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Mapping SA's population shifts

Tuesday, 5 February 2013
Author: Heather McNab & Liam Mannix, Indaily

REGIONAL South Australia is experiencing population decline as more people are moving towards urban hubs of economic activity, say planning authorities.

Figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show that in the 10 years leading up to 2011, the population of inner-city Adelaide more than doubled.

Suburbs to the north of the central business district are also experiencing significant growth, with Playford - which incorporates the suburbs of Elizabeth and Virginia - growing at 2.5 per cent a year between 2006 and 2011.

Senior research associate at the Australian Population and Migration Research Centre Dr Liesel O'Dwyer told Indaily the map reflected employment changes and an ageing population.

"In general, regional South Australia has experienced population decline, with outmigration of people of working age and those seeking further training and education, and some outmigration due to retirement related to ageing of the primary production workforce," she said.

"Regions with larger townships such as the Lower Eyre Peninsula, Murray Bridge, Mt Gambier and Outer Adelaide have been the general destinations for immigration because they offer the range of services required by jobseekers and retirees, many of whom arrive from surrounding rural areas, such as in Murray Bridge, Port Lincoln and Alexandrina.

"Retirees who come from Greater Adelaide tend to settle in Victor Harbour, Mt Barker and the Barossa."

Robe, Coober Pedy and Karoonda experienced the largest degree of population loss, with Robe shrinking by 3.9 per cent - the biggest average fall in the nation.

Adelaide's CBD, Roxby Downs and Victor Harbor were the fastest growing Local Government Areas in the state.

O'Dwyer said the growth in the CBD reflected an influx in international students living in student accommodation.

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