Long term population forecast

Over a period of time, major changes have been taking place in the distribution of population in Regional Queensland and Northern Australia. Since estimated residential population statistics began being published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics in 1976, the Cairns region has experienced a trend to be a leader in regional growth both in Queensland and Northern Australia. Since 2011 the ABS has adopted revised statistical areas for estimated population.

Cairns Regional Council engaged Cummings Economics to analyse these changes and produce long-term population growth projections for Cairns based on past trajectories.

The following reports set out: 

  • this changing pattern and the leading role of Cairns and the Cairns region in this changing pattern; 
  • the factors that have influenced the pattern of change over a period of time; and 
  • on a continuation of these long-term trends, what the regional population in Queensland and northern Australia would look like by 2050.

Population forecast documents

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Cairns: leading population growth in northern Australia (detailed report) (1.6 MB)
This paper prepared for Council by Cummings Economics sets out the changing pattern of population distribution in northern Australia. It considers the leading role of the Cairns and Darwin regions in this changing pattern, why this consistent pattern of change has been happening over a period of time, projects the future regional population in Northern Australia based on a continuation of these long-term trends.

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Cairns: leading population growth in regional Queensland (detailed report) (1.5 MB)
This paper prepared for Council by Cummings Economics sets out the changing pattern of population distribution in regional Queensland. It considers the leading role of Cairns in this changing pattern, why this change has been happening over a period of time, and projects the future regional population in Queensland based on a continuation of these long-term trends.

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Population growth fact sheet: northern Australia (236.4 KB)
Since estimated residential population figures began being produced in 1976, Cairns and its region, along with the Northern Territory have recorded by far, the largest increases in population. This regional growth is reflected in city growth with Cairns and Darwin leading and Townsville next.

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Population growth fact sheet: regional Queensland (234.0 KB)
Since estimated residential population figures began being produced in 1976, Cairns and its region, along with the Bundaberg/Hervey Bay (Wide Bay) Burnett region have recorded by far, the largest increases in population outside the south east corner of Queensland.

Last updated: 07 May 2015