Census Outcomes: Comparison of selected demographic data for Pilbara Towns from 2011 and 2016 Census 


Overall Trends

Census figures for 2016 show that the median age in the Pilbara is lower, with the male to female ratio higher and the ratio of elderly residing in the Pilbara also lower compared with the whole of WA. Although important to note, there is a small increase in the ratio of elderly to the overall population in the Pilbara which will require some community services response into the future.

Furthermore, dwelling occupancy is also lower in comparison with the remainder of WA, with lower weekly rents and although house hold incomes have fallen in the Pilbara, it remains well above the WA median. The widespread job losses across the mining industry, as companies move from a period of construction to production with focus on worker diversification of skill sets, has seen a trend with working-age men leaving the Pilbara, but more families calling the mining heartland home. This trend is further evidenced by the rise in numbers of children relative to the total population. This may have future implications for provision of education and social amenities.

Overall, the resident population has fallen, which is a significant reversal of the population trend and contrary to projections made in the first half of this decade. For the main towns listed, the total population has fallen from 52,341 in 2011 to 48,422 in 2016. This is about 4,000 people or 8% of the total population. Click here for: Pilbara Census Data and Key Observations and Conclusion.

It should noted that in 2015 the population of the Pilbara was estimated to be in the order of 60-65,000, so it is highly likely that recent migration from the region may be even greater than shown by the Census data.

Further to note, is the increase in housing stock availability. Due to the falling population the Pilbara has seen a significant increase in housing availability facilitating a lesser demand for rentals. For further information on key observations and implications for future planning by local authorities and agencies.


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