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Australian Bureau of Statistics reveals where the population has been growing and declining

Australia’s outer suburbs are fuelling the national population growth, and have also become the hotbeds of a second COVID-19 wave.

Melbourne was home to five of Australia’s ten fastest-growing local government areas as of June 2019 – seven months before the first national case of coronavirus was confirmed.

The booming areas in the city’s west and north-west are also the home of Australia’s worst COVID-19 clusters, with these more affordable areas home to larger families and a higher proportion of residents with English as a second language.

Australia's COVID-19 hot spots are in outer suburbs which had the strongest national population growth before the pandemic. Melbourne was home to five of Australia's ten fastest local government areas as of June 2019 - seven months before the first national case of coronavirus was confirmed

Australia’s COVID-19 hot spots are in outer suburbs which had the strongest national population growth before the pandemic. Melbourne was home to five of Australia’s ten fastest local government areas as of June 2019 – seven months before the first national case of coronavirus was confirmed

The City of Wyndham council area in the western side of Port Phillip Bay has 303 active cases and contains the worst-affected suburbs of Hoppers Crossing (150 active cases) and nearby Werribee (121 active cases).

Population growth hot spots by council area

1. Camden, Sydney’s outer south-west: 7.9 per cent

2. Wyndham, Melbourne’s west: 5.9 per cent

3. Serpentine-Jarrahdale, south-east Perth: 5.3 per cent

4. Melton, Melbourne’s west: 5.2 per cent 

5. Melbourne: 5.1 per cent

6. Cardinia, Melbourne’s soth-east: 4.7 per cent 

7. Ipswich, Queensland’s south-east: 4.1 per cent 

8. Hume, Melbourne’s north-west: 4 per cent 

9. Mitchell Shire, north of Melbourne: 4 per cent

10. Strathfield, Sydney’s inner-west: 4 per cent  

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics population growth data for 2018-19 by local government area

This local government area was also the nation’s second fastest growing area with an annual population increase of 5.9 per cent, Australian Bureau of Statistics data showed.

The nearby Melton council area has 147 active cases, including 57 at Burnside and Caroline Springs.

This area had a population growth pace of 5.2 per cent – the fourth highest in Australia.

The Hume City Council area in Melbourne’s north is another hot spot, with 193 active cases including 81 at Craigieburn.

This area was Australia’s eighth fastest-growing with a four per cent population increase.

Demographer Mark McCrindle said the close link between population growth, housing affordability and coronavirus susceptibility was to be expected.

‘It’s not surprising to find the correlation between high-growth areas and increased COVID cases,’ he told Daily Mail Australia.

‘You’ve got larger households in new areas – they’re people moving into the house and land packages; they’re more affordable areas, that’s why they’re growing.

‘Younger profile, more children: with that more activities, an increased need for mobility and travel because of their locations and public transport use.’

The suburbs with COVID-19 clusters were also home to security guards involved in the botched hotel quarantining and have a higher proportion of non-English speaking residents.

‘In these growth areas, where there’s better affordability, you’ve also got more cultural diversity,’ Mr McCrindle said.

The City of Wyndham council area in the western side of Port Phillip Bay has 303 active cases and contains the worst-affected suburbs of Hoppers Crossing (150 active cases) and nearby Werribee (121 active cases).

The City of Wyndham council area in the western side of Port Phillip Bay has 303 active cases and contains the worst-affected suburbs of Hoppers Crossing (150 active cases) and nearby Werribee (121 active cases).

Melbourne’s cosmopolitan city centre has 103 active cases and was Australia’s fifth fastest growing area with a 5.1 per cent population expansion pace.

Sydney’s outer south-west is the worst-affected area outside Melbourne with 76 active cases.

The Camden City Council area, west of Campbelltown, had Australia’s highest population growth of 7.9 per cent.

This was related to new housing developments at Oran Park, a former raceway. 

Nonetheless, some of the local government areas in the top ten for population growth have active case numbers in the low single digits, including Strathfield in Sydney’s inner west and the Ipswich area south-west of Brisbane.

Demographer Mark McCrindle said Melbourne's west and north were younger and had larger families that were more likely to use public transport. Pictured is a map from Victoria's Department of Health and Human Services

Demographer Mark McCrindle said Melbourne’s west and north were younger and had larger families that were more likely to use public transport. Pictured is a map from Victoria’s Department of Health and Human Services

The Serpentine-Jarrahdale area, taking in suburbs south-east of Perth has just five active COVID-19 cases, despite having Australia’s third highest population growth pace of 5.3 per cent.

The rural Mitchell Shire, north of Melbourne, has just 15 active cases but residents there must stay at home unless they are going to work or are shopping for groceries.

This area was in the top ten with a four per cent growth pace. 

The Cardinia Shire Council in Melbourne’s south-east has just 28 active cases despite being Australia’s sixth fastest growing area with a 4.7 per cent population increase.

The ABS growth tally excluded suburbs that had less than 1,000 people in June 2018. 

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