State of the Environment Tasmania Home
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Population Distribution Index of indicators

Description

Rationale

Analysis highlights

Data

Acknowledgment

Description

The absolute and percentage changes in population and number of households. Changes should be reported by location of the settlements and by settlement size (i.e. large, medium or small settlements).

Rationale

Changing populations have environmental effects. Settlements with growing populations are generally expanding, and therefore place additional pressure on the environment through development and increased human activity. Conversely, settlements with declining populations may lack the resources to address existing and emerging environmental concerns. There are also relationships between the land use pattern of population change and transport needs.

Analysis highlights

  • Urban centres and localities were selected as the statistical boundaries most suitable for reporting on population distribution. Gravity centre analysis (a measure of spatial distribution and concentration) was undertaken for the population of Tasmania for the 1991 and 1996 census. The results shown indicate a slight shift of 12 km to the south-east in the gravity centre of the Tasmanian population.
     
  • Long-term population trends based on urban centres and localities show relatively stable population in localities (200–999 people), and major urban centres (greater than 20,000 people). The share of State population within major centres declined from 51.2% in 1996 to 47% in 2001.
     
  • Long-term growth was experienced in mid-size centres of between 1,000 and 19,999 people and growth in the ‘other’ category outside of defined centres and localities. Between 1976–96, mid-sized centres experienced population growth of 31.1%, and their share of State population now stands at 24.9%. The rapid growth of fringe urban centres including Old Beach, Dodges Ferry and Pontville contrasts with population decline in other centres.
     
  • The population of localities and villages continues to grow, now making up 6.7% of the State's population. However, there are some significant regional variations, and variations between rural and fringe urban localities and villages.
     

Data

The first SoE report for Tasmania used urban centres and localities as the statistical boundaries most suitable for reporting on population distribution. This was because these boundaries were suited to the level of detail that could be included and information was available on demographic and social variables for urban centres and localities back to 1976. These boundaries also better represented the important regional population centres.

Tasmanian statistical boundaries

Population change by urban centres and localities

State population: overview

Tasmania's resident population at August 2001 was 456,652. Its share of the total population of Australia declined from 2.9% in 1976 to 2.7% in 1991 to 2.4% in 2001 (ABS 1994a and ABS 2001b). The statewide population decreased by 0.7% between 1996 and 2001. (ABS 2001) The change in population varied widely throughout the State, with notable falls in the west coast areas, most notably in Roseberry, Maydena, and Zeehan. In contrast to these falls, there are notable increases in other parts of the State. Marked increases in population have been seen in Old Beach, Pontville, and Dodges Ferry, suggesting a trend of people preferring to move to smaller places within easy reach of the larger cities.

The pattern of population distribution in Tasmania appears to have shifted only marginally. In spatial analysis, a gravity centre of a region is the location of maximum accessibility for the greatest number of people. Shifts in the gravity centre provide a measure of change in population distribution and concentration. Gravity centre analysis was undertaken for the population of Tasmania for the 1991, 1996 and 2001 census. The results shown in the map indicate a slight shift to the south-east in the gravity centre of the Tasmanian population. These results are supported by the general population trends outlined in the analysis of urban centres and localities showing relative population growth in the east and south-east of the State.

Population gravity centre analysis, 1991-2001

Statewide population change

Major centres (urban centres of more than 20,000 people)

Between 1996–01, these larger centres experienced a decline of 0.7% and their share of State population declined from 51.2% in 1996 to 47% in 2001. The total population of Tasmania declined by 0.7% over the same period. The population of Burnie/Somerset was fewer than 20,000 people as at the 1996 census.

Within greater Hobart, a significantly larger statistical boundary than the Hobart urban centre, regional variations in population change at the level of census collector district (CCD) are evident in the following map of population change 1991–96. For example, population decline at New Norfolk contrasts with growth in commuter suburbs including Kingston and Sorell.

Mid-size centres (1,000–19,999 people)

Between 1996–01, these centres experienced population decline of 0.9% and their share of State population decreased from 25% to 24.9%. (ABS 1996 and 2001) However, these trends also mask some significant regional variations. The rapid growth of fringe urban centres including Old Beach, Dodges Ferry, and Pontville contrasts with population decline in other centres. The population decline in some towns is partly attributable to industrial restructuring. Queenstown (10.6%) and George Town (8.7%) are two of the towns affected by industrial restructuring. The west coast mining communities of Rosebery, Zeehan and Savage River also experienced a decline in population between 1996 and 2001. However, populations tend to fluctuate in mining communities, along with the fortunes of the mines.

Urbanisation has also resulted in formerly separate towns being linked to major centres through the journey to work: the populations of a number of these communities that are within commuting distance to urban centres have grown rapidly as a result. Two examples are Hadspen in the north (6.8% annual growth from 1996–01) and Kingston in the south (7.9% annual growth from 1996–01). The population of Old Beach and Legana have grown substantially, from being fewer than the threshold of 200 people for the locality or village class in 1976, to mid-size urban centres in 2001.

Population trends of mid-size urban centres (1,000–19,999 people), 1976–01

Population centre

1976

1981

1986

1991

1996

2001

Change (%) 1996–01

Rosebery

2,534

2,675

2,102

1,637

1,439

1,115

–22.5

Queenstown

4,520

3,714

3,593

3,368

2,631

2,352

–10.6

Bridgewater

2,750

6,880

8,654

8,684

7,451

6,693

–10.2

George Town

5,296

5,592

5,315

5,026

4,522

4,129

–8.7

Deloraine

1,843

1,923

1,997

2,098

2,168

2,032

–6.3

Burnie/Somerset

19,115

20,368

20,665

20,505

19,134

18,095

–5.4

New Norfolk

6,679

6,243

6,152

5,822

5,286

5,011

–5.2

Smithton

3,235

3,378

3,414

3,495

3,313

3,149

–5.0

Penguin

2,502

2,616

2,801

2,876

3,030

2,910

–4.0

Westbury

1,006

1,161

1,222

1,292

1,280

1,241

–3.0

Ulverstone

8,793

9,413

10,055

9,923

9,792

9,515

–2.8

Latrobe

2,375

2,401

2,578

2,551

2,765

2,690

–2.7

Lauderdale

1,881

2,117

2,353

2,509

2,485

2,445

–1.6

Beauty Point

1,012

998

1,064

1,137

1,194

1,176

–1.5

Scottsdale

1,815

2,002

1,983

2,020

1,922

1,904

–0.9

Beaconsfield

936

898

1,064

1,088

1,014

1,007

–0.7

Huonville-Ranelagh

1,340

1,347

1,305

1,524

1,718

1,708

–0.6

Longford

1,785

2,027

2,437

2,601

2,829

2,827

–0.1

Sorell-Midway Point

2,183

2,544

2,882

3,199

3,596

3,606

0.3

St Helens

817

1,005

1,149

1,145

1,776

1,800

1.4

Evandale

529

614

723

772

1,033

1,057

2.3

Seven Mile Beach

464

682

847

947

1,057

1,084

2.6

Wynyard

4,348

4,582

4,705

4,679

4,509

4,635

2.8

Turners Beach

659

842

900

905

1,184

1,259

6.3

Perth

1,141

1,229

1,352

1,573

1,863

1,984

6.5

Port Sorell

772

859

1,173

1,494

1,818

1,937

6.5

Hadspen

619

908

1,089

1,334

1,730

1,848

6.8

Kingston

6,259

8,556

10,932

12,907

13,746

14,827

7.9

Legana

n.a.

964

1,237

1,398

1,987

2,144

7.9

Bridport

725

885

980

1,165

1,234

1,352

9.6

Old Beach

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

492

1,708

1,979

15.9

Pontville

809

908

962

1,125

1,424

1,652

16.0

Dodges Ferry

442

743

1,091

1,550

2,077

2,476

19.2

Total

 86,650

 101,074

 108,776

 112,841

 114,715

 113,63

-0.9

Total Tasmanian population

412,300

427,200

446,500

452,837

459,659

456,652

–0.7

% total population in mid-size urban centres

21.0

23.7

24.4

24.9

25.0

24.9

Source: ABS Census Data 1976–02


Localities and villages (200–999 people)

Overall, localities and villages with a population of between 200 and 999 people increased their share of population from 4.7% to 6.7% between 1976 and 2001. The population of localities and villages grew by 0.4% between 1996 and 2001. During the period from 1976 to 1996, 17 centres reached the threshold of a minimum of 200 people and became classed as localities and villages for the first time. These included places such as Lewisham, Primrose Sands, and Opossum Bay in the south, and Dilston, Gawler, and Sisters Beach in the north.

There are also some significant regional variations and variations between rural and fringe urban localities, and villages. The table highlights the legacy of industrial restructuring and rural decline in a number of localities, as well as economic development and renewal in others through emerging industry and employment opportunities. A number of east coast centres have experienced substantial population growth, as well as Strahan on the west coast.

Towns of the Midlands, including Campbell Town and Ross, experienced further population decline between 1996 and 2001, while centres such as Howden and Eaglehawk Neck Beach increased their population. Centres such as Margate are increasingly viewed as commuter suburbs.

Population trends of localities and villages (200–999 people), 1976–01

Locality or village

1976

1981

1986

1991

1996

2001

% change
1996–01

Grindelwald

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

592

n.a.

Maydena

537

461

384

381

331

247

–25.4

Zeehan

1,754

1,750

1,610

1,132

1,116

892

–20.1

Exeter

347

353

344

394

382

313

–18.1

Mole Creek

300

303

288

249

256

213

–16.8

Stanley

650

603

588

576

543

463

–14.7

Fingal

430

424

443

428

379

325

–14.2

Branxholm

275

273

264

262

266

232

–12.8

Triabunna

881

924

883

831

766

700

–8.6

Gawler

n.a

n.a

233

204

271

248

–8.5

St Marys

677

653

668

629

588

538

–8.5

Dilston

n.a

223

281

304

323

296

–8.4

Campbell Town

936

879

867

820

816

755

–7.5

Margate

392

476

557

743

1,034

959

–7.3

Low Head

275

339

416

454

463

431

–6.9

Franklin

530

479

453

462

454

423

–6.8

Collinsvale

n.a

n.a

n.a

278

297

277

–6.7

Tullah

267

1,894

1,117

718

268

250

–6.7

Lilydale

316

308

357

333

343

321

–6.4

Cygnet

720

715

832

924

851

800

–6.0

Carrick

227

291

340

325

331

312

–5.7

Currie

861

859

794

819

841

793

–5.7

White Beach (L)

n.a.

n.a

n.a

n.a

261

246

–5.7

Heybridge

378

395

396

370

341

324

–5.0

Kempton

n.a

226

324

342

327

316

–3.4

Nubeena

n.a

225

220

229

264

255

–3.4

Ross

301

289

283

282

275

266

–3.3

Sheffield

833

945

934

992

1,016

982

–3.3

Dunalley

247

203

286

306

286

277

–3.1

Primrose Sands

n.a

n.a

n.a

569

698

678

–2.9

Ringarooma

287

223

262

235

232

226

–2.6

Bracknell

271

347

355

368

367

360

–1.9

Railton

926

857

906

996

878

862

–1.8

Bothwell

389

356

369

396

356

350

–1.7

Campania

n.a

n.a

207

232

230

226

–1.7

Kettering

285

288

318

295

314

310

–1.3

Snug

668

684

714

767

804

794

–1.2

Sisters Beach

n.a

n.a

158

241

277

278

0.4

Fern Tree

n.a

n.a

n.a

599

584

593

1.5

Forth

227

273

288

314

342

347

1.5

Bicheno

414

674

661

705

700

711

1.6

Cressy

621

640

630

616

637

648

1.7

Dover

408

570

194

521

481

489

1.7

Ridgley

513

452

427

452

427

435

1.9

Gravelly Beach

522

535

583

591

559

581

3.9

Orford

351

378

458

502

461

485

5.2

Bagdad

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

646

682

5.5

Geeveston

900

860

753

826

778

827

6.3

Opossum Bay (L)

n.a

n.a

n.a

n.a

251

268

6.8

Swansea

376

428

411

418

495

529

6.9

Waratah

246

342

334

360

230

246

7.0

Lanena-Blackwall

455

439

478

507

488

524

7.4

Richmond

515

587

693

754

768

827

7.7

South Arm

n.a

n.a

343

455

496

536

8.1

Strahan

416

402

516

597

701

758

8.1

Oatlands

553

545

514

522

539

585

8.5

Scamander

n.a

n.a

n.a

407

435

475

9.2

Lewisham

n.a

n.a

320

471

647

708

9.4

Otago (L)

n.a

n.a

n.a

n.a

470

514

9.4

Sulphur Creek

401

367

331

321

319

350

9.7

Eaglehawk Neck (L)

n.a

n.a

n.a

n.a

209

233

11.5

Howden

n.a

n.a

213

236

263

294

11.8

Cremorne

259

275

327

327

357

403

12.9

Leith

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

185

213

15.3

Woodbridge

300

259

260

253

246

286

16.3

totals

19,458

22,100

23,084

25,773

30,559

30,677

0.4

Population count

412,300

427,200

446,500

452,837

459,659

456,652

–0.7

% total pop

4.7

5.2

5.2

5.7

6.6

6.7

Source: ABS Census Data 1976–01


Other (outside centres and localities)

The population of Tasmania outside urban centres and localities declined by 2.5% between 1996 and 2001 in comparison with total population decline of 0.7% over the same period. This is consistent with the overall trend of increasing urbanization being experienced in most of Tasmania and other parts of Australia, caused by net population migration from rural areas to towns and cities.

Acknowledgment

Core Human settlements Indicator HS 6 (ANZECC 2000)

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