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Canberrans heading north

Date

Meredith Clisby

Growing up ... Gungahlin's population is increasing quickly.

Growing up ... Gungahlin's population is increasing quickly. Photo: Gary Schafer

The growth of Gungahlin is helping drag the ACT's population north.

The latest Australian Bureau of Statistics' regional population report, issued on Tuesday, shows the majority of the growth in the territory in 2011-12 occurred in the newer northern suburbs.

The largest population increases in the ACT were in Bonner (up 1700 people), Forde (920), Crace (750) and Harrison (680). All up, Gungahlin gained 5100 residents.

Canberra is also the third fastest growing state or territory after Western Australia and Queensland.

ABS demographer Andrew Howe said Crace and Bonner had both doubled in population as Gungahlin's newest suburbs.

"That's where it's all happening," he said. "Those are some of the fastest-growing areas in the country."

The report also showed rapid increases in some established areas of the city including Belconnen (up 12 per cent) and Civic, Watson and Kingston-Barton (all up 10 per cent).

The ABS attributed the growth in these older suburbs to an increase in high and medium-density dwellings in the ACT's business centres.

Tuggeranong's population has continued its decline and again recorded the largest fall in residents among its suburbs. Kambah was down by 180 people, Wanniassa by 160 and Gordon by 150.

Overall, the area decreased by 1200 people in total.

Click on "Track the centre of population from 1991 to 2012" to watch the changes. Map courtesy of the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Mr Howe said the population shift was not as simple as people in the south just choosing to move north of Lake Burley Griffin.

He said the numbers represented the combined effect of births, deaths and migration from interstate and overseas, as well as movements within the ACT.

Mr Howe said using the lake as the division, the northern area of Canberra increased by 7500 people while the south decreased by 630.

The population density of the ACT increased from 156 to 159 people a square kilometre from 2011 to 2012.

Weston Creek, north Canberra, Belconnen and Woden recorded population densities of more than 1000 people a square kilometre.

Melbourne had the largest growth of all capital cities with an additional 77,200 people calling the Victorian city home and Perth was the fastest growing with an increase of 3.6 per cent.

The centre of the population in the ACT as at June 2012 was in the suburb of Yarralumla.

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