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Australia’s fastest and slowest growing areas in 2017

Australia’s fastest and slowest growing areas in 2017

The ABS has released the 2017 population estimates for Local Government and other smaller geographic areas. These are current for June 30th, 2017, and represent the first population update after the 2016 Census. We get these updates every year, and then they are revised after the next Census (in this case that’s not until 2021).

You can find all the details here (Regional Population Growth, 2017, 3218.0)

The headlines are mainly about Melbourne and Sydney, both continuing to grow strongly, with Melbourne adding 125,000 people, to reach 4.85 million, and Sydney 101,000, to reach 5.13 million. There’s not a lot between them now, and, at this rate, Melbourne will overtake Sydney in another 10 years, to become Australia’s largest city.

At a local level, the fastest growing Local Government Area in the 2016-17 year was Camden Council in NSW, adding 8.4% (almost 7,000 people), followed by the City of Melbourne. The inner city area of Melbourne added 8.1% – almost 12,000 people – in one year, due to an apartment boom.

The top 10 fastest growing areas in the last year

  2016 population 2017 population Annual growth
Camden (NSW) 80,476 87,250 8.4%
City of Melbourne (Vic) 148,039 159,992 8.1%
Serpentine-Jarrahdale (WA) 27,654 29,455 6.5%
Wyndham (Vic) 228,088 241,902 6.1%
Melton (Vic) 141,749 148,896 5.0%
Cardinia (Vic) 97,625 102,516 5.0%
Kwinana (WA) 40,305 42,147 4.6%
Casey (Vic) 313,521 327,380 4.4%
Whittlesea (Vic) 207,881 216,438 4.1%
Sydney (NSW) 224,211 233,217 4.0%

The magnitude of Melbourne’s population growth is apparent – 6 of the top 10 fastest growing areas are in Greater Melbourne, two in Greater Sydney and two in Greater Perth.

At the other end of the scale, these areas have had the biggest percentage declines in the last year.

The top 10 fastest declining areas in the last year

  2016 population 2017 population Annual growth
Wandering (WA) 453 439 -3.1%
Longreach (Qld) 3,727 3,598 -3.5%
Yilgarn (WA) 1,206 1,164 -3.5%
Mount Magnet (WA) 503 485 -3.6%
Bogan (NSW) 2,768 2,664 -3.8%
Wiluna (WA) 761 732 -3.8%
Meekatharra (WA) 1,102 1,051 -4.6%
Ravensthorpe (WA) 1,785 1,701 -4.7%
Sandstone (WA) 92 87 -5.4%
Cue (WA) 198 179 -9.6%

These are all remote regional areas, some with very small populations – they are losing population due to a downturn in mining, or long-term rural population loss. 8 of the 10 largest declines are in rural WA, one in Qld and one in NSW.

We have now received this data and will be loading it into our Community Profile and Economic Profile tools in the next two weeks.

Another interesting point about this dataset is that the ABS is now releasing the components of population change. This is a very important facet of population growth – which we emphasise in our population forecasts. How much of an area’s growth is due to Natural increase (more births than deaths) and how much due to local, interstate or overseas migration. These figures are now part of the population growth dataset, and reveal an interesting story, which will be covered in my next blog.

.id is a team of population experts, who use a unique combination of online tools and consulting to help organisations decide where and when to locate their facilities and services, to meet the needs of changing populations. We provide free resources to help you make the most of demographic data. Access .id’s demographic resources here.

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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