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STATE AND TERRITORY HIGHLIGHTS
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory
CAPITAL CITY GROWTH
At June 2012, more than 15.0 million people, close to two-thirds of Australia's population, resided in a capital city. The combined population of capital cities increased by 271,700 people in the year to 2012.
Greater Melbourne recorded the largest growth of all capital cities in 2011-12, increasing by 77,200 people, followed by Greater Perth (up 65,400 people) and Greater Sydney (61,300). Greater Melbourne grew by an average of nearly 1,500 people per week, while the population of Greater Perth increased by over 1,200 people per week.
The population of Australia's capital cities grew by 1.8% between 2011 and 2012, faster than the remainder of Australia (1.2%). Greater Perth had the fastest growth of all capital cities at 3.6%, ahead of Greater Darwin and Greater Brisbane (both 2.0%). The slowest growth was in Greater Hobart (0.3%).
OUTER SUBURBAN GROWTH
Many areas which experienced strong growth were located on the fringes of capital cities, where more land tends to be available for subdivision and housing development. The four SA2s with the largest growth in the country between 2011 and 2012 were all on the outskirts of Greater Melbourne. The population of South Morang increased by 5,900, followed by Point Cook (4,100), Tarneit (3,600) and Craigieburn - Mickleham (2,900).
In Western Australia, the SA2s of Baldivis, on the southern outskirts of Greater Perth, and Ellenbrook in the north-east, recorded the largest growth in the state in the 12 months to June 2012, increasing by 2,800 and 2,400 people respectively.
The SA2 in New South Wales with both the largest and fastest population increase in 2011-12 was Parklea - Kellyville Ridge, in the north-west growth corridor of Greater Sydney (up 2,300 people, or 10%). Cobbitty - Leppington, in the south-west growth corridor also grew rapidly (up 9.6%).
In Queensland, the largest growth between 2011 and 2012 occurred in the outer suburban SA2 of North Lakes - Mango Hill (up 2,000 people) in the north of Greater Brisbane. Forest Lake - Doolandella, south-west of Brisbane's central business district, also had large growth, increasing by 1,700 people.
Outer suburban areas in the smaller capital cities also experienced some of the strongest growth in their states or territories in 2011-12. The areas with the largest population increases in South Australia were the outer Adelaide SA2s of Davoren Park (up 710 people) and Munno Para West - Angle Vale (660). In the Australian Capital Territory, the neighbouring areas of Bonner and Forde, on the territory's northern fringe increased by 1,700 and 920 people respectively, while on the outskirts of Greater Darwin, Rosebery - Bellamack increased by 380 people. In Tasmania, the outer suburban Margate - Snug had the largest growth in the state, increasing by 190 people.
The inner-city SA2s of Melbourne and Southbank had population increases among the largest in Australia between June 2011 and June 2012, increasing by 2,000 and 1,300 people respectively. Other inner-city areas to experience large growth included Perth City (up 1,100 people), Sydney - Haymarket - The Rocks (900) and nearby Waterloo - Beaconsfield (800), North Melbourne (710) and Adelaide (600).
Southbank, which adjoins Melbourne's central business district, was the fastest-growing of all inner-city SA2s, increasing by 11% to 13,600 people in the year to June 2012. Civic (up 10% to 3,400 people) in Canberra, and Melbourne (up 9.3% to 23,900) also had rapid growth.
Urban infill is the development of a site within an already-developed area, either by building housing on land that was previously vacant or used for non-residential purposes, or by replacing low-density housing with higher-density dwellings. Infill development is becoming more common on transport corridors, near commercial hubs and in suburbs where there are older houses on large blocks of land.
In addition to some inner-city areas, urban infill contributed to strong population growth in SA2s such as Concord West - North Strathfield and neighbouring Homebush Bay - Silverwater in New South Wales (both up 1,100 people), Dandenong (1,100), Clayton (500) and Maribyrnong (440) in Victoria, and Nollamara - Westminster (910) and Cannington - Queens Park (860) in Western Australia.
GROWTH ALONG THE COAST
Generally, the most prominent growth outside of capital cities occurred along the coast of Australia, particularly in Queensland. The SA2 of Deeragun, west of Townsville's central business district, had the largest increase (up 1,800 people). Several SA2s on Queensland's Gold Coast also experienced large growth in 2011-12, including Upper Coomera - Willow Vale (up 1,700 people), Coomera (850) and Ormeau - Yatala (680).
On Australia's western seaboard, Busselton in the south and Karratha in the north both grew by 880 people between 2011 and 2012. Australind - Leschenault in Bunbury had the next largest growth, increasing by 830 people or 5.5%. This was the fastest growth in Western Australia outside of Greater Perth.
In Victoria, the coastal SA2 of Torquay in Geelong had the largest growth outside of Greater Melbourne in 2011-12, up 760 people. The nearby SA2s of Lara (up 550 people), Highton (490) and Leopold (480) also had strong growth. In New South Wales, Edgeworth - Cameron Park and Glendale - Cardiff - Hillsborough in Lake Macquarie had large growth, both increasing by 400 people.
GROWTH IN INLAND AREAS
Some inland SA2s outside of capital cities had strong growth in the 12 months to June 2012. In New South Wales, Maitland - West and Maitland - East had the largest increases in population outside of Greater Sydney, increasing by 810 and 440 people respectively. Large inland growth also occurred in Drouin (up 720 people) in Victoria's west Gippsland, and the Queensland towns of Emerald (720) in the Fitzroy region, and Mount Isa (520) in the state's north-west.
Rapid growth also occurred in some of the country's inland SA2s, including Bannockburn (up 5.7%), Drouin (5.3%) and Alfredton (4.9%) in Victoria, and Emerald (5.3%) and Clermont (4.7%) in Queensland.
Many of the largest population declines between June 2011 and June 2012 were in well-established areas within Greater Melbourne and Greater Sydney. One explanation for this is that the population of these areas has gotten older and households have moved through the life cycle. The SA2 of Mill Park - North on the north-eastern outskirts of Greater Melbourne had the largest decline in the country, down 320 people. Also on the outskirts of Greater Melbourne, Taylors Lakes and Mill Park - South decreased by 260 and 220 people respectively. In New South Wales, Holsworthy - Wattle Grove, in Greater Sydney's south-west, decreased by 280 people, while St Clair in the outer west declined by 200.
Within the Australian Capital Territory, a number of older suburbs in the south decreased in population in 2011-12. SA2s with large declines included Kambah (down 180 people), Wanniassa (down 160) and Gordon (down 150) while there were fast declines in Macarthur (down 2.5%), Gowrie (down 2.2%) and Isabella Plains (down 2.1%).
Outside of Australia's capital cities, areas with large declines included Moe - Newborough (down 200 people) in Victoria's Latrobe Valley, Stawell (down 140) in the Grampians, Lavington (down 140) in Albury and Bathurst Region (down 130) in New South Wales' Central West.
POPULATION CHANGE BY REMOTENESS AREAS
The Remoteness Structure of the Australian Statistical Geography Standard identifies five Remoteness Area (RA) categories for Australia, ranging from Major Cities to Very Remote. As at June 2012, 70% of the population resided in Australia's major cities. In comparison, just 2.3% lived in remote or very remote Australia. Major cities were the fastest-growing RAs in Australia, up 1.8% in the year to June 2012. The remaining RAs grew slower than Australia as a whole (1.6%), with outer regional areas growing at the slowest rate (1.0%).
The state or territory (excluding the Australian Capital Territory) with the highest proportion of it's population living in the major cities RA was Western Australia at 77%, while Tasmania was the state with the highest proportion living in the inner regional RA (66%), which includes Hobart. Of all the states and territories, the Northern Territory had the highest proportion of it's population in the outer regional RA (56%), which includes Darwin, as well as the remote (21%) and very remote (23%) RAs.
Within the states and territories (excluding the Australian Capital Territory), the major cities RA had the fastest growth between 2011 and 2012 in Queensland, Victoria and New South Wales. In Western Australia, South Australia and Tasmania, the inner regional RA was the fastest-growing, while in the Northern Territory, the outer regional RA grew the fastest.
Population density varies greatly across Australia, ranging from very low in very remote areas to very high in inner-city areas. Australia's population density at June 2012 was 3.0 people per square kilometre (sq km). Among the states and territories, the Australian Capital Territory had the highest population density at 160 people per sq km, followed by Victoria with 25, New South Wales with 9.1 and Tasmania with 7.5. The remaining states and territories all had population densities below the Australian figure, with the Northern Territory having the lowest at just 0.2 people per sq km.
Population density at June 2012 was highest within capital cites, particularly in Greater Sydney. Eight of the country's top ten most densely-populated SA2s were in Greater Sydney, including Pyrmont - Ultimo, which had the highest population density in Australia, at 13,900 people per sq km, Potts Point - Woolloomooloo (13,600), Darlinghurst (13,200) and Surry Hills (13,100). These areas all surround Sydney's central business district.
Within Greater Melbourne, the SA2s with the greatest population densities were inner-city Melbourne (10,100 people per sq km) and neighbouring Carlton (8,400). In Greater Brisbane, New Farm (6,000 people per sq km) and Kangaroo Point (5,800) had the highest population densities.
At the other end of the scale, over 200 SA2s in Australia had population densities of less than one person per sq km at June 2012, the majority of which were in Queensland, Western Australia and New South Wales.
In the year to 2012, the SA2 with the largest increase in population density was Melbourne, which added an extra 860 people per sq km. This was followed by Bonner (up 620 people per sq km), Forde (480) and Crace (450), which are all new suburbs in the north of the Australian Capital Territory.
CENTRE OF POPULATION
The centre of population is one way in which the spatial distribution of Australia's population can be described. This point marks the average latitude and longitude around which the population is distributed.
Australia's centre of population at June 2012 was 34 kilometres east of the small service town of Ivanhoe, in western New South Wales. This reflects the concentration of population in south-east Australia. The centre of population moved 5.1 kilometres west between 2011 and 2012. This shift reflects rapid population growth in Western Australia over this period.
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