometre. Darwin had the lowest value with a maximum density of 2,620 people per square kilometre.
Figure 4. Maximum population density for Australian capital cities August 2011
Footnote(s): The 2011 ASGS (GCCSA) were used as capital city boundaries
The 1kmē resolution of the grid matches a European population grid for 2011 produced by Eurostat, a Directorate-General of the European Commission. This common resolution enables consistent and equal comparisons between regions and cities in Australia and Europe. Figure 5 compares the population grids for Sydney, Australia and London, England. London had significantly higher population density over a much larger area compared to Sydney. London had a maximum population density of 20,477 people per square kilometre in 2011.
Figure 5. Population Density 1kmē Grid 2011 - Sydney and London
Some of the advantages the grid format provides are:
· it enables accurate comparison with other countries using grid based measures of population and population density;
· it offers greater spatial accuracy in rural regions where traditional geographies are very large; and
· it enables accurate and efficient integration of population data with other data traditionally produced in grid format such as environmental datasets.
The grid files in GeoTIFF format and ESRI Grid format are for use in a Geographic Information System (GIS) and are located in the 'Downloads' tab of this publication. These GIS files are aligned to the National Nested Grid (NNG) standard for Australia.
The PNG file is also available in the 'Downloads' tab of this publication.
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1270.0.55.007 - Australian Population Grid, 2011
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