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South Australia’s changing population

07 May 2015 by News Desk

family_sunsetThe population centre of South Australia has been steadily moving south for the past 20 years. And it’s taken a sharp turn westward since 2006, according to The Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The population centre is the geographical point at which half the state’s population lives north of the centre and half to the south, while half live to the east of the centre and half live to the west.

In 2001, the population centre was in Pooraka. By 2009-11, it had shifted south to Northfield, then west to Gepps Cross (2011-13), before its latest move, to Clearview (2014).

The Australian Bureau of Statistics says growth in the southern half of the state had outpaced that of the north in the last two decades. The centre’s movement reveals the state’s changing demographics.

Between 1991 and 2014, the three largest council areas in the northern half of the state, Port Augusta, Whyalla and Port Pirie, declined by a combined 5,300 people. Over the same period Alexandrina increased by 11,100 people, Victor Harbor rose by 7200 and Mt Gambier grew by 3700.

Planning Minister John Rau said the Government was “actively pursuing” a policy of urban consolidation rather than fringe development. “This will better utilise established infrastructure rather than spending billions of dollars on new infrastructure. And it also places people closer to health, education and other social and cultural opportunities.”

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