WA leads population, housing cost growth

Australians are moving to the nation's mining states and paying handsomely to live there.

The major areas of population growth were the fringes of big cities and rural areas of Western Australia, 2011 census executive director Andrew Henderson said.

"The largest numeric increases are in local government areas, they are exactly where we'd expect them to be," Mr Henderson said.

"They are in the fringes of the big cities, they are up on the Gold Coast (and) Brisbane."

He said based on the largest percentage increase by local government area, populations in WA were increasing at extraordinary levels.

"We've got nine of the 10 biggest increases in Western Australia and they are in small, regional, remote communities," he said.

The area with the largest proportionate growth since 2006 was the East Pilbara,which swelled by 82.6 per cent to 11,950 people.

Coinciding with the increase in population was an increase in housing costs.

Nationally, both weekly rental payments and monthly mortgage repayments increased but the proportional growth in WA outstripped the rest of the country.

In WA rent jumped by an average of 76.5 per cent to $300 per week in 2011 from $170 in 2006 and median monthly mortgage repayments grew by 60.8 per cent.

In the eastern states, Melbourne is nipping at Sydney's heels in the race to become Australia's most populous city.

Since the 2006 census, Melbourne's population swelled by more than 145,000 people while Sydney grew by about only 76,800.

In terms of how people are living, the number of 2.6 occupants to a house hasn't changed.

People overwhelmingly live with family members (71.5 per cent) as opposed to living alone.

Less than five per cent of people live in share houses.

The proportion of couples without children grew.


Source: Western Australian Business News