2016 Census sheds new light on Townsville

The first results from the 2016 Census have revealed how the Townsville region has grown and developed, Townsville based Government Senator Ian Macdonald said today.

 “The ABS 2016 Census data released today will reveal what Australian people and their communities look like today and how much the Townsville region has changed at a local level over the past five years,” Senator Macdonald said.

“Census data is used by individuals, businesses and governments at all levels to make important decisions and the data from the 2016 Census can be used with confidence.”

 The 2016 Census revealed the number of Australians has increased from 21,507,719 in 2011 to 23,401,892 in 2016, an increase of 8.8 per cent over five years. This has helped update Australia’s Estimated Resident Population which has grown to 24.4 million people as at 31 December 2016.

 The final dwelling response rate was 95.1 per cent which as noted by the Independent Assurance Panel, is of comparable quality to the 2011 and 2006 Census data and international benchmarks.

 The data released today includes detailed, community-level data on population, housing, income, migration, language, religion, education, family structure, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander origin, and more.

 Locally, the statistics show:

  • 159,998 people live in the Townsville region
  • 49.8% male; 50.2%female
  • Average age is 33, which is lower than the state (37 years) and national (38 years)
  • 40, 423 families live in the region
  • Average of 1.9 children per family
  • A total of 68,458 private dwellings
  • Median weekly household income $1,392
  • Median monthly mortgage repayments $1, 733
  • Median weekly rent $295
  • Highest level of education (tertiary/university) is 17.4%, which is higher than state (14.8%) and national (16.1%)

Every person across the region has helped shape our national snapshot, revealing how Australian society has grown and diversified over time, which then helps Governments of every level and persuasion shape well-informed policy, Senator Macdonald said.

 “The Census is Australia’s most comprehensive dataset, providing in-depth information about how our local communities have changed and developed.

 “The Australian public have shown strong support for the 2016 Census with a significant shift from completing the Census on paper, to more than 4.9 million Australian households completing their Census online.

 “I thank the people of Townsville for their participation in the 2016 Census. The Census is a vital resource, which helps Governments, business big and small and communities shape the future of our nation over the next five years.”

 The next release in October 2017 will feature data on employment, occupation, and qualifications.


The ABS will hold a series of Census Data Seminars around the country to help Australians better understand and use Census data. More information on these events can be found on the ABS website

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