New 2011 Census data reveals more about Western Australia

30 October 2012 | WA/59

New data from the 2011 Census of Population and Housing announced by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today has added to the snapshot of Western Australia revealed by the release of initial Census results in June.

ABS Western Australia Regional Director Jacky Hodges said the latest release of 2011 Census data marked an important time for the ABS, Australia, and Western Australia.

“2011 Census data released earlier this year has already shed some light on who we are as a nation and a state, and where we live,” Ms Hodges said.

“The latest tranche of Census data now paints a picture of what we do and how we live, helping to further shape Western Australia over the next five years, and providing a brighter future for our state.

“In particular, Census data provides a valuable insight into the growth and development of Western Australia, our people and our workforce.”

Today’s second Census release provides data on the following topics at all geographic levels, from Australia and states and territories, to capital cities and suburbs:
  • Labour force as reported
  • Hours worked
  • Industry and occupation
  • Method of travel to work
  • Highest level of education and fields of study
  • Place of work
  • State and territory migration.

Ms Hodges encouraged everyone to make use of Australia’s richest statistical resource, which provides a comprehensive snapshot of Western Australia and all areas within it.

“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,” she said.

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

Key second release Census data for Western Australia is detailed below.

2011 Census of Population and Housing second release data – Western Australia

Labour force and hours worked

The latest figures show Western Australia’s total labour force consisted of 1,152,198 people aged 15 years and over at the time of the last Census on 9 August 2011, an increase of 179,407 people from 972,791 in 2006.

Consistent with its total population, Western Australia had the fourth largest number of full-time employed people and people who reported they were not in the labour force.

More than half (60.7 per cent) of Western Australia’s labour force reported being employed full-time, with 65.8 per cent of this workforce male. In comparison, of the 28.1 per cent of Western Australia’s labour force who reported being employed part-time, 69 per cent were female, a drop from 69.8 per cent in 2006.

In 2011, less than one third (29.4 per cent) of the population aged 15 years and over reported not being in the labour force compared to 30.6 per cent in 2006. This represented an increase of 51,309 people who included retirees, students, and stay at home parents.

The proportion of people who reported being unemployed and looking for work was three per cent in 2011 compared 2.3 per cent in 2006, an increase of 17,658 people.

There has also been a decline in the proportion of people who reported working 40 hours or more the week before Census night, from 48.5 per cent in 2006, to 47.9 per cent in 2011, a decrease of 0.6 of a percentage point.

Industry

Consistent with the national trend, Western Australia has experienced a shift in its primary employment industry, with more people now reporting employment as doctors, nurses, dentists, physiotherapists, child care workers and aged care providers in the Health Care and Social Assistance industry than in the traditional Retail Trade industry.

The Western Australia Health Care and Social Assistance industry accounts for 10.4 per cent of the State’s employment, an increase of 0.2 percentage point since 2006, while Retail Trade, which was the primary employment industry in Western Australia in 2006, is now the third most reported industry of employment. It accounted for 10.1 per cent in 2011, a one percentage point decrease since 2006.

Construction (10.2 per cent) was the second most reported industry of employment in Western Australia in 2011.

Occupation

In terms of occupation, the Western Australian population was still working in the same top five occupations as in 2006: Professionals (19.9 per cent); Technicians and Trades Workers (16.7 per cent); Clerical and Administrative Workers (14.4 per cent); Managers (12.2 per cent); and Labourers (9.7 per cent).

However, Professionals showed the largest proportionate increase since 2006, from 18.6 per cent to 19.9 per cent, reflecting a faster rate of growth compared to other occupations. There was a slight decline in the proportion of people reporting the occupations of Clerical and Administrative Workers, Managers and Labourers.

Of those who reported working as Technicians and Trades Workers, 85.8 per cent were males, while 78.3 per cent of those who reported their occupation as Clerical and Administrative Workers were females.

Method of travel to work

The latest Census data further revealed that people in Western Australia still prefer to travel to work by car than any other means, with 66.2 per cent of the population reporting this as their primary method of travel to work (either as the driver or passenger).

While the household car is still the preferred method of travel to work for most people, there is an increasing proportion of people travelling by train from 1.5 per cent in 2006 to 2.2 per cent (or an increase of 10,150 people) in 2011.

There has also been a small decline in the proportion of people who choose to walk to work, with only 3.3 per cent of people in 2011 compared to 3.4 per cent in 2006, reflecting a slower rate of growth compared to other methods of travel.

Highest level of education

Turning to education, there has been an increase in the proportion of people in Western Australia undertaking additional studies, with increases in the number of people who reported completing Postgraduate and Bachelor Degrees, Graduate Diplomas and Graduate Certificates, Advanced Diplomas and Diplomas, and Certificates III/IV.

In 2011, there was a significant increase in number of people who reported completing a Postgraduate Degree. This increased from 31,669 in 2006 to 51,628 in 2011.

There was significant growth in those who reported completing a Bachelor Degree as their highest level of education, from 173,245 in 2006 to 234,399 in 2011.

There has also been significant increase in number of those who reported completing a Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate as their highest level of education. This increased from 20,698 in 2006 to 29,483 in 2011.

Fields of study

Engineering and Related Technologies (18.6 per cent) and Management and Commerce (16.1 per cent) were the two most common reported fields of study, as they were in 2006.

There has been an increase in the number of people who reported Engineering and Related Technologies, from 152,071 in 2006 to 189,627 in 2011, and Management and Commerce, from 123,249 in 2006 to 163,809 in 2011, as their field of study.

Society and Culture (nine per cent), Health (nine per cent) and Education (7.5 per cent) were the other most commonly reported fields of study in Western Australia.

State and territory migration

Internal migration is the movement of people from one place of residence to another within Australia. These figures are traditionally used for infrastructure and community planning.

The latest figures from the 2011 Census have shown a continued decline in the proportion of people in Western Australia who moved within the state in the five years prior to Census night. This is consistent with the national trend.

There has been continued gradual growth in the number of people who maintain their usual address in the five years prior to Census night in the state.

The proportion of people who have moved to Western Australia in the five years prior to Census night from interstate has increased to nine per cent, and the proportion of people moving to Western Australia from overseas has also jumped markedly from 12.4 per cent in 2006 to 20.2 per cent in 2011.

Of the Western Australian residents who moved in the year prior to the 2011 Census, most moved within the State (77.7 per cent), while 12.4 per cent of people had moved to Western Australia from overseas in the year prior to 2011.

The Census collects information on where people lived, one year ago and five years ago prior to Census night. This information only reflects movements which coincide with these particular points in time, even though there may have been multiple movements during this period.