Biggest, fastest, slowest – latest population growth and change in Australia

Simone - Myth Buster

Simone has a rich background in human geography, demography and urban planning – a background that was useful in her previous roles in the Commonwealth and State Governments, and now as part of the forecast team at .id. From the Queensland coast to the southern suburbs of Perth, Simone produces population and dwelling forecasts that help local governments make informed decisions about future service and planning needs. She is a regular contributor to .id’s blog and has spoken at several conferences on how our cities and regions are changing. She is a big advocate of evidence-based planning and how Census and other data can inform this. Outside of work Simone is a keen traveller and photographer – interests that tie in well with her professional life and help her to understand “place”.

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6 Responses

  1. Leo says:

    Walkerville in Adelaide is an upper middle class suburb. it is surprising that the population trend is positive. From a traditional trend perspective the better off do not have large families as they can better afford contraception and aim to provide for better education to their children which costs more, therefor less children require less overall investment in education.
    What is the sociological explanation from your end which is supported by evidence?

  2. Simone says:

    Thanks for your comment Leo. We were quite surprised by the figures for Walkerville as the rate and volume of growth is considerably higher than any time in the last ten years. I don’t think it’s anything to do with changes to the fertility rate, as it’s quite low. I believe it is to do with the construction of apartments ie more dwellings = more people. You would need to follow up with the ABS (as they produce these statistics) to get a more definitive answer.

    Note that these numbers are preliminary and are subject to revision when the 2016 ERP data is released around this time next year, and then again when the 2016 Census data is released.

    • John Gray says:

      Walkerville has recently “enjoyed” a small boom in property development, particularly of high rise apartments, which is the likely explanation of these data. It is one of the last inner city suburbs to go through the “youth for oldies” cultural change partly because the larger older properties are tightly held and partly because it has very little land available for redevelopment. Walkerville council are also quite conservative so not likely to be that attractive to small scale developers (ie block splitters). It will be interesting to test my thesis by looking at the age patterns of Walkerville for the 2011 census vs the 2016 census when it eventually comes out. John (social health demographer)

  3. John Verbeek says:

    Some corrections if I may regarding your post on population. The Shire of East Pilbara is in the Pilbara not Kimberleys and lest it be seen as reflective of the whole Pilbara, the other three LGAs Port Hedland, Ashburton and City of Karratha all had increases in population, a point which WA media failed to pick up on when also decrying the end of the mining boom. It needs to be said that whilst the construction boom in iron ore projects has peaked two of Australia’s biggest resource projects in history, the $55b Chevron Gorgon (2 LNG trains still under construction) and the $29b Chevron Wheatstone LNG projects are still under construction. Additionally record shipments of iron ore and LNG have come out of Pilbara ports in the last 12 months. When Gorgon and Wheatstone are fully online they will propel Australia into World no 1 for LNG production. The Pilbara continues to be the engine room of the Australian economy with mineral and petroleum sales of $77.6b (Nov 2015) and a combined GRP of $56.5b. The Shire of East Pilbara and City of Karratha are ranked 6th and 8th largest LGA GRP in Australia after Cities of Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Gold Coast. So despite the “substantial population decline” East Pilbara has moved up to sixth place in Australian LGA GRP with a bigger output than City of Adelaide.These are hardly indicators of a mining bust.

  4. Simone says:

    Hi John,

    Thanks for your comment. I’ve made a couple of minor adjustments to the blog in light of this. I do take your point about the GRP, however I think it’s pretty clear in the post that it’s written from a demographic rather than economic perspective. A 4.4% decline in population after massive increases in previous years is a turnaround in anyone’s language. I would also like to point out that although the councils you mentioned did technically record an increase in population, they are incredibly modest in light of previous years – 4 people in Ashburton is hardly an increase especially when they are estimates. It will be interesting to see if these trends continue in light of your comments, and of course the 2016 Census will provide a new population benchmark for analysis.

  5. jason hayward says:

    most of this is lack of state government laws and mayors who carenothing for growth, the cost of a village can be three times as much as what a city suburb even gets, . most rural council enjoy massive array of activites and infrastrucatul costs but very few even have anything above zero growth, even the amalgamated ones. just think hospital, high school grade school, libraries, parks reserves, ovals , playing fireld, bridges, roads, the ist goes on and no suburb i have ever seen has anyothing even close to thins what is enjoyed by a few. it is clear a criminla understanding as international laws are clear on the economic wealth and how it is to be used.
    however as goes the lack of adeliade and northern territory are the tw owrst places in austrlaia and have only had 0.7 adeliade and 0.5 growth in the past few years as really no-one wants to live there, most of the time it is becuase the council themayor and the elected memebrs really dont care for resients they only care for agricultural in the cases listed above you mention mining dropped off.
    however the places like bega at 4000 enjoy hospital, 8 schoold two type of supermarkets ,one coles one woolworths, and an array of really interesting stuff. of upper lachlan shire who was like most amalgamated. twenty years ago stillhas no growth it has stayed the same population, even though there are a few more houses,
    it comes down to the govenment forcing the local government to have a growth index whic then forces the local government to inlcude spot rezoning of area where peopl ewould but the standard quarter acre or one arce of land , to live on or put their dream home on ,but thelocal governments dont care take far to long to process the application and are some o fthe highest cost in austrlia, whioe i watch hthem tlak the day away and waste more time thenanyone.
    however some councils are really good like canden had an 7 per cent jump , in gorwth, and their are other places that need schools like south west rocks who has increased it population to 5, 313 within the kempsey shire form 18 000 to 28,000 in twenty years but the kids stillcatch a bus to go to high school 40 klms away. when i see the compete difernce in some area getting money it makes me angry. while others wit no growht are handed things.

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