Coastal areas continue to experience strong growth

Figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) on 31 March show that in the year ended June 2014 the settlements with the highest growth rates outside the capital cities were along the coast, in particular in Queensland and Western Australia.

High growth local government areas in Queensland included Gladstone, Moreton Bay and Sunshine Coast. In Western Australia they included Augusta Margaret River, Busselton, Capel, Cockburn, Gingin, Harvey, Kwinana, Mandurah, Rockingham and Wanneroo.

Australia’s population as a whole is estimated to have reached 23.5 million at 30 June 2014 – an increase of 364,900 people, or 1.6%, since June 2013. This compared to a national growth rate of 1.7% in the previous year.

All states and territories experienced population growth in 2013-14, with NSW experiencing the highest growth in total population numbers (109,100), followed by Victoria (106,700) then Queensland (70,500).

When compared by state-wide growth rates, the population of Western Australia grew the fastest, increasing by 2.2%, followed by Victoria (1.9%), Queensland and NSW (both 1.5%) and the ACT (1.2%). The Northern Territory population increased by 1.0%, while South Australia grew by 0.9% and Tasmania by 0.3%.

The ABS data indicates that in June 2014 approximately two thirds of Australia’s population, or 15.6 million people, lived in what the ABS designates a Greater Capital City (GCC). The total population increase in these GCCs was 289,000 people.

Melbourne had the largest growth of all capital cities, increasing by 95,700 people, followed by Sydney (84,200), Perth (48,400) and Brisbane (38,500). Melbourne’s population increased by an average of more than 1,800 people a week, while Sydney increased by an average of more than 1,600 people a week.

Taskforce Chair, Barry Sammels, said the information released in the ABS Regional Population Growth data is of vital importance to coastal communities. “These figures are based on the data collected in the national Census, and provide a consistent and reliable guide to on-going growth and demand for services in coastal communities,” he said.

“If the Census is discontinued in its current form, it will inevitably have an adverse effect on the accuracy of regional population growth figures.”

Further details of the ABS population data for 2013-14 are available at – http://www.abs.gov.au/Ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/3218.0