Business planning, Growth

Census data: Shifting, diverse population set to spur business opportunities

Michelle Hammond /

The latest census data has highlighted several major business opportunities, namely the population explosion in resource-rich states, and Australia’s increasingly multicultural society.

 

Today marks the first release of data from the 2011 Census of Population and Housing, conducted every five years. The data was released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

 

Sean Richards, director of product management at Pitney Bowes Software, told Franchising the census data can help businesses with customer profiling and identifying new business locations.

 

“Businesses should recognise the value of the census and ensure they use the data to help inform their business decisions,” Richards said.

 

The 2011 results show 98.3% of the population participated in the census. Australia’s resident count was 21,507,719, an 8.3% increase from 19,855,287 in 2006.

 

The local government area of East Pilbara in WA experienced the largest proportionate growth of 82.6%, from 6,546 in 2006 to 11,950 in 2011.

 

The Shire of East Pilbara includes Newman – a town built specifically for mining – while fellow mining town Port Hedland sits just outside the shire.

 

Some businesses are already starting to take advantage of the mining boom and the subsequent surge in population.

 

Earlier this week, Retail Food Group announced it is looking for franchisees prepared to relocate to mining towns in WA, including Newman and South Hedland, and Queensland.

 

Meanwhile, the local government area with the biggest increase in the number of people was Brisbane, up from 956,130 in 2006 to 1,041,842 in 2011, an increase of 85,712 or 9%.

 

Of the states and territories, WA experienced the biggest proportionate increase in its population at 14.3%, from 1,959,086 in 2006 to 2,239,169 in 2011.

 

Tasmania had the lowest proportionate increase at 4%, from 476,482 in 2006 to 495,352 in 2011.

 

The state with the biggest increase in the number of people was Queensland, up from 3,904,530 in 2006 to 4,332,739 in 2011, an increase of 428,209 or 11%.

 

In addition to the opportunities afforded by the mining boom, the census data highlights Australia’s ever-growing multiculturalism, which could open up another range of opportunities.

 

The data reveals almost a quarter (24.6%) of Australia’s population was born overseas, while 41.3% have at least one overseas-born parent.

 

The United Kingdom is the leading country of birth for the overseas-born population (20.8%), followed by New Zealand (9.1%), China (6%) and India (5.6%).

The number of people born in India has experienced the largest growth, with an increase of 148,261 people since the 2006 census, followed by China (112,379) and New Zealand (93,934).

Andrew Henderson, executive director of the 2011 Census, said in a statement Australia’s cultural fabric has changed remarkably.

 

“Historically, the majority of migration has come from Europe. However, there are increasingly more people born in Asia and other parts of the world now calling Australia home,” he said.

 

“The historical pattern of migration and settlement is evident in the richly diverse society which has been recorded.”

 

“Multiculturalism plays a big part in who we are as a nation… Diversity touches every part of our country, no matter where you are.”

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