Census data reveals population growth

MORE people moved to Queensland than any other state or territory in the past five years, 2011 Census data released on Thursday reveals.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed 428,209 people moved to the Sunshine State between 2006 and 2011, with the state's population growing 11% in the same period.

While Western Australia actually had a higher percentage increase in population, at 14.3%, Queensland had a higher real increase due to its higher population base.

Of those moving to Queensland, 85,712 people moved to Brisbane in the past four years.

New South Wales also had steady population growth, up 5.6% to 6,917,656 to 2011.

Figures also confirm Australians are also paying more for housing, with median weekly rents up 49.2% from $191 in 2006 to $285 in 2011.

But renters weren't the only ones paying more, with median monthly mortgage repayments also up 38.5%, from $1300 in 2006 to $1600 in 2011.

The national resident population reached 21,507,717 on Census night, up 8.3% from 19,855,287 in 2006.

Census executive director Andrew Henderson said it was exciting that the population had officially hit 21 million for the first time.

"The Census is the only statistical collection that can provide a national snapshot of Australia, and this data will help shape the future of our country over the next five years," he said.

"Census data is used to help determine the allocation of around $45 billion worth of GST funding to the states and territories, while all levels of Government use Census data to plan for things such as hospitals and health services, schools, public transport and infrastructure."

Hinduism fastest growing religion

THE number of people identifying as having no religious affiliation rose 3.6% in the 2011 Census.

People reporting "no religion" increased significantly from 18.7% of the population in 2006 to 22.3% in 2011.

Hinduism experienced the fastest growth of all religions in Australia, increasing from 148,130 in 2006 to 275,534 in 2011.

And Christianity remained the most commonly reported religion in Australia at 61.1% of the population, it was down 2.8% since the 2006 Census.

There was an increase in the number of people not reporting a Christian faith from 36.1% in 2006 to 38.9% in 2011.

The most common non-Christian religions in 2011 were Buddhism (2.5% of the population), Islam (2.2%) and Hinduism (1.3%).

More than 11% don't speak English

MORE than 300 languages are spoken in Australian households, the 2011 Census showed.

English remained the dominant language in Australia, with 76.8% of Australian reporting it was the only dialect they spoke at home.

This represented a 1.7% drop since the 2006 Census.

The most commonly spoken languages other than English included Mandarin (1.6%), Italian (1.4%), Arabic (1.3%), Cantonese (1.2%) and Greek (1.2%).

Of recent migrants who arrived since 2006, 33.5% spoke English only at home, while another 54.1% spoke another language and English either very well or well.

More than 11% did not speak English well or at all.

Lower median age for Aboriginals, Torees Strait Islanders

THE median age of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population was 21 years in the 2011 Census, 16 less than the national median.

More than one in three (35.9%) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders was aged less than 15 years, while just 3.8% of the population were aged 65 years and over.

The Census also showed 20.5% more Australians identified as indigenous than five years earlier.

Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population on Census night was 548,370, with 32.9% living in greater capital city areas.

More than half (59.9%) of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders live in the eastern states of Queensland and New South Wales.

There were 172,624 indigenous people in NSW, and 54,746 persons in Greater Sydney.

There were 155,825 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Queensland with 41,904 persons in Greater Brisbane.

Many of us foreign-born

NEW Census data revealed almost a quarter (24.6%) of Australia's population was born overseas and 43.1% of people have at least one overseas-born parent.

United Kingdom was the leading country of birth for the overseas-born population (20.8%), followed by New Zealand (9.1%), China (6%) and India (5.6%).

The number of people born in India experienced the largest growth with an increase of 148,261 since the 2006 Census, followed by China (112,379) and New Zealand (93,934).

The largest decreases were seen in the birth countries of Italy (13,729 people) and Greece (10,050).

Read more about the Census at www.abs.gov.au.

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