The economic contribution of regions to Australia’s prosperity
Australia’s economic performance of the last 20 years has been unlike anywhere else in the world. This remarkable story has generally been told in terms of industries: the mining boom, the fate of manufacturing in Australia and now, the role of construction and infrastructure investment for our future.
This is an important part of the story – but it is not all.
A spatial perspective reveals many hidden insights about our economy, and its future potential. Far from being a drag on national prosperity as is commonly assumed, regions outside our major cities are an important source of Australia’s economic growth.
Our regions’ workforce accounts for one third of employment in Australia, and regional Australia is at the forefront of output per worker in over a third of industries. Most remarkably, since 2001, regional Australia has gained ground on metro areas in productivity terms in every industry except mining.
The importance of regional Australia to the national economy means that realising the potential of our regions remains critical to securing future prosperity for all Australians. Understanding the scale of this opportunity will be critical for getting things right for Australia as a whole.