ABS National Regional Profile ’08-’12

Today saw the (delayed) release of the National Regional Profile for 2008-’12. The full detail is available on the ABS website here.
Among the mountain of data contained in 8 large spreadsheets are numbers on population by Local Government Area (LGA) as well as by Statistical Area Level 2 (SA2). SA2’s and LGA’s do not always align and such is the case with the Cassowary Coast. The CCRC LGA includes the SA2 of Innisfail, Johnstone, Tully (which also includes Mission Beach and Cardwell) as well as part of Babinda (the part that falls into North Innisfail within the CCRC boundary). The table below outlines the population estimates for both the CCRC LGA and the component SA2’s as at June 30th each year.

LGA SA2
CCRC Innisfail Johnstone Tully Babinda
2008 28,739 9,714 7,742 10,623 660
2009 28,761 9,669 7,725 10,686 681
2010 28,718 9,627 7,718 10,694 679
2011 28,636 9,576 7,727 10,584 749
2012 28,693 9,619 7,787 10,542 745
Tully includes MB and Cardwell.
Babinda is just those areas in N. Innisfail that fall within the CCRC.

What we see is a decline in population of the area as a whole of 46 people (a compounded annual rate of decline of 0.04%). The rate of decline over the 4 years has been greatest in Innisfail which has lost 95 people at an annual rate of 0.25%. Tully has also seen a fall (81 people) at a rate of 0.19%. Both Johnstone and Babinda have seen small increases.
To our north Cairns has seen population grow from 152,398 in 2008 to 165,388 by 2012. That equates to an annual growth rate of 2.07%. Townsville has also seen solid growth at 2.3% per annum to 184,526 in 2012.
Had the Cassowary Coast managed growth at closer to these levels (let’s say 2% pa) for the past 4 years then our current population would stand at 31,108; that would mean an additional 2,400 people in the region.

Looking at other data shows us that the median age in the Cassowary Coast has risen from 41 years in 2008 to 42.4 years in 2012. In Cairns the equivalent numbers were 35.5 years and 36.3 years.
CCRC has seen an increase in the number of passenger cars per 1,000 people to 455 (from 441 in 2008) in 2012, while in Cairns the number has fallen to 494 (from 496).
In 2011 (the most recent available data) the most common industry for employment in the Cassowary Coast was Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing (17.1%) while in Cairns it was Healthcare & Social Assistance (12.4%); although we should note that “Tourism” doesn’t have an industry sector of its own, with most tourism related jobs falling into other sectors such as Accommodation and Retail.
Average wages in the Cassowary Coast have risen from $33,688 to $38,948 (in 2011) which is an annual compound growth rate of 5%…well in excess of the rate of inflation. In Cairns wages have grown by an even more healthy 5.2% annually to $46,160 (in 2011).

UPDATE. A reader has asked how the CCRC wage data compares with the national average. In Nov 2013 average weekly wages for all workers in Australia was $1,114.20, or about $58,000 pa. The CCRC data above relates to June 2011 so if we use the 5% compound growth rate then by 2013 that is likely to have grown to $43,000; or 73% of the national average.

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