Australia’s population – still growing, in different places!

Glenn - The Census Expert

Glenn is our resident Census expert. After ten years working at the ABS, Glenn's deep knowledge of the Census has been a crucial input in the development of our community profiles. These tools help everyday people uncover the rich and important stories about our communities that are often hidden deep in the Census data. Glenn is also our most prolific blogger - if you're reading this, you've just finished reading one of his blogs. Take a quick look at the front page of our blog and you'll no doubt find more of Glenn's latest work. As a client manager, Glenn travels the country giving sought-after briefings to councils and communities (these are also great opportunities for Glenn to tend to his rankings in Geolocation games such as Munzee and Geocaching).

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7 Responses

  1. Kate Lempriere says:


  2. Glen Robertrson says:

    Hi Glenn, I am purchasing a property in Batemans Bay, it has had a slow capital growth over the last 7 years, how do you see the next two years
    looking at how Sydney has exponentially increased in price over the last three years.

    • Hi Glen, thanks for your comment.

      .id don’t have a position on financial issues like capital growth, so these comments are just my own opinion!

      I don’t think that the large increases in the capital cities are sustainable, and are mainly due to the incredibly low interest rates and high rate of foreign investment that we have at the moment. Prices have increased well beyond rents, so that rental yields are now around 2-3% gross in many areas. If interest rates increase significantly (admittedly it doesn’t seem likely in the short term), we will see substantial reductions, particularly at the top end of the property market. You’re probably better off with your place in Batemans Bay with modest capital growth, because if the price is supported by a good rental yield it’s less likely to fall much if there is an interest rate driven crash. – Eurobodalla Shire is growing slowly and you can see more population details in here.

  3. Wesley says:

    Recently I heard on Perth radio, that WA is experiencing negative net migration for the first time since 2006, and just today it was announced that Perth has over 7,000 vacant rental properties,which is apparently equal to approximately seven whole suburbs being vacant. This some what conflicts with the above data.

    • Hi Wesley,

      Thanks for your comment. This is partially true. Western Australia has experienced slightly negative net INTERSTATE migration in the June and September quarters 2014, a total loss of 209 people. This is a significant turnaround from the approximately 8000-10,000 positive NIM just a couple of years ago. However NIM was never the major component of WA growth. NOM (Net Overseas Migration) is still fairly strong, with an inflow of 14,000 over the same 6 month period. And natural increase is still strong at 21,000 p.a.

      WA is not growing as fast as it was, but remains the fastest growing state, and Perth is taking the lion’s share of that growth. As far as the rental properties being vacant – I don’t know whether the 7,000 figure is correct, and whether or not it is 7 suburbs, would depend on the size of the suburb and the rate of properties being rented in those suburbs, but seems reasonable. According to the 2011 Census, there were 176,000 properties being rented. Vacant properties of any type don’t have a tenure recorded at Census, but there were 66,000 vacant properties recorded in Perth overall on Census night. So I don’t think 7,000 seems unreasonable. Even on the Census figure for rental (and Perth has grown since), that would only represent a vacancy rate of 3.8%, which is on the high side, but not extreme.

  4. Jane says:

    Hi glen
    I’m joining the census team again this month and want to know if you have an opinion about going online in regional areas, from my experience clients are usually adverse to change and the abs may find it difficult to information gather this time around. The census is obviously very important from a statistic viewpoint and support for the census appears to be waning.

    • Thanks Jane,

      The ABS is expecting around 65% online response nationwide. Based on my experience it will be older populations and those where internet access isn’t so good that will have trouble reaching this figure. If you have a look at internet access by age, it tends to decline, particularly after about the age of 60. So older populations will probably be less likely to use the online response option. The question is whether the ABS procedure of getting people to ring for a paper form will be sufficient to address this. I suspect in many case it will be in the “too hard” basket for some households, and they won’t do the Census until they get followed up by a field officer from late August. The field officers can also issue paper forms, so hopefully that will address it. Some regional areas will be among the 20% of Australia using a traditional “drop-off” method of Census delivery so these should work as well as in previous Censuses.

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