Over the 12 months to June 2009 and in raw number terms the states which recorded the greatest growth in population were: New South Wales (119,534), Queensland (116,533), Victoria (116,250) and Western Australia (68,077).
In this week’s blog we take a look at the trends in regional population growth analyzing the 25 fastest growing Local Government Areas (LGA) of the country based on the total increase in population.
Australia’s 25 fastest growing Local Government Areas
Source: rpdata.com, ABS
Victoria and Queensland each had eight LGA’s in the top 25. In Victoria all of the areas except for Greater Geelong where located within the Greater Melbourne metro area. All of the Melbourne LGA’s could be characterized as being on the outer fringes of the city and in locations which generally enjoy relatively affordable house prices. Of course greater Geelong, although being outside of Melbourne, is within commuting distance to the city and once more house prices in this region are relatively affordable compared to Inner Melbourne prices.
In Queensland the LGA’s tend to be larger (especially after recent amalgamations) and Queensland LGA’s occupy four of the top five positions of fastest growing areas. Six of the eight Queensland LGA’s are located in the south-east corner of the state and the remaining two are the large regional cities in North Queensland (Townsville and Cairns).
New South Wales recorded five regions within the top 25 fastest growing LGA’s, all of which were situated within the Sydney metro area and most were situated in the outskirts of the City in areas which are relatively affordable. The exception was the Sydney LGA which is recording strong population growth thanks to inner city densification.
Western Australia had three LGA’s on the list all of which were located in the outer precincts and can be broadly described as providing more affordable housing than areas close to the city.
Finally in the Australian Capital Territory the Unincorporated ACT LGA, which covers most of the Territory, was the nation’s 13th fastest growing LGA during the period.
The clear trend is that populations are tending to grow the most in the outer more affordable regions of our major population centres. It’s not really surprising given that these major regions have the largest amount of land available for greenfield development, the strongest job prospects and most abundant amenity. In saying this, poor infrastructure provision in these areas often makes travelling around the city difficult and time consuming
We would expect these trends to continue however, we feel it would be beneficial for Government’s to encourage population growth in areas outside of these regions to ease the strain on infrastructure which is already insufficient in the majority of these regions.