Category Archives: New South Wales

Analysis of 2011 Australian Census

It’s that fun time a year and a half after the actual census when substantial statistics on the country, cities and communities become readily available for the public – and organisations and Government alike – to analyse, interpret and discuss. The Australian Census data from the 2011 Census has finally come out for public dissemination which provides the perfect opportunity to look at some of the most interesting and enlightening data.

First, let’s look at the basic, fundamental data about Australia, its people, culture and population. The population of Australia as of the Census date – 9 August, 2011 – was 21,507,719 {which is estimated to have risen to 22,926,275 according to the Population clock as of 01:54:39 PM (Canberra time), 21 February, 2013}. The Census population of 21,507,719 marked a national increase of 8.3% from the 2006 Census. Out of the 21,507,719 people, 10,873,706 were female and 10,634,013 were male.

Western Australia experienced the largest increase of 14.3% from 2006 Census, followed by Queensland with 11.0%, Australian Capital Territory 10.2%, Northern Territory 9.9%, Victoria 8.5%, New South Wales 5.6%, South Australia 5.4%, and lastly, Tasmania with an increase of 4.0% between the 2006 and 2011 Censuses.

Meanwhile, out of the State capitals, between the 2006 and 2011 Censuses, Perth received the largest increase in population of 14.3%, Darwin was next with an increase of 13.8%, followed by Brisbane with 11.5%, Canberra 10.3%, Melbourne 9.7%, Sydney 6.6%, Adelaide 5.9%, and lastly Hobart with a 5.0% increase.

The largest Australian State by population was New South Wales with a population of 6,917,656 people, followed by Victoria with 5,354,400 people, then Queensland with 4,332,737, Western Australia 2,239,171, South Australia 1,596,570, Tasmania 495,351, Australian Capital Territory 357,218, and lastly the Northern Territory with 211,943 people recorded in the 2011 Census.

The largest Australian urban centre by population was Greater Sydney (inc. the Central Coast) with 4,391,673 people recorded, followed by Melbourne with 3,999,980 people, then Brisbane (inc. Ipswich & Logan) with 2,065,998, Perth 1,728,865, Adelaide 1,225,235, Gold Coast-Tweed Heads 557,822, Canberra-Queanbeyan 391,345, Newcastle & Lake Macquarie 342,605, Sunshine Coast 306,909, and Illawarra (inc. Wollongong) with 275,983 people.

The most common ancestry in the 2011 Census was English (with 7,238,531 responses), followed by Australian (7,098,478), Irish (2,087,758), Other, Scottish, Not Stated, Italian, German and Chinese. Note: Respondents could list up to two separate responses for ancestry.

The most common languages spoken at home were English (with 16,509,290 people speaking English only at home), followed by Chinese languages with 651,328 speakers (of which 336,410 spoke Mandarin and 263,675 spoke Cantonese), then Indo-Aryan languages with 382,844 speakers (of which 111,352 spoke Hindi), followed by Italian with 299,833 speakers, and next Arabic with 287,178 speakers.

One thing I did find interesting however was the variance in the second most spoken language at home across Australian capital cities which reflects the demographic composition of each city, the successive waves of immigration and which emigrant groups tended to migrate where at what point in history. For example, according to  census data, the second most spoken language in Sydney is Arabic; whereas in Brisbane it is Mandarin; in Melbourne & Darwin it is Greek; while in Adelaide & Perth it is Italian. That’s substantial variance across Australian capitals and not only partially illustrates the prominent ethnic groups in each city but when immigration was at its relative peak.

Where Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide and Darwin have large numbers of Italian and Greek speakers there’s been relatively small migration from Italy and Greece since the post-War Boom running up until the early 1970’s which suggests a lot of Italian and Greek speakers in these cities are either aging, long settled first-generation migrants or established second-, third- and even fourth-generation descendants of Italian and Greek speaking migrants.

Meanwhile, large scale migration of Arabic-speaking individuals only commenced from the mid-1970’s onwards, peaking in the last two decades, revealing a generally younger ethnic base and that large scale immigration of Arabic speakers is still occurring in Sydney, perhaps more so than elsewhere – leading to the perception that Sydney is similar to New York, often a gateway for new migrants to the country who may or may not move elsewhere once they or their children (or their children) are established in the country.

Likewise, Brisbane’s second most common language is Mandarin. Whilst, Chinese migration has been evident in Australia since the Gold Rush of the 1850’s, the vast majority of the established Chinese-Australian community are of southern Chinese descent speaking mostly Cantonese and to a lesser degree, Hakka. More recent Cantonese and Hakka speakers have also arrived in Australia since the 1980’s, in no small part due to the handover of Hong Kong to Chinese governance in 1997. Whereas, migration of Mandarin-speaking Chinese is relatively a much more recent phenomena starting with Taiwanese migrants in the 1970’s and peaking in the last two decades with large scale migration from Mandarin-speaking parts of mainland China.

The Census revealed there are 548,371 people who are Indigenous Australians, which equals 2.55% of the population. 15,017,845 of Australians were born in Australia, followed by 1,101,085 born in the UK, 483,397 born in New Zealand, 318,969 born in China (excluding Hong Kong & Macau), and 295,362 people born in India.1,195,728 people did not state their place of birth.

13,150,673 Australians profess Christianity as their religion (of which 5,439,268 are Catholic and 3,679,907 are Anglican), 528,977 Australians are Buddhist, 476,291 are Muslim observants, 97,355 are Jewish, 168,193 people stated observing other religions including Australian Aboriginal Traditional Religions, and 4,796,785 people stated No Religion. 1,839,649 people did not state their religious affiliation. (Religion is the only optional Census question), and a further 174,282 people stated they observe other religious affiliations not listed on the Census.

Other interesting tidbits:

  • There were 7,760,322 occupied dwellings recorded in Australia
  • More dwellings own two or vehicles than one or none
  • The most common weekly household income is between $1,500 and $1,999
  • The vast majority of Australians (16,169,014) still leave in a detached house
  • 934,470 owned dwellings were not occupied
  • Nearly half (8,188,615) of the 16,634,724 Australians over the age of 15 have completed at least Year 12 or equivalent
  • And, lastly 10,058,326 of the 16,634,724 Australians over 15 are employed.

News Hound, Tell me, will do, what is happening today?

‘I’m glad you asked, hmm let’s see …’

  • Huge waves are crashing on Sydney’s coastline as wild winds continue to pound the city while storekeepers, home owners and emergency crews mop up the damage so far.

  • As reported earlier, today saw Venus’ transit across the face of the Sun.
  • Unhappy times in the House of Rothschild as Ben Goldsmith accuses estranged wife, Kate Rothschild, of having an affair with rapper Jay Electronica.

  • Queen Elizabeth II thanks those who took part as the Diamond Jubilee celebrations wrap up
  • And, Vladimir Putin – who was “too busy” to meet at Camp David last month for a G8 meeting – finds the time to meet Hu Jintao in Beijing to promote mutual co-operation on international and regional issues.

“We both believe that we should promote our co-operation on regional and international issues, to preserve our interests and the peace and stability of the world,” Mr. Hu said. He went on to say that China and Russia should use “all platforms and channels” to expand their military ties.

OK, seems the line in the sand is starting to take shape …

Photo of the Day – Evening at the Football

Evening at the Football – Sydney FC vs Brisbane Roar A-League, Sydney Football Stadium – 25 January, 2008

Australian cities – American counterparts?

Growing up as a kid watching Hollywood movies of different US cities, I’d sometimes like to think what Australian cities major US cities most closely match up with it in terms of national importance, population, climate, lifestyle, culture etc. It’s largely a fanciful exercise as all cities are unique with their own histories, cultures, demographics and geography which tend not to match up completely with any other city elsewhere, let alone one in another country. Also, taking into account that the United States has a population of 313 million people as opposed to Australia’s – rather paltry in comparison – population of just below 23 million, it’s largely an exercise in folly with the situation is compounded by the fact that US major cities and surrounding urban areas more often not have a population several times larger than their Australian counterparts. But, it’s all a bit of fun and is not supposed to be taken in any way seriously.

Before we start let’s have a look at the extensive table of the most populous metropolitan areas in the United States and the 43 largest metropolitan areas in Australia, along with their estimated population.

Now, let’s begin with Sydney, Australia’s largest city.

Sydney’s US twin city – taking into account national importance, relative population, history, culture, geography, etc. – would have to be New York.

Sure, it’s not a perfect but there’s more similarities than not. Both cities are often considered the international gateway and most recognised centres of their respective nations. Both cities are internationally renown for their landmarks and geography; both have been – and continue to be – havens for the ‘huddled masses’ – the refugees, the economic and political immigrants from across the world as well as intra-national migrants seeking fame, fortune or just a more open, inclusive environment; and both cities are multicultural, diverse, cosmopolitan metropolises with a sassy attitude and belief that they are important.

Next stop, Melbourne.

Melbourne’s doppelgänger is Chicago.

Melbourne and Chicago share the burden of often being second, or third – in the case of Chicago – city to their brash and bold older, larger counterparts of Sydney and New York. Yet, both cities can claim a soul, culture, history and spirit that embraces the best – and sometimes worst, when it comes to famous cases of organised crime – of their respective nations. Both relatively young cities, they bounded onto the scene in the 19th century in breathtaking fashion courtesy of the Gold Rush- in the case of Melbourne and growth of rail and expansion west – in the case of Chicago. Whilst, their larger, more famous counterparts could be dubbed their nation’s ‘international cities’, Melbourne and Chicago could rightfully claim to be their nation’s ‘national cities’ being road, rail and air transport hubs, being more centrally located geographically as opposed to their east coast cousins, and being centres of cultures, the arts, film and with a rich multicultural history. Both are also known for having more pronounced winters and often warmer summers than their coastal, more temperate counterparts.

Now, let’s look at Australia’s third largest city, Brisbane.

Brisbane’s closest US counterpart is Atlanta.

Now, this one was more difficult than the previous two as there is no neat match for Brisbane in the US. But, I’ve chosen Atlanta, despite many differences for the following reasons. Both cities are the premier cities of their regions which have a long, proud identity often viewed as distinctly different to other regions in their respective nations. Both cities and their surrounding regions have a history of political and cultural conservatism with a lingering mistrust of these in the southern States – in the case of Brisbane – and those northerners – in the case of Atlanta. Both are relatively booming, having come of age during 1988 in the case of Brisbane hosting the World Expo and 1996 for Atlanta hosting the summer Olympics. They have largely shaken off their cultural and historical hang-ups and image, become more diverse, open and inclusive, and gained further national importance as cultural, air, media and music hubs, being tagged as ‘the new South’ in regards to Atlanta and ‘Australia’s new world city’ in regards to Brisbane. Also, both cities share a similar humid subtropical climate.

Next city, Perth.

The city I’ve chosen as Perth’s sister city in the US is Dallas.

Like Brisbane it was somewhat difficult to find a convenient US match for Perth. But, likewise with Brisbane, I took into account culture, history and the local economy in determining its counterpart – Dallas. Similar to Brisbane and Atlanta, Perth and Dallas have many differences but at the same time many similarities. Both cities are also the premier cities in their respective States and surrounding region, and have a distinct cultural, historic legacy which largely differentiates them from other parts of their respective nations – Texas was its own republic and part of Mexico in the past, whereas Western Australia joined the Federation of Australia at the last minute with New Zealand even being offered a seat at the table beforehand. Also sharing with Atlanta and Brisbane, both cities happen to be more culturally and politically conservative than other parts of their nations; whilst both cities have and continue to benefit greatly from the resource-rich land which surrounds them. Nevermind the fact that one city is on its country’s west coast, the other being inland; both cities share a similar climate, attitude and perspective which is more than enough to warrant them as cousins.

Next city, Adelaide.

Adelaide’s partner city is Philadelphia.

Both cities having proud, rich histories and cultures, ‘the City of Churches’ and ‘the City of Brotherly Love’ have quite a few things in common. Adelaide and Philadelphia pride themselves on their rich legacies as places of justice, freedom and equality – Adelaide being the only major Australian city to have never been established nor housed a penal colony with the South Australian capital allowing all women the right to vote as early as 1895 whereas Philadelphia welcomed over 2 million African-American migrants seeking work and better opportunities during the 20th century. Both are known as thriving centres of art and culture and during the 20th century were centres of manufacturing and industry which saw them become the third largest cities in their respective nations, only to sadly be eclipsed by newer, flashier cities.

Next stop, the nation’s capital – Canberra.

And you guessed it, Washington, DC.

OK, there are many, many differences between Washington, DC and Canberra – first and foremost, the US capital being home to over five million people in its surrounding metropolitan area compared with just over 400,000 for Canberra. But, there are indeed many, many similarities. Firstly, both are their respective nations’ capitals and are also planned ‘compromise’ cities based roughly in the demographic centre of their nations at the time of their creation – due to competition among established cities for national capital status.  Both, are centres of justice, administration, civics and education, being filled with grand structures, boulevards, public spaces, parklands, sculptures and water features. Whilst, both cities also tend to reflect the mood and attitude of their nations with their architecture, landscapes and use of space.

Photo of the Day – 24/05/2012

Sydney Harbour Bridge at dusk