The Australian Bureau of Statistics has released a new regional data navigator which allows people in local government areas and regions to view a broad range of data relating to their local community.

The Data by Region navigator provides annual regional data for the five year period for 2008 to 2012. The data can be searched by local government area, main statisticatl area or by interactive map.

The data is designed for users interested in the socio-economic and environmental characteristics of regions and those who wish to make comparisons with similar geographic areas around Australia. The information is arranged under the broad topics of Economy, Industry, People, and Energy and Environment.

Data is available for hundreds of items including, population, births, average income levels, building approvals, number of aged pensioners, business counts, number of motor vehicles and land use.

Also included is data on internal migration, local population listed by age groups, the percentage of people with broadband and dial-up internet access, the number of local residents who were born overseas and occupation of employed people in the local community.

ABS spokesperson Lisa Conolly said the new data navigator provides an efficient and interactive way of accessing data.  For example, a search of data for Queensland local government areas found the following:

  • Cassowary Coast recorded the state’s highest average value of private sector housing approvals in 2011-12, at $943,100, followed by Brisbane at $558,800
  • Diamantina had the highest working age population (76.9 per cent of total population) while Fraser Coast had the lowest (59.3 per cent)
  • Residents of Hinchinbrook were the oldest (median age of 46.4 years) while those of Cherbourg were the youngest (median age of 22.3 years)
  • The highest proportion of registered motorcycles were in Gladstone (64 per 1,000 population) and Banana (51 per 1,000 population)
  • The highest number of Department of Veteran’s Affairs service pension recipients lived in Brisbane (7,015), Moreton Bay (4,513) and Gold Coast (4,228)

This is the ninth release of the regional data set. Previous releases are available at the Past & Future Releases tab of the site. The ABS notes that care should be taken in comparing previous and current data releases, because some data has been subject to revision and previous releases refer to different geographical boundaries.

The data is available free of charge at the following url –  www.abs.gov.au/databyregion