Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Population Change in Alice Springs & beyond: A 2017 update

Dr. Andrew Taylor

As for most remote parts of the world, population change is important to Alice Spring and the Central Australia region. Armed with new 2016 Census data, demographic researchers from CDU’s Northern Institute went on a 'Demography Roadshow' to update seminar guests on trends, implications and future directions for Alice and beyond. The Australian Bureau of Statistics delivered key Census data insights and contemplated the region’s population futures based on similar places and in light of global trends. The main findings of the Alice Springs seminar are outlined in this blog post.

Figure 1: Geography and base data for Alice Springs and Central Australia Region


 Based on the 2016 Census, we can say summarise that Alice Springs in 2017 is…

  • Not growing much but has potential to do so through New Migrant Communities (such as from India, the Philippines, Taiwan and Sri Lanka).
  • More female leading to a different gender profile compared to the rest of the NT.
  • Getting older: The number of people aged 65+ increased substantially between the 2011 and 2016 census. 
  • More multicultural due to New Migrant Communities.
  • A bit more affordable as the proportion of household income spent on mortgage decreased compared to the 2011 last census.
  • An established hub for same sex couples with the proportion of couples who are same sex being well above the national average (1.6% compared to 0.9%).


Challenges, opportunities and insights for Alice Springs (Dean Carson)

  • Increasing population volatility is becoming the norm for remote places in developed countries.
  • Changes to the economic foundations mean that volatility is likely to favour slow growth over the long term.
  • The economic pillars of resource, defence and government transfers are becoming less impactful on population because of technology and workforce changes (the latter sees jobs becoming increasingly distant to the activity).
  • The old industries will continue to be important, but there needs to be some focus on new activities.
  • Small changes are more likely than the ‘silver bullet’.
  • ‘focus’ is not a bad thing – some of those interesting things might be interesting.
  • Tourism as a stimulus requires careful thought.
  • Local or global? Votes for both.


Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Same-Sex Marriage - We've crunched and mapped the numbers

The Headline Numbers for the Territory

We've crunched and mapped the numbers for Australia's same-sex marriage postal survey. The nation as a whole voted 'YES' with 61.6% in favour of same-sex marriage equality. In the Northern Territory, 60.6% voted 'YES' but our participation in the survey was much lower, especially in the Electoral Division of Lingiari where almost half eligible voters did not participate.

Who Participated?

Rates of participation were the lowest in the country for young people (20-24 year olds) in Lingiari at 39.3%. It appears that nationally, 18 and 19 year olds took up the opportunity to participate as participation rates for this age group were generally higher than for their slightly older counterparts aged less than 30 years (see Figure 1 below). In general older Australians were far more likely to have participated in the survey.

Figure 1 – Participation in the same-sex marriage survey by age

The Nation in Maps

The results of the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey are shown in the maps below. They illustrate the percentage of all fully completed (or ‘clear’ responses) with the yes box marked for each Commonwealth Electoral Division. The proportion of unclear responses was very minimal (0.2% nationally).

Areas coloured yellow in the map below show the 17 electoral divisions with under 50% responding yes. Areas shown in green and blue are where the majority of responses were yes, with the green representing more than 50% but less than the national average figure of 61.6%. Blue areas are where the percentages were above the national average, with the darker blue areas indicating electoral divisions where more than 70% of forms were yes.

The map below shows the highest ‘yes’ proportions were in and around Australia’s capital cities (see the two maps below for Sydney and Melbourne, for example). There are clusters of divisions which voted ‘no’ in Western Sydney (including Parramatta, Chiefly, Fowler, McMahon and Blaxland, which had the lowest ‘yes’ vote in the country at 26.1%). Interestingly, the division of Bennelong was a marginally ‘no’ at 49% ‘yes’. This is clear in the map for Sydney Divisions below. Another ‘no’ cluster was evident in north-western Queensland in the Divisions of Maranoa and bob Katter’s electorate of Kennedy. Another ‘no’ division in Queensland was Groom (currently a Coalition seat) in the south.

Map 1 - The national picture of the same-sex marriage vote

Map 2 - Sydney Divisions and the same-sex marriage vote


In Victoria, the only Divisions with a ‘no’ vote were Calwell and Bruce (both Labour held Divisions), however, overall Victoria was the strongest ‘yes’ State at 64.9%, however the ACT was higher at 74%.

Map 2 - Melbourne Divisions and the same-sex marriage vote