The story of Gold Coast suburbs – live on radio
Recently, .id was approached by ABC radio on the Gold Coast to do a series of radio interviews on the demographics of the Gold Coast. The interesting thing about this one is that it’s not just about the Gold Coast as a whole, but about the demographics of each suburb individually. I readily agreed to do this one, because I love telling the story of places.
What we often say at .id is that every suburb, every town and district has its own unique story to tell – while there are general themes, no two places are exactly alike, and there are different trends in all of them.
This is our chance to show how true this is. Over the next year, I will be discussing the demographics of a different Gold Coast suburb every week – who lives there and how this is changing. There are 46 small areas (primarily one suburb per area but a few smaller ones combined) on the Gold Coast profile.id, so it will take most of the year to go through all of them.
The Gold Coast is an interesting place, given that it is now the largest non-capital city in Australia, with a population of 564,000 making it the 6th largest city in Australia, larger than Darwin, Canberra, Hobart, Newcastle and Wollongong. It’s seen rapid growth, being just a string of small coastal settlements before the 1960s. Until 2 years ago it was consistently growing at 15,000 people per year, but has recently fallen to about 8,000 per year.
I also think the Gold Coast is unique within Australia, as most Australians have some experience of it, being such a popular holiday destination. According to the Tourism Research Australia survey, it gets about 3 million domestic visitors each year (who stay an average of 4 nights). That means that somewhere between 12 and 15% of Australians visit in any given year, or the entire population once every 8 years.
No longer mainly a retirement destination, the Gold Coast attracts young people looking to attend university, and families buying their fist home, particularly to the inland areas along the Pacific Highway, which have a strong labour market connection back to Brisbane.
Young people are flocking to the high density areas such as Surfers Paradise and Burleigh Heads. Just beyond the coast are retirement and ageing in place areas such as Bundall and Hope Island, while young families seek out new housing in Helensvale, Oxenford and Pimpama.
People move to the Gold Coast primarily from Sydney, and from New Zealand. There are over 40,000 New Zealanders on the Gold Coast, and this represents about 1% of New Zealand’s own population! 2% of the Gold Coast’s population identify as Maori, more than 8 times the Australian average. It also has the largest Japanese speaking population in Australia.
Our profile.id site for the Gold Coast has this sort of detail for every suburb – as we do for each subscribing council all over Australia and New Zealand. Everything I do on this radio series is based on the content of profile.id and atlas.id – which means you can tell similar stories for your own area.
So tune in to ABC Gold Coast, on 91.7FM if you’re in the area, or online via the web or an internet radio app. My show is called “Suburban spotlight” and it’s on the drive program with Matt Webber every Thursday afternoon, about 5:40pm local time (which is currently 6:40pm Eastern Daylight Saving Time NSW Vic and Tas, 6:10pm in South Australia and 3:40pm in the west).
Listen to some of the podcasts here: