Canberra celebrates its centenary – 100 years of population change


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Friday March 22 2013 - 6:00 am +1100

In the 100 years since Canberra was formally named on 12 March 1913 as Australia's capital, its population has grown from a small rural community of less than 2,000 people (outnumbered by sheep and cattle at a ratio of over 500 to 1), to a city made up of over 100 suburbs and nearly 400,000 people. The drivers of growth have differed from many other cities whose transport advantages, location and accessibility supported the more common trade and economic foundations of growth. It wasn't until 1960 that Canberra's population reached 50,000, finally reaching 300,000 in 1994 and a point where city's size actually contributed to its growth. Nonetheless, Canberra's planned suburbs and reliance on government administration for employment and economic stimulation have helped to shape population growth trends over the last century and continue to do so today. This seminar examined the patterns of Canberra's growth over the past 100 years, with a focus on the period since 1971 when the concept of the estimated resident population was introduced. Contributions to growth from natural increase and migration are considered and the characteristics on which Canberra differs from the other main cities of Australia are highlighted. Census data from as far back as 1911, together with other data sources from the past few decades, was used to provide an overview of Canberra's changing community of the past 100 years. Presenters included Dr Alison Taylor, formerly the ACT Demographer and President of the Australian Population Association and Denise Carlton, Regional Director ACT, Australian Bureau of Statistics. Presentation slides are available in the Members Only section. 

Canberra ACT 0200
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