Saturday, August 13, 2022

Population going backwards

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The Census results for Narrandera have been released, showing a slight decrease of 155 in population.

Conducted in August last year, the Census recorded 5698 people in Narrandera, down from 5853 residents recorded in the 2016 Census.

The results revealed that Narrandera was home to 12.7 per cent of people who identified as Indigenous.

This figure came in at four times higher than the national average of 3.2 per cent.

A total of 84.2 per cent of Narrandera’s population were born in Australia, which is also much higher than the national figure of 66.9 per cent.

The English population tops the list of people born overseas but who live in Narrandera.

The top five responses from the people in Narrandera regarding their country of birth (other than Australia) were

  • England (1.1 per cent)
  • New Zealand (0.8 per cent)
  • Philippines (0.4 per cent)
  • South Africa (0.3 per cent)
  • Germany (0.2 per cent).

The highest population in Narrandera by age are those aged between 60 and 64 years olds (7.7 per cent) with 10 and 14 years old coming in a close second at 7.4 per cent.

Narrandera’s population appears to be less religious in relation to the national benchmark.

People in Narrandera who stated in the Census that they followed no religion totalled 29.4 per cent, compared with the national figure of 38.4 per cent.

The largest religion followed by the Narrandera population was Catholic (24 per cent) followed by Anglican (19.6 per cent).

2021 is the first time the census has collected information on diagnosed long-term health conditions.

More than two million people nationally have at least one of the following conditions – mental health (2,231,543), arthritis (2,150,396) or asthma (2,068,020), with these being the most reported long-term health conditions.

The Narrandera population was often worse off than the national rates.

The Census showed 11.9 per cent of the local population suffered from arthritis, compared to 8.5 per cent nationally.

Other disease rates included in the Census were

  • cancer (3.3 per cent locally compared to 2.9 per cent nationally)
  • diabetes (6 per cent compared to 4.7 per cent)
  • heart disease (5.4 per cent com-pared to 3.9 per cent)
  • kidney disease (1.4 per cent compared to 0.9 per cent)
  • lung condition (3.4 per cent compared to 1.7 per cent)
  • mental health conditions were the same as the national figure of 8.8 per cent.

Australian Statistician, Doctor David Gruen AO, said, “For the first time, we have data on long-term health conditions across the whole population”.

This is critical data to inform planning and service delivery decisions about how treatment and care is provided for all Australians.

The results of the latest national Census reveal Australia broadly is a fast changing, growing and culturally diverse nation, according to Dr Gruen.

The 2021 Census counted almost 25.5 million people (25,422,788) in Australia, excluding overseas visitors, on Census night.

This is an increase of more than two million people (2,020,896), or 8.6 per cent, since the 2016 Census.

Australia’s Census count has more than doubled in the last 50 years, with the 1971 Census counting more than 12 million people (12,493,001).

Census provides local snapshot

The Census counted more than 800,000 (812,728) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people on Census night, 3.2 per cent of the total people counted.

This is an increase of more than 25 per cent (25.2 per cent) since 2016.

Australia continues to become more diverse, with more than one million (1,020,007) residents arriving in Australia from 2017 to 2021.

More than four out of every five (83.7 per cent) of these arrivals were in 2017 to 2019, before the Covid-19 pandemic.

With these new arrivals, the proportion of Australian residents that are born overseas (first generation) or have a parent born overseas (second generation) moved above 50 per cent (51.5 percent).

Dr Gruen said that beyond these headline numbers, the Census provides rich information about the nation, giving insight on cultural diversity, families and homes, to how we changed during the pandemic.

“This accurate and valuable data reveals who we are as a nation and how we have changed.”

“Every stat tells a story and today we are sharing a glimpse into the stories of almost 25.5 million Australians,” Dr Gruen said.

Census data is used to inform decisions about transport, schools, health care, infrastructure and business at the community and national level.

Among the local statistics:

  • The Census showed the Narrandera population was 49.6 per cent male and 50.4 per cent female, broadly in line with NSW and Australian figures.
  • Narrandera’s median age of 44 is six years older than the nation’s average.
  • 44.6 per cent of Narrandera’s population was married, about 2 per cent below the national average, while 7.6 per cent were divorced, slightly lower than the national figure of 8.8 per cent.
  • Joint weekly household income was $1184 in Narrandera, compared to $1746 nationally, but monthly mortgage repayments were much lower: $1000 in Narrandera compared to $1863.
  • Rentals were also significantly lower than the national and state averages. Whereas NSW’s average weekly rent was $420, Narrandera was $200.
  • There are 2141 dwellings in Narrandera, 94.1 per cent of which are separate houses, higher than the national average of 72.3 per cent.

    Most are either three bedrooms (44.5 per cent) or four or more bedrooms (33.9 per cent).
Narrandera Argus 7 July 2022

This article appeared in the Narrandera Argus, 7 July 2022.

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