State of the Environment Report title
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2004 Report



Queanbeyan

Population

Indicator description

Results for this indicator are also available for  

What the results tell us for Queanbeyan

At 30 June 2004 the estimated residential population for the Queanbeyan City Council Area, some four months after it was created, was 36,331. Residential numbers in both Queanbeyan City Council Area and the former Yarrowlumla Shire had risen over the 20 years between the 1981 and 2001 Censuses, though at different rates. Read more...

Notes about Shire amalgamations
Queanbeyan City Council Area was extended by some 120 square kilometres and 1,469 people from Yarrowlumla Shire in February 2004. The Australian Bureau of Statistics (Australian Bureau of Statistics) has estimated the resident population of the new council area as at 30 June 2004 (Australian Bureau of Statistics Catalogue 3218.0), which is the number used in this report. The Australian Bureau of Statistics Census of Population and Housing of 2006 will establish new demographic benchmarks. Results will be available too late to inform the Social Plan required by November 2006. However, in the meantime Queanbeyan City Council has gone directly to the Australian Bureau of Statistics to obtain social and demographic data for the new local government area, based on the 2001 Census. That analysis will be used for the social plan. A detailed analysis of Social and Demographic information called the 'Queanbeyan Profile' for the new amalgamated area (after February 2004) is available on the Queanbeyan City Council website. In the meantime, limited demographic analyses in this State of the Environment report are only for the Queanbeyan City Council Area as it existed prior to February 2004.

For its Social Plan, along with many other jurisdictions in Australia, Queanbeyan City Council will have to consider the potential impacts of an ageing population—for its economy, its infrastructure and lifestyle.

Council also notes changes in family types relating to a decreasing proportion of households made up of couples with children, alongside increases in the proportion of households comprising a sole parent with children, childless couples and single occupants.

Although no trend data on the new local government area will be available when the Social Plan is due in November 2006, Council's social planning process will be cognizant of social and demographic trends identified in the other 95% of the population.

Population growing in number and age

Queanbeyan City Council Area has been one of the fastest growing local government areas in NSW for some time. The estimated population at 30 June 2004 for the enlarged Queanbeyan City Council Area was 36,331 (Table 1). The population in the council area, as it was at the 2001 Census, was 32,451. Numbers had increased by some 63% since the 1981 Census or by approximately 3% average annual increase. By comparison, population for the Australian Capital Region as a whole increased by 37% over the same period.

Actual increase during the reporting period, from 2000 until 2003 (the estimate before the boundary redistribution) for Queanbeyan City Council Area was 14%. The population changes are illustrated in Figure 1, along with an indication of the population of the new council area.

Table 1. Population in Queanbeyan City Council Area, Census years 1981 to 2001 and estimates for 2002 to 2004
LGA19811986199119962001200220032004Actual Change
1981–2001
Queanbeyan City
Council Area
19,90323,30625,19928,15532,45133,30334,39436,331+12,548 (+63%)

* See About the data for Australian Bureau of Statistics comments on years 2002–04; Source: NIEIR Your Place (2003) and Australian Bureau of Statistics Catalogue No. 3218.0

Figure 1. Population pattern in Queanbeyan City Council Area, 1981 to 2004

Graph showing the consistent increase in population from 1981 to 2004

Source: NIEIR Your Place (2003) and Australian Bureau of Statistics Catalogue No. 3218.0

The population figures also need to be seen in the context of the age profile as far as is practicable (Table 2). Queanbeyan City Council Area is the only local government area in the Region to maintain, even to slightly increase, its proportion of residents under 15 years of age in the 20 years from 1981 to 2001. However, this is predicted to change in the next 20 years (see next paragraph). As was the case in most other local government areas in the Region, the over-60s group increased in proportion. The proportion in the working age group of 15–59 years actually decreased. These trends are illustrated in Figure 2.

Table 2. Indicative population by age, Queanbeyan City Council Area, Census years 1981 to 2001
Age19811986199119962001
Persons%Persons%Persons%Persons%Persons%
<15 years5,480285,71332.55,63028.86,34329.17,28629.0
15–59 years13,09365.810,27758.412,02461.413,15060.314,92759.3
60+ years1,3306.71,6039.11,9159.82,31910.62,95211.7
Total 19,90310017,59310019,56910021,81210025,165100

Adapted from NIEIR (2003) Your Place, Population Profile for Queanbeyan

Figure 2. Age-group percentages, Queanbeyan City Council Area, Census years 1981 to 2001

Graph showing little change in the relative size of the various age-groups since around the mid-1990s

Source: NIEIR 2003, Your Place, Population Profile for Queanbeyan

The 55 years and over age group is the fastest growing age group. As a percentage of the total population of the (former) Queanbeyan City Council Area, that group constituted 15% in 1996 and 17% in 2001. It is projected to increase to 27% in 2021. By comparison those less than 25 are projected to decrease from 38% in 1996 to 31% in 2021, and the 25–35 year group is projected to decrease from 47% in 1996 to 42% in 2021 (NIEIR 2003a).

What might be the implications of the above trends? Until there is a better understanding of the demographics of the new council area, it is difficult to predict implications. Typically, there would be negative implications for productivity in the council area if, as the population ages and the proportion in the retirement group continues to rise, a reducing working age group is left with a responsibility to 'look after' an increasingly large group which provides limited input to productivity.

The growing group of retirees will have generally lower incomes and spend less than will (typically young) singles and families. On the other hand, many over the age of 55 or 60 will continue to make a substantial contribution to the socio-economic buoyancy of the community for some years. For example, as of 2001, some 56.4% of Queanbeyan City Shire males aged 55 to 64 years and 34.7% of females were still in the workforce (NIEIR 2003b). Australia-wide in 2001, 56.1% males and 35.8% females in the same age bracket were employed.

Some factors that influence productivity across the new council area will include availability of local tertiary education, and apprenticeship and training opportunities, local job availability, skills needs versus availability and retention or attraction of people who will contribute to the council area. Local employment becomes more critical with the likelihood of a number of Queanbeyan City Council Area residents working in the ACT (see indicator results for Economy).

Social planning will be able to address the implications for future council management in better detail once data for the new council area have been generated in the 2006 Census.

Ethnicity and diversity

Gender

At the 2001 Census the population of Queanbeyan City Shire revealed a gender balance of 49.9% males and 50.1% females. By comparison, the relationship Australia-wide is 49.3% males and 50.7% females on Census night (7 August 2001).

Origins

At 2.7%, Queanbeyan City Council Area has a higher proportion of Indigenous residents than many other local government areas in the Region, and is also higher than for Australia as a whole (2.2%) (see Table 3). The proportion of residents born overseas was also higher than for most other local government areas in the Region, though this has dropped in the 10 years since the 1991 Census. Nevertheless, the diversity of ethnic origins is a factor that the Social Plan may need to take into account.

Table 3. Indicative population origins in Queanbeyan City Council Area, Census years 1991 to 2001
Origin 1991 Census1996 Census2001 Census
Persons%Persons%Persons%
Indigenous persons4992.07042.68092.7
Born in Australia19,71178.020,91977.623,70178.8
Born overseas (a)5,06320.05,33119.85,57218.5
Totals25,273100.026,954100.030,082100.0

* (a) Includes 'Inadequately described', 'At sea' and 'Not elsewhere classified'; Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics Census 2001 Time Series Profile Catalogue No. 2003.0

Households and family type

Some 53.1% of Queanbeyan City residents over 15 years of age in 2001 were married (in either formal legal marriages or in de facto marriages) (Australian Bureau of Statistics 2003). In Queanbeyan City the proportion living in one-family households was 83.3% (Table 4).

A pattern has emerged across the Region since 1991 of a decreasing percentage of couples with children, and increases in the percentage of households occupied by couples only and by single-parent families with children. This pattern may reflect a higher divorce rate or a change in attitudes to having children—with couples either choosing to delay childbirth or not to have children altogether. The pattern in Queanbeyan City Council Area was not as strong as it is in some of the other local government areas in the Region.

Council notes that changes in the lone person household statistics from 1991 may be due in part to a change in 1996 from how those statistics were recorded in 1991. Changes may also be a result of an ageing population.

The Social Plan should explore these patterns further and identify whether there are emerging social planning issues for the council area, particularly once data of this nature are available from the 2006 Census.

Table 4. Household type and family type in Queanbeyan City Council Area, Census years 1991, 1996 and 2001
Household type1991 Census (a)1996 Census2001 Census (b)
Persons%Persons%Persons%
One family household:
Couple family with children13,39557.013,71053.715,25853.4
Couple family without children3,58015.24,30016.84,91817.2
One parent family2,44110.42,78210.93,32511.6
Other family2571.12561.02911.0
Total19,67383.721,04882.423,79283.3
Other households:
Multi-family household3461.54381.75752.0
Lone person household2,48810.63,23912.73,49912.2
Group household1,0054.38043.17072.5
Total23,51210025,52910028,573100.0

For notes on (a) and (b) see About the data; Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics Census 2001 Time Series Profile, Catalogue No. 2003.0

Population density—still plenty of space!

Population density in the Region

Download printable map (warning: 561 kB pdf)

The combination of Queanbeyan City Council Local Government Area with part of the former Yarrowlumla Shire has led to an overall population density of around 0.45 persons per hectare (or one for every 2.22 hectares). This calculation was based on preliminary estimated residential population at June 2004 of 36,331 and on those landuses in the council area that are most likely to be populated (urban and agriculture). The average population density across all 17 NSW Local Government areas in the Region is one person for every 41.58 hectares. The calculation does not include the ACT.

About the data

Data for this indicator were sourced from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, either directly, or as transcribed by the National Institute of Economic and Industry Research, Melbourne for its 2003 State of the Regions report.

Queanbeyan City Council Local Government Area was created in February 2004, towards the end of the four year reporting period (1 July 2000 to 30 June 2004). It comprises the whole of what was previously Queanbeyan City Council Local Government Area plus approximately 120 square kilometres from the former Yarrowlumla Shire. Apart from estimates made by the Australian Bureau of Statistics of resident population at 30 June 2004, no Australian Bureau of Statistics data yet exist for the new council area. A comprehensive social and demographic profile based on 2001 Census data is on the Council's website.

Data for Table 1—Years 1981–2001 were taken from the National Institute of Economic and Industry Research 2003 State of the Regions report. Years 2002, 2003 and 2004 were taken from Australian Bureau of Statistics Catalogue No. 3218.0. They are preliminary figures. As explained in the Extract from Explanatory Notes, Australian Bureau of Statistics—Catalogue No. 3218.0 'To meet the conflicting demands for accuracy and timeliness there are three estimates of sub-state/territory populations. Preliminary estimates are normally available eight months after the reference date (i.e. February), revised estimates a year later and final estimates after the following census.' Estimated population for 2002 in Table 1 has therefore been revised. For 2003 and 2004, available figures were still preliminary at the time of writing.

Data for Table 4—Household Type and Family Type Australian Bureau of Statistics, Time Series Profile (T17), Catalogue No. 2003.0, Commonwealth of Australia, 2003—(a) In 1996, 'Manufactured Home Estates' and 'Accommodation for the Retired or Aged (self-care)' have been excluded. These dwellings were Non-private dwellings in 1991; (b) In 2001, Serviced Apartments and persons living in Serviced Apartments have been included. These dwellings were Non-private dwellings in 1991 and 1996.

Population density is calculated by dividing the estimated residential population at 2004 into the size of the whole council area minus conservation lands and state forests because few, if any, people live in those areas of land use.

References

Australian Bureau of Statistics (2002) Basic Community Profile, Catalogue No. 2001.0, Commonwealth of Australia.

Australian Bureau of Statistics (2004) Regional Population Growth, Australia and New Zealand, 2002–03, Catalogue No. 3218.0—'Australian Capital Region, Estimated Residential Population—30 June', Commonwealth of Australia.

Australian Bureau of Statistics (2005) Regional Population Growth, Australia and New Zealand, 2003–04, Catalogue No. 3218.0—'Australian Capital Region, Estimated Residential Population—30 June', Commonwealth of Australia.

Australian Bureau of Statistics (2003) Time Series Profile, Catalogue No. 2003.0, Commonwealth of Australia.

National Institute of Economic and Industry Research (2003a) State of the Regions 2003—Your Place, Table: 'Age Distribution', http://www.nieir.com.au.

National Institute of Economic and Industry Research (2003b) State of the Regions 2003—Your Place, Table: 'Age characteristics', http://www.nieir.com.au.

NIEIR—see National Institute of Economic and Industry Research