Regional Australia

  • 32.7% of Australians lived outside greater capital city areas and 28.2% lived outside major cities in mid-2017.  (The total population of Australia was estimated by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) to be almost 24.6m.)
  • Despite common misconceptions, the population of regional Australia is rising. Between 2007 and 2017, the population outside of Australia's major cities grew by 10.6%. The ABS 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.
  • Around two thirds of Australia's export earnings come from regional industries such as agriculture, tourism, retail, services and manufacturing. Australia's regions are also integral to our values and sense of identity, which come from our unique and diverse culture, landscape, history and people.
  • 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.
  • A significant proportion of RUN member university graduates go on to work in regional Australia. Between 2013 and 2016, 69 per cent of employed undergraduate and 55 per cent of employed postgraduate level graduates from RUN member universities ended up working in regional areas upon graduation.
    By comparison, only 23 per cent of employed graduates – either undergraduate or postgraduate level – from non-RUN universities worked in regional Australia. This demonstrates the significant role RUN universities play in supplying skilled employees to regional Australia.

    

Fact or research finding Reference
Population and economy
As at June 2017, 32.7% of Australia’s population (a little over 8 million people) resided outside greater capital city areas and 28.2% lived outside major cities.

Data by region
http://stat.abs.gov.au/itt/r.jsp?databyregion#/  sourced 6 June 2018

 

ABS (2018) Regional Population Growth, Australia 2007-2017  Cat. No 3218.0

Despite common misconceptions, the population in regional Australia is rising. Between 2007 and 2017, the population outside of Australia's major cities grew by 10.6%.

ABS (2018) Regional Population Growth, Australia, 2007-2017 Cat. No 3218.0

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 
Around two thirds of Australia's export earnings come from regional industries such as agriculture, tourism, retail, services and manufacturing. Australia's regions are also integral to our values and sense of identity, which come from our unique and diverse culture, landscape, history and people. Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development website homepage.  Accessed 6 June 2018.
RUN universities deliver an additional $1.7b in their regional economies. This contribution is driven through three effects:
1. Jobs and productivity contribute to the supply of labour and growth for their regions – and regional Australia in general. Around 7 out of 10 RUN graduates will go on to work in a regional area.
2. Student and university spending drives significant demand for goods and services in the regional areas of RUN university campuses. RUN students spend approximately $480m in their campus regions and RUN universities spend $1.59b.
Nous (2018) The ecoomic impact of the Regional Universities Network, page 3
Published on RUN website
Higher education attainment and aspiration

There is a significant differential in higher education attainment between city and regional Australians.  The 2016 Census revealed that 49% of people aged 15 years and over living in greater capital city areas held a bachelor degree or above qualification compared with 30% living outside of the greater capital cities. 

 

In 2017, almost 45% of people aged 25-34 years in major cities held bachelor degree or above qualifications, while the proportion for those people living in inner and outer regional areas was 20.5% and 20.6% respectively.

 

The proportion of people with Bachelor degrees or above grew strongly across Australia between 2010 and 2017.  The proportion of people in major cities aged 25-34 years with a bachelor degree or higher rose by 5 percentage points during this period.  Among residents of inner regional communities the proportion rose by almost 2% - the increase was greater for residents of outer regional and remote communities but fluctuated significantly between years. 

ABS 2016 Census data Summary.  Educational qualifications in Australia.  Released March 2018.

 

 

ABS (2017) Education and Work, May 2017.  Highest non-school qualification. Cat no. 6227.0 Data cube table 27

 

Ditto.

 

 

A significant proportion of RUN member university graduates go on to work in regional Australia. Between 2013 and 2016, 69 per cent of employed undergraduate and 55 per cent of employed postgraduate level graduates from RUN member universities worked in regional areas upon graduation.

By comparison, only 23 per cent of employed graduates – either undergraduate or postgraduate level – from non-RUN universities worked in regional Australia. This demonstrates the significant role RUN universities play in supplying skilled employees to regional Australia.

Nous (2018) Jobs and productivity effects of the Regional Universities Network, page 3
Published on RUN website.