Census 2016: Local growth across Australia
PART 4: LOCAL GROWTH ACROSS AUSTRALIA
There are around 550 Local Government Areas (LGAs) in Australia and we’ve examined their population change from 2011 to 2016. Key findings include:
- International migration to 151 regional LGAs continues to help offset population decline;
- Population growth in regions is increasingly clustered near the biggest cities;
- Regional City growth is significant, but not enough to take pressure off the capitals; and
- Mining led population growth has largely reversed.
While some of the nation’s more remote regional areas are experiencing population loss, they often have very small communities, which makes them sensitive to any changes.
Overall, population growth in Heartland areas of regional Australia is relatively stable at 1.6 per cent. In 151 rural LGAs where there was a decline in Australian-born residents, this has been partly offset by increasing numbers of international migrants.
High rates of population growth are observed in Connected Lifestyle areas closer to big metro cities, but it’s not enough to take pressure off the capitals (particularly in Victoria).
In real terms, some of the most dramatic decreases can be observed in LGAs such as Mt Isa in Queensland. Now on the downside of the mining construction boom, Mt Isa experienced a population decline of 2,567 residents since 2011.
After Victoria and New South Wales, Queensland ranked 3rd in overall growth (adding 370,790 people). There has been substantial regional growth in Queensland’s coastal LGAs with Gold Coast increasing by 61,222 and Sunshine Coast growing by 36,414 people. Metro Brisbane, the most populous LGA in Queensland, grew by a whopping 89,313 people over the same period.
Of all the LGAs, Serpentine-Jarrahdale (WA) was the fasted growing (in percentage terms) with a 51 per cent jump in population from 17,745 to 26,883. Other high population growth LGAs in WA included Murchison (33 per cent) and Ashburton (30 per cent) over the 2011-16 period.