Australia revealed as 2011 Census data is released

21 June 2012 | CO/56

The changing face of Australia was revealed today as the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released the first results of the 2011 Census of Population and Housing.

2011 Census Executive Director, Andrew Henderson, said the 2011 Census was extremely successful, and release of the first data is a big day for Australia.

“Australia is a world leader in Census taking, and the 2011 results show that 98.3 per cent of the population participated in the Census,” Mr Henderson said.

The Census counted 21,727,158 people in Australia on Census night. There were 219,440 overseas visitors included in the count. Australia’s resident count was 21,507,719, an 8.3 per cent increase from 19,855,287 in 2006.

The local government area of East Pilbara in Western Australia experienced the largest proportionate growth of 82.6 per cent from 6,546 in 2006 to 11,950 in 2011. The local government area with the biggest increase in the number of people was Brisbane up from 956,130 in 2006 to 1,041,842 in 2011, an increase of 85,712 or nine per cent.

Of the states and territories, Western Australia experienced the biggest proportionate increase in its population at 14.3 per cent, from 1,959,086 in 2006 to 2,239,169 in 2011. Tasmania had the lowest proportionate increase at four per cent from 476,482 in 2006 to 495,352 in 2011.

The state with biggest increase in the number of people was Queensland up from 3,904,530 in 2006 to 4,332,739 in 2011, an increase of 428,209 or 11 per cent.

Housing in Australia has also seen some significant changes over the past five years with median weekly household rents up to $285 from $191 in 2006, an increase of 49.2 per cent. Median monthly household mortgage repayments also increased from $1,300 in 2006 to $1,800 in 2011, an increase of 38.5 per cent.

“It’s exciting to see Australia hit the 21 million mark for the first time in a Census,” Mr Henderson said.

“The Census is the only statistical collection that can provide a national snapshot of Australia, and this data will help shape the future of our country over the next five years.

“Census data is used to help determine the allocation of around $45 billion worth of GST funding to the states and territories, while all levels of Government use Census data to plan for things such as hospitals and health services, schools, public transport and infrastructure,” Mr Henderson added.

Mr Henderson encouraged everyone to make use of Australia’s richest source of statistical information.

“Census data is available free online and can be used for a wide range of purposes. Our range of new, easy-to-use tools, including QuickStats, makes searching Census data quick and easy.”

Data from the 2011 Census of Population and Housing is now available on the ABS website. Visit www.abs.gov.au/census.