What the results tell us for Tumbarumba
In August of Census year 2001 there were 3727 residents in Tumbarumba Shire, while at 30 June 2004 the estimated residential population was 3623. There has been a gradual decline in residential population numbers over the period since the 1981 Census.
Along with many other jurisdictions in Australia, Tumbarumba Shire Council has to consider the potential impacts of an ageing population—for its economy, its infrastructure and lifestyle.
For its Social Plan, council also notes changes in family types, particularly the decreasing number of households made up of couples with children, compared with increases in households comprising a sole-parent with children, childless couples and single occupants.
The proportions of Indigenous and overseas born residents in the shire have increased marginally over the 20 years from the 1981 Census to the 2001 Census. The bulk of the population, including the Indigenous population, remains Australian-born.
Council has examined population trends and acknowledges that there are significant challenges ahead to neutralise elements of these trends that implicate economic and social development and the overall sustainability of the shire. In order to maintain existing levels and progress sustainable development that has outcomes for all lifestyle groups within the shire, council has developed specific strategies and recommendations in its Strategic, Operational and Social Planning processes—see the Strategic, Management and Social Plan.
Population down in number and up in age
The population in Tumbarumba Shire was 3,727 at the 2001 Census (Table 1). This is a decrease of some 504 (12%) in the 20 years since the 1981 Census, and an annual average negative growth of 0.6% for that period. The trend runs counter to population changes for the Australian Capital Region as a whole (37% overall increase or 2% average annual growth).
The trend since the 2001 Census has continued, though negative growth since 2001 has also been recorded in several other shires in the Region. The population changes in Tumbarumba Shire, as illustrated in Figure 1, demonstrate some of the challenges currently facing council.
* 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
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 (Table 2)—a decreasing youth component and an increasing aged component. In 1981 residents under 15 years of age comprised 29% of the total, and 8.6% of residents was over 60 years of age. By 2001 the junior group had dropped to 20.2% and the senior group had increased to 15.5%. The trends are illustrated in Figure 2.
Adapted from NIEIR (2003) Your Place, Population Profile for Tumbarumba
Source: NIEIR 2003, Your Place, Population Profile for Tumbarumba
On the whole the average age of the population in the shire is increasing—in 1996 it was 37.7; in 2001 it was 39.9. It is estimated the average age will increase to 44.9 by 2011 and to 49.5 in 2021 (NIEIR 2003a).
The Tumbarumba group aged 55 years and over comprised 24% in 1996 and 27% in 2001. It is projected to be 47% by 2021. By comparison, the less than 25 age group is projected to decrease from 34% in 1996 to 19% in 2021 and the 25–54 age group from 42% in 1996 to 34% in 2021 (NIEIR 2003a).
What might be the implications of the above trends? A continuing reduction in population, particularly if young people do not return to the local workforce or are not replaced, is likely to have implications for productivity. While the proportion in the 'productive' group of 15–59 has remained fairly constant over the years, at around 62% to 64%, incomes and spending by retirees is generally less than for (typically young) singles and for families. However, many over the retirement age will continue to make a substantial contribution to the socio-economy buoyancy of the community for some years. For example, some 65.6% of Tumbarumba males aged 55 to 64 years and 41.0% of females were still in the workforce in 2001 (NIEIR 2003b). This compares with 56.1% males and 35.8% females in these age groups employed Australia-wide.
Some factors that influence productivity across the shire 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 shire.
The implications for council management for the future will be addressed in more detail in council's Social Plan.
Ethnicity and diversity
The population of Tumbarumba Shire is made up of 53.8% males and 46.2% females. For Australia the split is 49.3% males and 50.7% females on Census night—7 August 2001 (Australian Bureau of Statistics 2003).
There has been almost no change in the proportions of Indigenous residents in the shire over the decade from 1991 to 2001 which is only marginally lower than for Australia as a whole (1.9% compared with 2.2%). The proportion of residents born overseas has increased marginally over the 10 years from 1991 to 2001 (see Table 3).
|Origin||1991 Census||1996 Census||2001 Census|
|Born in Australia||3,544||92.2||3,317||90.3||3,052||90.4|
|Born overseas (b)*||236||6.1||278||7.6||261||7.7|
* (b) 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 57% of residents over 15 years of age in 2001 were married (in either formal legal marriages or in de facto marriages). Almost 88% lived in one-family households. Of those households, 52.5% were couples with children, 27.2% couples with no children and 10.5% were single person households (Table 4). The drop in the percentage of couples with children since 1991 and the increases in the percentage of households occupied by couples only and by single-parent families with children may reflect a higher divorce rate or a change in attitudes to parenting—with couples either choosing to delay childbirth or not to have children altogether. The Social Plan should explore these patterns further and identify whether there are emerging social planning issues for the shire.
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. Lone person household increases may also reflect the ageing of the community.
|Household type||1991 Census (a)||1996 Census||2001 Census (b)|
|One family household:|
|Couple family with children||2,225||64.0||1,865||56.8||1,592||52.5|
|Couple family without children||635||18.3||718||21.9||825||27.2|
|One parent family||247||7.1||226||6.9||215||7.1|
|Lone person household||273||7.8||361||11.0||319||10.5|
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—plenty of space!
Download printable map (warning: 561 kB pdf)
As one might expect of a rural shire with few townships, Tumbarumba Shire is fairly sparsely populated. The preliminary estimated residential population at June 2004 was 3,623. Based on those landuses in the shire that are most likely to be populated (urban and agriculture), the calculated population density is around 0.02 persons per hectare (or one person for every 44.10 hectares). It needs to be borne in mind that much of the Australian Capital Region is rural. The average population density across all 17 NSW Local Government areas in the Region is one person for every 41.58 hectares.
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.
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 shire minus conservation lands and state forests because few, if any, people live in those areas of land use.
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