Census gives a snapshot of 'ordinary' life in Far North Queensland
THE population of Cairns has passed 150,000 for the first time to reach 156,169, according to 2011 Census data, released yesterday.
The growth of 18,538 people since the previous census in 2006 is an increase of 13.5 per cent.
The figures cover the Cairns Regional Council boundaries from Babinda in the south to the former Douglas shire in the north.
In 2006, the Cairns population was 137,631, including the former Douglas Shire of 10,193.
Census Queensland manager Sally Pritchard said Cairns had grown at a faster rate than the state average of 11 per cent and nationally (8.3 per cent).
She said the fresh figures would be used by local and state governments to plan for growth in areas such as roads, transport, education and health.
Ms Pritchard said the large increase in the indigenous population of 34.6 per cent (from about 11,000 to 14,390) was due to more indigenous people filling out the census forms.
She said the Australian Bureau of Statistics employed a person to encourage indigenous people to fill out the census, emphasising the confidentiality and the importance of the information being provided.
Ms Pritchard said there were slightly more women than men in Cairns and that was the same for the state and nationally.
The percentage of people who did not practise religion in the Far North (25 per cent) was much higher than the Queensland and Australian figures of (22.1 per cent and 22.3 per cent).
Herron Todd White research director, Rick Carr, said the growth was expected but had slowed markedly in the past two years
He said the bureau had estimated the population in June this year to be 170,600 but would now have to "adjust" the figure to take into account the census results. Mr Carr said the population had grown "well above average" from 2006 to 2010 during the boom times.
"People were attracted to the lifestyle and jobs left, right and centre but after the GFC hit growth has tapered ever since," he said.
Mr Carr said while personal incomes were higher than the national average, family and household incomes were much lower.
"We don’t have as many multiple income earners, we have more households with just one breadwinner," he said.
"More people are renting because Cairns is traditionally a transient city with less attachment to home ownership."
NEW CAIRNS.COM.AU COMMENT POLICY
We welcome your comments on this story. Comments are submitted for possible publication on the condition that they may be edited. Comments submitted without a full name and suburb/location will not be considered for publication. Please read our full comment policy and publication guidelines.
Share this article
Typical family: The Arkeys, The Arkeys, Phil, Jenny, Cassidy, 7, and Frankie, 4, are a typical Far Northern family, according to the latest census data, released yesterday. Picture: ANNA ROGERS