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1380.0.55.007 - Perspectives on Regional Australia: Population Growth and Turnover in Local Government Areas (LGAs), 2001 to 2006  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 29/10/2012  First Issue
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Introduction
Regional Variations in Population Growth, 2001 to 2006
Regional Variations in Population Turnover, 2001 to 2006
Population Growth and Turnover, 2001 to 2006
Summary and Conclusions




INTRODUCTION

Have you ever wondered which regions in Australia have the grown the most between 2001 and 2006? Or which regions have the highest turnover of people moving into and out of them?

This article uses data from the 2001 and 2006 Censuses of Population and Housing to examine these important questions. It uses common concepts of ‘growth’ and ‘turnover’ to explore:
      • Which Local Government Areas in Australia experienced high population growth between 2001 and 2006;
      • Which Local Government Areas in Australia experienced high ‘turnover’ rates of people moving into and out of them between 2001 and 2006;
      • Which Local Government Areas in Australia which experienced high growth between 2001 and 2006 also had high (or low) movement of people into and out of them between 2001 and 2006;
      • Which Local Government Areas which experienced low growth between 2001 and 2006 also had high (or low) movement of people into and out of them in between 2001 and 2006.

This article will be of particular interest to policy analysts and planners involved in the planning, design and delivery of services and infrastructure, and for understanding regional labour markets.

REGIONAL VARIATIONS IN POPULATION GROWTH, 2001 TO 2006

The average annual population growth rate in Australia, based on Census counts, was 1.3% between 2001 and 2006. Across the 515 different LGAs with a Census population count of more than 1500 in 2001, average annual population growth varied between an increase of 9.1% in Capel (S) in Western Australia, 212 kms south of Perth, to a decrease of 6.1% in Leonora (S), in the gold fields region of Western Australia. Map 1 and Table 2 show the regional variations in the average annual population growth rates in Australia between 2001 and 2006 based on Census counts.

The LGA with the second highest average annual growth rate between 2001 and 2006 was Melton (S) in Victoria with 8.8%, probably associated with the expansion of new housing development within a commutable distance to Melbourne. The capital city LGAs of Perth (C) and Melbourne (C) had the third and fourth highest population growth with average annual growth rates of 8.6% and 7.1% respectively. The Perth suburb of Wanneroo (C) had the fifth highest growth rate of 6.5%.

Those LGAs with the lowest rates of average annual population growth include remote areas of Australia such as Leonora (S) and Dalwallinu (S) in the wheatbelt region of Western Australia, Cloncurry (S) in the far northwest of Queensland, Cooper Pedy (DC) in outback South Australia and the Central Darling (A) region of New South Wales.



Map 1. AVERAGE ANNUAL POPULATION GROWTH - Local Government Areas, 2001 to 2006


LGAs with the ten highest and ten lowest average annual population growth rates in Australia between 2001 and 2006 are presented in Table 1. Four of the top ten areas with the highest growth rates were in Western Australia, including the area of highest average annual population growth, Capel (S). Melton (S) in Victoria had the second highest growth rate between 2001 and 2006. The LGAs in the inner capital cities of Perth (C), Melbourne (C) and Adelaide (C) were also in the top ten in terms of population growth rate. All of the bottom ten LGAs in terms of average annual population growth rates between 2001 and 2006 are in remote areas, including four in Western Australia, two in Queensland, two in New South Wales and one each in South Australia and the Northern Territory.

Table 1. AVERAGE ANNUAL POPULATION GROWTH RATES - Top Ten and Bottom Ten LGAs, 2001 to 2006 (a)

RankStateLGA
2001 Census count
(no.)
2006 Census count
(no.)
Census count change
(no.)
Average Annual growth rate (b)
(%)

Top Ten Local Government Areas
1WACapel (S)
6608
10209
3601
9.1
2VICMelton (S)
51841
78909
27068
8.8
3WAPerth (C)
7668
11573
3905
8.6
4VICMelbourne (C)
50573
71382
20809
7.1
5WAWanneroo (C)
80841
110941
30100
6.5
6QLDWeipa (T)
2077
2832
755
6.4
7VICWyndham (C)
85207
112698
27491
5.8
8SAAdelaide (C)
12902
16657
3755
5.2
9QLDCrow's Nest (S)
9797
12639
2842
5.2
10WAChittering (S)
2754
3517
763
5.0

Bottom Ten Local Government Areas
506NSWBourke (A)
3536
3094
-442
-2.6
507QLDBlackall (S)
1678
1458
-220
-2.8
508WADerby-West Kimberley (S)
7531
6504
-1027
-2.9
509NTYugul Mangi (CGC)
1907
1641
-266
-3.0
510NSWCentral Darling (A)
2297
1939
-358
-3.3
511WAYilgarn (S)
1686
1413
-273
-3.5
512SACoober Pedy (DC)
2296
1911
-385
-3.6
513QLDCloncurry (S)
3776
3135
-641
-3.7
514WADalwallinu (S)
1769
1368
-401
-5.0
515WALeonora (S)
1929
1409
-520
-6.1


(a) Based on 2006 Census boundaries and excludes Unincorporated areas and LGAs with 2001 population of under 1500
(b) Average annual growth rate in usual resident population between the 2001 and 2006 Census is calculated as a percentage using the following formula where P0 is the population at the start of the period, Pn is the population at the end of the period and n is the length of the period between P0 and Pn in years: [(Pn/P0)1/n-1] x 100.
Source: Census of Population and Housing, 2001 and 2006
Note: This table is based on place of usual residence. Cells in this table have been randomly adjusted to avoid the release of confidential data


REGIONAL VARIATIONS IN POPULATION TURNOVER, 2001 TO 2006

In contrast to growth rates, turnover rates measure the extent to which there is movement of people into and out of a region. Population turnover rates are an indicator of change in the composition of a region, and are of strong interest because they can help understand, for example, why the characteristics and needs of a region are changing significantly within the context of having a relatively stable population count.

Population turnover rates differ quite significantly across Australia as shown in Map 2 and Table 2, and areas of high turnover are frequently regions where people are moving for work such as mining regions and inner city areas of major capitals.

The Local Government Areas of Perth (C) , Melbourne (C) and Adelaide (C) together with Ashburton (M) in the Pilbara region of Western Australia and Nebo (S) and Weipa (T) in Queensland, make up the top six LGAs in terms of population turnover rates. Nebo (S) is in the Bowen Basin and Weipa (T) is the site of the world’s largest bauxite mine.

Map 2. POPULATION TURNOVER RATES - Local Government Areas, 2001 to 2006



The LGAs with lowest population turnover rates include regional and remote areas including Yugul Mangi (CGC), Thamarrurr (CGC) and the Tiwi Islands (CGC) in the Northern Territory, Palm Island (S) and Yarrabah (C) in Queensland and Anangu Pitjantjatjara (AC) in South Australia. The turnover rate of each of these six LGAs is less than half the median turnover rate for all LGAs in Australia (499.6 per thousand population). Other LGAs with a low population turnover rate include urban areas such as Wollongong (C) in New South Wales, and Greater Geelong (C) in Victoria.

Table 2. POPULATION TURNOVER RATES, Top Ten and Bottom Ten LGAs - 2001 to 2006 (a)

RankStateLGA
2006 Census count
(no.)
Counted in 2006 in this LGA but were not in this LGA five years ago (b)
(no.)
Counted in 2006 in a different LGA but responded as being in this LGA five years ago (c) (no.)
Population flow (c)
(no.)
Population turnover (c) (d)
(per 1000)

Top Ten Local Government Areas
1WAPerth (C)
11573
6095
2486
8581
1859.0
2VICMelbourne (C)
71382
39478
15513
54991
1460.2
3QLDNebo (S)
2523
915
915
1830
1372.8
4QLDWeipa (T)
2832
1139
898
2037
1342.8
5SAAdelaide (C)
16657
8381
4491
12872
1295.4
6WAAshburton (S)
6080
2689
2592
5281
1233.3
7SARoxby Downs (M)
4056
1663
1715
3378
1220.8
8WACapel (S)
10209
4319
1861
6180
1163.6
9WARoebourne (S)
16419
5826
5600
11426
1100.7
10WAEast Pilbara (S)
6546
2214
1686
3900
1075.9

Bottom Ten Local Government Areas
506VICColac-Otway (S)
20296
2360
2584
4944
277.1
507VICLatrobe (C)
69326
7938
8053
15991
268.4
508VICGreater Geelong (C)
197477
25489
17802
43291
264.1
509NSWWollongong (C)
184210
22526
19177
41703
260.9
510SAAnangu Pitjantjatjara (AC)
2235
211
252
463
202.4
511NTTiwi Islands (CGC)
2129
139
217
356
179.4
512QLDPalm Island (S)
1981
73
244
317
176.1
513QLDYarrabah (S)
2375
117
174
291
164.8
514NTThamarrurr (CGC)
1930
95
85
180
162.6
515NTYugul Mangi (CGC)
1641
71
82
153
94.7


(a) Based on 2006 Census boundaries and excludes Unincorporated areas and LGAs with 2001 population of under 1500
(b) Excludes people in the 2006 Census who were aged 0-4 years and therefore would not have been counted in the 2001 Census, and those who did not state where they lived 5 years ago
(c) Excludes people in the 2006 Census who were aged 0-4 years and therefore would not have been counted in the 2001 Census, those who did not state where they lived 5 years ago, and overseas departures,
(d) Calculated relative to a 2001 Census count, modified to exclude people in the 2006 Census who were aged 0-4 years and therefore would not have been counted in the 2001 Census, those who did not state where they lived 5 years ago, and overseas departures
Source: Census of Population and Housing, 2001 and 2006
Note: This table is based on place of usual residence. Cells in this table have been randomly adjusted to avoid the release of confidential data


POPULATION GROWTH AND TURNOVER, 2001 TO 2006

LGAs that experienced high population growth, based on Census counts, between 2001 and 2006 did not necessarily have high population turnover in that same period. For example, Ballarat (C) had an annual average population growth rate of 1.4% between 2001 and 2006, (compared to a median growth rate of 0.7% across all LGAs), but a population turnover rate of 347.8 per thousand between 2001 and 2006 (compared with a median turnover rate of 499.6 for all LGAs in Australia).

To examine LGAs from both a population growth and a population turnover perspective, each LGA can be grouped into one of the following four categories:

    1. Category one: high annual average population growth rate between 2001 and 2006, and a high population turnover rate between 2001 and 2006:
    2. Category two: high growth and low turnover;
    3. Category three: low growth and high turnover;
    4. Category four: low growth and low turnover;

For the purpose of this article, LGAs were classified as high/low population growth if their average annual population growth rate between 2001 and 2006 based on Census counts was above/below the median annual average population growth rate for all LGAs in Australia (0.7%). LGAs were classified as high/ low turnover between 2001 and 2006 based on Census counts if their population turnover rate between 2001 and 2006 was above/below the median turnover rate for all LGAs in Australia (499.6 per thousand).

Map 3 presents the results of classifying LGAs into one of these four categories.

Map 3. POPULATION GROWTH AND POPULATION TURNOVER RATES - Local Government Areas, 2001 to 2006


Table 3 illustrates examples of LGAs that fall into each of these four categories.

Table 3. POPULATION TURNOVER AND GROWTH RATES - Selected Local Government Areas, 2001 to 2006


Average Annual Population Growth Rates
HighLow

Population Turnover rateHighCategory 1: Typically expanding mining communities or inner cities e.g. East Pilbara (S), Roebourne (S), in Western Australia and Bowen (S) in Queensland, Roxby Downs in South Australia, Melbourne (C), Perth (C), Adelaide (C), Sydney (C)Category 3: Typically outlying Rural and remote, inland areas e.g. Cobar (A) and Murrumbidgee (A) in New South Wales, Longreach (S), Charters Towers (C), Cloncurry in Queensland, Coober Pedy (DC) in South Australia

LowCategory 2: Typically larger regional centres, e.g. Cairns (C), Gold Coast in Queensland, Wagga Wagga (C) and Albury (C) in New South Wales, Ballarat (C) in Victoria, Murray Bridge (RC) in South Australia, Albany (C) in Western AustraliaCategory 4: Typically regional areas with older population structure , e.g. Broken Hill (C), Gundagai (A) and Tenterfield in New South Wales, Launceston (C) in Tasmania, Ararat, (RC) Hepburn (S), Southern Grampians (S) in Victoria, Renmark Paringa (DC) in South Australia



In category one, LGAs with high annual average population growth rates and high population turnover rates between 2001 and 2006 based on Census counts typically include mining areas and inner city locations. For example, East Pilbara (S) in Western Australia had a population growth rate of 4.5 % (compared with a median of 0.7% for all LGAs) and a population turnover rate of 1075.9 per thousand (compared with a median of 499.6 for all LGAs).

In category two, LGAs with high population growth and low population turnover between 2001 and 2006 based on Census counts include larger regional centres and areas of new housing. For example, Gold Coast (C) in Queensland had a population growth rate of 3.1 % (compared with a median of 0.7%) and a population turnover rate of 464.6 per thousand (compared with a median of 499.6).

In category three, LGAs with low population growth and high population turnover between 2001 and 2006 based on Census counts are typically in rural and remote areas. For example, Longreach (S) in Queensland had a population growth rate of - 0.8% (compared with a median of 0.7%) and a population turnover rate of 697.6 per thousand (compared with a median of 499.6).

In category four, LGAs with low population growth and low population turnover between 2001 and 2006 based on Census counts are typically regional areas with older populations. For example, Broken Hill (C) in New South Wales had a population growth rate of - 0.1% (compared with a median of 0.7%) and a population turnover rate of 300.8 per thousand (compared with a median of 499.6). In 2006, Broken Hill had a median age of 42 compared with the median age of 37 for all of Australia. (Source: 2006 Census Community Profiles).

The following sections of this article examine each of these categories in greater detail.

    CATEGORY 1 LGAs: HIGH POPULATION GROWTH AND HIGH POPULATION TURNOVER RATES, 2001 TO 2006

    LGAs with high population growth and high population turnover rates between 2001 and 2006 based on Census counts are predominantly in Western Australia and Queensland. A total of 193 LGAs fell into this category; the majority of LGAs, 128 (or 65.8%, were located in Queensland (69) and Western Australia (59) (see Map 4). Other LGAs included Emerald (S), Chinchilla (S) and Warroo (S) which cover the area north of Brisbane up to the Bowen Basin region of Queensland (including Nebo (S)).

    Map 4. CATEGORY 1 LGAs: HIGH POPULATION GROWTH AND HIGH POPULATION TURNOVER RATES, 2001 TO 2006


    In Western Australia, LGAs with high population growth and high population turnover are in expanding mining areas of East Pilbara (S), Ashburton (S) and Roebourne (S). There are also many in and around Perth and its environs including Perth (C), Swan (C), York (S) and Wanneroo (C).

    LGAs with high population growth and high population turnover in other states and territories include the mining town of Roxby Downs (M) in South Australia and inner city LGAs in Adelaide (C) in South Australia, Darwin(C) and Palmerston (C) in the Northern Territory, Melbourne (C), Stonnington (C) and Maribyrnong (C) in Victoria, and inner city Sydney (C) together with Auburn (A) and Parramatta (C) in New South Wales.
    CATEGORY 2 LGAs: HIGH POPULATION GROWTH AND LOW POPULATION TURNOVER RATES, 2001 TO 2006

    A total of 140 LGAs fell into the category of high population growth and low population turnover rates between 2001 and 2006 based on Census counts. The majority (104 or 74.3%) were in New South Wales (48), Victoria (27) and Queensland (29) (see Map 5). LGAs in this category include several with a high proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, including Thamarrurr (CGC) (92.7% Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people) in the Northern Territory, Mer (S) (96.5% Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people) and Wujal Wujal (S) in Queensland (94.2% Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people). (Source: Community Profiles 2006 Census).

    Several large regional centres had high population growth and low population turnover between 2001 and 2006 based on Census counts including Greater Bendigo (C), Horsham (RC) and Warrnambool (C) in Victoria, Albury (C), Wagga Wagga (C) and Tamworth Regional (A) in New South Wales, together with the suburban growth region of Hume (C) in Victoria, and the local government area of Brisbane (C) in Queensland. Areas on the outskirts of major capitals that experienced high population growth and low population turnover between 2001 and 2006 based on Census counts include Salisbury (C) and Playford (C) in Adelaide; Frankston (C) and Hume (C) in Melbourne; and Bankstown (C), Liverpool (C), Hornsby (A), and Blacktown (C) in Sydney.


    Map 5. CATEGORY 2 LGAs: HIGH POPULATION GROWTH AND LOW POPULATION TURNOVER RATES, 2001 TO 2006

    .


    CATEGORY 3 LGAs: LOW POPULATION GROWTH AND HIGH POPULATION TURNOVER RATES, 2001 T0 2006

    Similar to category 2, a total of 140 LGAs fell into the category of low population growth and high turnover between 2001 and 2006 based on Census counts, with the majority, 125 (or 89.3%) in Western Australia (67), Queensland (41) and New South Wales (17). These LGAs include capital city LGAs of Sydney (C) and Perth (C), together with many rural and remote areas of Australia (see map 6).

    Map 6. CATEGORY 3 LGAs: LOW POPULATION GROWTH AND HIGH POPULATION TURNOVER RATES, 2001 TO 2006


    In Western Australia, many LGAs fell into category three of low population growth and high turnover between 2001 and 2006 based on Census counts, including the inner Perth LGAs of Peppermint Grove (S) and Bayswater (C) as well as outer regional and remote LGAs such as Coolgardie (S), Menzies (S) and Mount Magnet (S). In Queensland, LGAs in this category included inner regional LGAs such as Banana (S) and Inglewood (S) together with a large proportion of outer regional and remote LGAs including Bulloo (S), Barcoo (S) and Diamantina (S). In New South Wales, some metropolitan Sydney LGAs such as Manly (A), Mosman (A) and Leichhardt (A) together with outer regional LGAs such as Bourke (A) and Cobar (A) fell into the category of low population growth and high turnover between 2001 and 2006 based on Census counts. In South Australia, the established inner eastern Adelaide LGAs of Burnside (C) and Unley (C) together with the remote LGA of Coober Pedy (DC) fell into the category of low population growth and high turnover between 2001 and 2006 based on Census counts. A total of only six Victorian and Tasmanian LGAs fell into the category of low population growth and high turnover between 2001 and 2006 based on Census counts, including Flinders (M) and King Island (M) in Tasmania.

    CATEGORY 4 LGAs: LOW POPULATION GROWTH AND LOW POPULATION TURNOVER RATES, 2001 TO 2006

    A total of 194 LGAs fell into the category of low population growth and low turnover between 2001 and 2006 based on Census counts; the majority (141 or 72.7%) were in New South Wales (70), Victoria (36) and South Australia (35) (see Map 7). LGAs in the category of low population growth and low turnover between 2001 and 2006 based on Census counts were mostly in regional areas in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia.

    Map 7. CATEGORY 4 LGAs: LOW POPULATION GROWTH AND LOW POPULATION TURNOVER RATES, 2001 TO 2006


    LGAs with low population growth and low turnover between 2001 and 2006 based on Census counts include Broken Hill (C) and Gundagai (A) in New South Wales, Ararat, (RC), Hepburn (S) and Southern Grampians (S) in Victoria, and Renmark Paringa (DC) and Whyalla (DC) in South Australia. The LGA of Launceston (C) in Tasmania is also in the category of low population growth and low turnover between 2001 and 2006 based on Census counts.
    SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS
      Population growth and turnover are of interest for planning, design and delivery of services and infrastructure in regions. Unlike previous analyses which have examined population growth and turnover separately, this article examines growth and turnover together.

      Local government areas were categorised into one of four categories based on varying population growth (high – low) and turnover (high – low). Using this categorisation, a number of key differences between regions can be observed. Many LGAs with high population growth and high turnover between 2001 and 2006 based on Census counts were in regional Western Australia and Queensland. Category two LGAs are typically larger regional centres. Category three LGAs are typically in rural and remote areas while category four LGAs are typically in regional areas with older populations. All data used in this article can be found in the datacube in the Downloads tab.

      This analysis is not without its limitations. The data used comes from the 2001 and 2006 Censuses of Population and Housing, It makes use of information about where people responded they lived five years ago to calculate turnover. Not all Australians respond to the Census, or complete this question. Furthermore, the Census itself is not the source of Australia’s official estimates of population growth or turnover. Official statistics regarding Australia's population, known as the Estimated Resident Population (ERP), are found in 'Australian Demographic Statistics' (cat. no. 3101.0). The average annual population growth and population turnover rates in this article are therefore indicators or proxies for actual population growth and turnover. More detail about these data and methodological limitations can be found in Appendix 2.


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