Census and the Cassowary Coast….the rise of the Sikh

Today sees the major release of the 2016 Census data and gives us our first glimpse into what the Census can tell us about our own region.

When we consider the Cassowary Coast Regional Council region we see that total population has increased by just 3.8% since 2011 to 28,726 (still below the magic 30,000 level).

If we dig somewhat deeper we can look at the numbers for the 3 SA2 areas which (approximately) make up the CCRC region; Tully (which includes Mission Beach and Cardwell), Johnstone and Innisfail. Here we see a very different picture across the region; Tully is up 4.6% since 2011, Johnstone up 4.8% but Innisfail up just 1.7%.

The indigenous population has grown significantly faster over the period (up 7.9%) and therefore the percentage of total population that is indigenous has risen to 9.7% (from 9.4%).

Across the nation Australians have become less religious in the past 5 years and that is reflected in the Cassowary Coast. Those stating no religious affiliation have jumped from 18% to 24% while those identifying as Christian have fallen from 69% to 60% (of those the largest number are Catholics who account for 29% of the population; down from 33% in 2011). Sikhism has seen something of a jump to just over 2% having not even been counted in 2011. Islam accounts for less than 0.1%.

Given the shift in religions it is perhaps not surprising to see that the most commonly spoken language (other than English) is now Punjabi; in 2011 it was Italian.

The spread of the internet continues apace and we now see 74% of homes connected to the internet (although this remains well below the State and National average of 83-84%); it was 67% five years ago.

The 2016 Census is available on the ABS website.

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