- 36% of Australians live outside capital city statistical divisions and 31% live outside major cities.
- Despite common misconceptions, the population of regional Australia is rising. The Australian Bureau of Statistics projects that the population outside capital cities will grow by 26% between 2007 and 2026.
- Regional economies are based on a diversity of industry sectors, with the majority of employment concentrated in the services, health, education and infrastructure sectors.
- Regional Australia is the major source of Australia’s export earnings, with the agricultural and resources sectors representing over 60% of the value of Australia’s exports in 2009-10.
- Regional Australia plays a critical role in the Australian tourism industry, which makes a direct contribution to Australia’s GDP of $34 billion. Regional areas account for around 55% of domestic visitor expenditure and almost 20% of international visitor expenditure.
- Regional Australia holds the keys to a sustainable future for Australia. It is where solutions can be found to key national and global challenges such as: food security; biodiversity; climate change; water solutions; preservation of Indigenous cultures and Indigenous economic development; and, social inclusion.
|Fact or research finding||Reference|
|Population and economy|
|As at June 2010, 36% of Australia’s population (8.03 million people) resided outside capital city statistical divisions and 31% lived outside major cities||Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)(2011) Regional Population Growth, Australia 2009-10 cat. No 3218.0|
|Despite common misconceptions, the population in regional Australia is rising. It is projected that the Australian population will grow by 30% between 2007 and 2026, with 32% growth in capital cities and 26% growth outside capital cities.||ABS (2008) Population Projections, Australia, 2006 to 2101 cat. No 3222.0 (Based on Series B projections)|
|Average annual regional population growth over the five years 2005-10 was highest in satellite cities (within 150km of a capital city) and coastal cities, with slower rates of growth in inland cities and other rural and regional areas.||Daley, J. and Lancy, A., 2011, Investing in regions: Making a difference, Grattan Institute, Melbourne.|
|Regional economies are based on a diversity of industry sectors, with the majority of employment concentrated in the services, health, education, and infrastructure sectors.||Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (2008) About Australia’s Regions Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government|
|Regional Australia is the major source of Australia’s export earnings, with the agricultural and resources sectors representing over 60% of the value of Australia’s exports in 2009-10.||Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (2010) Australian Commodity Statistics 2010|
|Regional Australia also plays a critical role in the Australian tourism industry, which makes a direct contribution to Australia’s GDP of $34 billion per year. In 2009-10, regional areas accounted for around 55% of domestic visitor expenditure and 17% of international visitor expenditure.|| |
Tourism Research Australia (TRA)(2011) Tourism Industry Facts and Figures at a Glance Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism.
TRA (2011) Travel expenditure by domestic and international visitors in Australia’s regions, 1999-2010
|Higher education attainment and aspiration|
|There is a significant differential in higher education attainment between city and regional Australians, with the differential increasing with distance from a major city. In 2006, 27% of people aged 25-64 who lived in major cities held a Bachelor degree or above. This figure declined to 15% for Australians living in inner regional areas, to 13% for outer regional areas and down to only 10% for very remote areas.||ABS (2008) Australian Social Trends, 2008 cat. No 4102.0|
|Parents in less geographically accessible regions have relatively low expectations for their children’s future education levels, when compared to parents in major cities.||Australian Institute of Family Studies (2011) Families in regional, rural and remote Australia, Fact Sheet 2011.|
|Young people in regional Australia continue to be less likely to aspire to a higher education. While 63% of young people in metropolitan areas intend to enrol in higher education, only 39% in provincial areas and 32% in remote areas intend to do so.||Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) (2010) Australian Regional Higher Education: Student Characteristics and Experiences|