Population change in Commonwealth Electoral Divisions, 2001 to 2006

24 Janaury 2008

Paul Nelson
Statistics and Mapping Section

Introduction

The Parliamentary Library has obtained from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) unpublished 2001 and 2006 data on the Estimated Resident Population (ERP) of Commonwealth Electoral Divisions based on current electoral boundaries. This allows analysis of various aspects of population change over the 5 year period 2001 to 2006 on a consistent conceptual and geographic basis. Census data cannot be used for this analysis because the 2006 Census of Population and Housing data were processed on a place of usual residence basis whereas the 2001 Census was processed on a place of enumeration basis (where a person was on census night rather than where they usually reside). This means users cannot directly compare data between the two censii. An additional complication in the use of census data is that electoral boundaries in all states and territories except Western Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory have changed since 2001 due to electoral redistributions.

ERP estimates of the population are based on census counts by place of usual residence, to which are added the estimated net census undercount and Australian residents estimated to be temporarily living overseas. ERP data are considered to be better estimates of the true population than census data and ERP figures also have the added advantage of being available as time series on a consistent basis.

The source 2001 and 2006 ERP data by single year of age and sex as supplied by the ABS are available from the Electorate Atlas resource on the Parliamentary Library s intranet (http://libiis1/Library_Services/electoralatlas/ERP_2001_2006.xls). An analysis of summary data for the total population, the 0 to 14 years age group, and the 65 and over age group are presented in the following tables.

Main features

A brief description of the contents of each table is given below together with a summary of some of the more interesting features of the data.

Table 1—Total population
Table1a
Table 1b

Table 1a shows the total Estimated Resident Population in 2001 and 2006 as well as the population change and the growth rate for all electorates. The data are displayed in alphabetic order of electorates. Table 1b shows the same data as in Table 1a however the data are ranked by the population growth rate.

The division with the lowest total population in 2006 is Lyons (95 621). It also had the lowest population in 2001. The seven divisions with the lowest population comprise all the divisions in Tasmania and the Northern Territory. Tasmania retains five electoral divisions due to the Constitutional provision that guarantees a minimum of five seats in the House of Representatives for each Original State . The calculation of representation entitlement that last occurred in November 2005 resulted in the Northern Territory having a quota of just over 1.5 resulting in an entitlement of two seats. As a result the two divisions in the Northern Territory have relatively small populations. The division with the highest population is Canberra (170 566), followed by Reid (168 851) and Holt (167 062).

The Australian population grew by an average 6.6 per cent over the 2001 to 2006 period. At the electorate level, Fadden (31.8 per cent) was the fastest growing electorate, followed by Sydney (25.3 per cent) and Lalor (24.9 per cent). There are 10 electorates that declined in size. The electorate with the lowest growth rate was Parkes (-3.6 per cent) followed by Calare (-2.2 per cent).

Table 2—Population aged 0 to 14 years
Table 2a
Table 2b

Table 2a shows the Estimated Resident Population aged 0 to 14 years in 2001 and 2006 as well as this age group s population change and growth rate for all electorates. The data are displayed in alphabetic order of electorates. Table 2b shows the same data as in Table 2a however the data are ranked by the 0 to 14 years population growth rate.

The Australian population aged 0 to 14 years increased by 1.6 per cent over the period 2001 to 2006 which was significantly below the 6.6 per cent growth rate of the total population. There were significant variations in the growth rate for individual electorates with the highest growth rate occurring in Fadden (28.8 per cent) followed by Oxley (21.0 per cent) and Gorton (20.2 per cent). There were 66 electorates that experienced a decline in the 0 to 14 years age group. The largest percentage decline occurred in Canberra (-12.2 per cent), followed by Parkes (-8.6 per cent) and Hughes (-7.9 per cent).

Table 3—Population aged 65 years and over
Table 3a
Table 3b

Table 3a shows the Estimated Resident Population aged 65 years and over in 2001 and 2006 as well as this age group s population change and growth rate for all electorates. The data are displayed in alphabetic order of electorates. Table 3b shows the same data as in Table 3a however the data are ranked by growth rate of the 65 and over age group.

The Australian population aged 65 years and over increased by 10.3 per cent over the period 2001 to 2006. At the electorate level, the highest growth rate occurred in Holt (38.9 per cent) followed by Cowan (38.7 per cent) and Lalor (38.0 per cent). There are only 16 electorates that experienced a decline in the aged population over this period. The largest percentage decline occurred in Griffith (-6.3 per cent), followed by Reid (-5.3 per cent) and Blaxland (-3.6 per cent).

 

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