2015.5 - Census of Population and Housing: Selected Social and Housing Characteristics for Statistical Local Areas, Western Australia, Cocos (Keeling) and Christmas Islands, 2001  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 12/09/2002   
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This publication presents a range of social and housing statistics produced from the 2001 Census of Population and Housing for Western Australia (WA) and Cocos and Christmas Islands. For comparative purposes, it includes 1996 Census data presented on 2001 Census geography. In addition, selected 1901 Census data are included in table 1 to mark Australia's Centenary of Federation in 2001. The tables in this publication provide selected characteristics of the population and their housing arrangements for Statistical Divisions(SDs), Statistical Subdivisions (SSDs) and Statistical Local Areas (SLAs). The purpose of these tables is to allow a broad comparison of characteristics between geographic areas. This publication also contains the Basic Community Profile (BCP) for WA. This set of tables is provided to illustrate the wide range of data available from the Census. The BCP consists of 33 tables. This publication contains the first 21 tables which focus on the social and housing characteristics. The remainder of the BCP, tables 22 to 33, will be published in Census of Population and Housing: Selected Education and Labour Force Characteristics for Statistical Local Areas, Western Australia, Cocos (Keeling) and Christmas Islands (Cat. no. 2017.5). The statistics in this publication are mostly presented on the basis of where people were counted on Census Night ('as enumerated' counts). Counts of people based on where they usually live ('usual residence' counts) are also provided.


Census counts should not be confused with the Australian Bureau of Statistics' (ABS) official population estimate, the Estimated Resident Population (ERP) which is used for electoral purposes and in assisting in the distribution of government funds to state and local governments. ERP is the definitive population estimate and is derived from the census counts. For example, ERP includes an estimate of Australians temporarily overseas. For a fuller description of population measures and the derivation of ERP, please see paragraphs 7, 8 and 9 of the Explanatory Notes. Appendix 1 includes a table showing census counts and ERP for each State and Territory. One of the important features of the Census is that it describes the characteristics of Australia's population and housing for small geographic areas and small population groups. While not available in this publication, data at the smallest geographic level Collection District (CD) are available in a range of census products. For more information on these products, please refer to Appendix 2 - Census Products and Services. Concepts and definitions used in this publication are explained in the Glossary and more detailed information is available in the 2001 Census Dictionary (Cat. no. 2901.0). The Explanatory Notes in this publication provide a discussion of the scope and coverage of the Census, the different measures of population, and the limitations of census data. This publication is one of a series of publications which provide data at the SLA level for each State and Territory. A similar publication is also available for the whole of Australia, providing data at SSD level. See Appendix 2 (Census Products and Services) for more information.



The Census of Population and Housing conducted on 7 August 2001 counted 1,851,252 people in Western Australia (WA) on Census Night. This represents an increase of 7.3% (125,157 people) in Western Australia's population since the 1996 Census (1,726,095 people). Of those counted in Australia on Census Night, 1,828,294 people were usual residents of WA.

Selected person characteristics

The median age in WA was 34 years in 2001, compared with 33 years in 1996. The proportion of people aged 65 years and over increased to 11.1% (206,018 people) in 2001, from 10.5% in 1996. The proportion of people aged 0-14 years decreased to 21.3% (394,504 people) in 2001, from 22.4% in 1996. The proportion of males and females in the population has remained stable, with more females (50.2%) than males (49.8%). New topics for the 2001 Census included Computer use at home and Internet use. For WA a higher proportion of males (44.3%) used a personal computer at home than females (42.4%). This compares with 43.5% of males and 40.5% of females for Australia. higher percentage of males (30.1%) than females (27.2%) used the Internet at home in WA. This compares with 29.5% (males) and 25.9% (females) for Australia.

Selected ethnic characteristics

The majority of people counted in WA were Australian born (67.8% or 1,241,786 people). This percentage is the lowest of all the States and Territories, and compares with 72.6% for Australia. The largest overseas born group comprised people born in the United Kingdom at 11.0% (201,517 people) followed by New Zealand at 2.5% (44,977 people). English was the only language spoken at home by 84.0% (1,539,060 people) of the population, compared with 80.0% for Australia. Of all people who spoke a language other than English at home the majority spoke Italian (2.0%), followed by Chinese languages (1.6%).

Indigenous people

The number of people who identified as being of Indigenous origin increased by 15.2% to 58,496 people in 2001, up from 50,793 people in 1996. The Indigenous population represented 3.2% of the WA population. This compares with 2.2% for Australia. Over one third of WA's Indigenous people (34.2% or 20,015 people) lived within the Perth Statistical Division (SD). This was the highest proportion in any single SD.

Housing characteristics

There were 774,926 dwellings counted in WA, an increase of 10.6% (74,544 dwellings) since 1996. Of these dwellings, 89.8% (695,649) were occupied private dwellings, 10.0% (77,129) were unoccupied private dwellings and 0.3% (2,109) were non-private dwellings.

Occupied private dwellings

Dwellings which were fully owned or being purchased accounted for 67.6% of the 695,649 occupied private dwellings in WA. For the occupied private dwellings being purchased (220,516 dwellings), the median monthly housing loan repayment was $842. The median weekly rent for the 24.9% of occupied private dwellings being rented 172,888 dwellings) was $134.

Household characteristics

Of the 695,649 households counted in 2001, 68.2% (474,623 households) were family households, a decrease from 70.0% in 1996. The proportion of lone person households increased to 23.1% (160,436 households), up from 22.0% in 1996. The proportion of group households fell to 3.5% (24,605 households) in 2001, down from 4.0% in 1996.

The Census shows that 49.7% of all WA households (345,719 households) used a personal computer at home in the week prior to the Census. This compares with 48.6% of all households for Australia. For the same period, over one third of all households 36.6% or 254,648 households) reported using the Internet at home compared with 36.1% of households for Australia.

Family type

The 2001 Census counted 479,892 families in WA, an increase of 7.7% since 1996. In 2001, 46.9% or 224,865 families were couples with children, down from 49.7% in 1996. There were corresponding increases in the proportion of couple families without children (36.1%), up from 34.5% in 1996, and one parent families (15.2%), up from 13.9% in 1996.