In the last five years, Australia’s population has increased by 8.8 per cent – or an additional 1.9 million people. But this growth has been more concentrated in some areas than others, leaving them almost unrecognisable.
Since 2011, the fastest growing region in Australia for population growth was Western Australia’s Serpentine-Jarrahdale area.
This south-eastern Perth region jumped from 17,805 people to 26,873 in half a decade – up 50.9 per cent.
And images of Byford, a suburb within the Serpentine-Jarrahdale area, show how this has changed the area – from vacant land to sprawling housing estates.
These photographs show just how quickly areas can change when more people move in, Nearmap chief executive Rob Newman said.
“From the ground it can be difficult to see the pace at which Australia is growing,” Mr Newman said.
But when looking from above “you can observe in incredible detail the change occurring across our country, even just in the last five years”.
Byford has rapidly changed from vacant land to sprawling housing estates. Source: Nearmap
Along with this physical change is a dramatic shift in demographic shown within the census data. Its residents are getting younger and richer.
In 2011, Serpentine-Jarrahdale’s typical resident was 35, with a median weekly household income of $1638. By 2016, the average age had fallen to 32, with an income of $1859.
Renters – while the least common group by far in both census results – were paying $380 in 2016 on average, compared to $309 in 2011.
But it’s not the only area with a dramatic change both physically and statistically.
In second place for population growth was Canberra’s Gungahlin – about 12 kilometres from the city. Here, the additional 24,000 people have poured into new homes around existing structures, such as the Gungahlin Enclosed Oval stadium.
Canberra’s Gungahlin has housed an extra 24,000 people in the past five years. Source: Nearmap
Regions in Victoria took out four of the top 10 spots, including Melbourne City, which was third on the national list. This includes the Docklands area, known for its skyscraper apartment boom.
The other three Victorian areas were Wyndham, which is between Melbourne and Geelong, Casey-South and Whittlesea-Wallan.
Despite the record high building approvals in NSW, just one area made the list, at 10th place – the south-west Sydney house and land building heartland Bringelly-Green Valley.
Queensland’s North Lakes and Ormeau-Oxenford came in fourth and eighth on the list.
Many of these reflect patterns noted in the Grattan Institute’s Regional patterns of Australia’s economy and population report released in August.
It found suburbs within five kilometres of city centres had high average growth rates, followed by postcodes on the fringes of capital cities – some 20 to 50 kilometres away.
In the fringe areas it was “housing estates being built on what was previously farmland” that saw the population growth percentages booming.
The slowest growth areas were those typically more than 100 kilometres away from major cities.