Posted 7/8/07


Preliminary Overview of 2006 Census Data

Prepared by Macedon Ranges Residents’ Association




Introductory Notes


For the 2006 census, the Australian Bureau of Statistics changed the way results are presented.  MRRA asked ABS to identify the correct methodology to adopt for comparing 2006 first release data with 2001 data, and has adopted that methodology, that is,   comparing 2006 and 2001 Place of Usual Residence [PUR] data.  For 2001, this information is included in Community Profiles for Macedon Ranges (South Loddon), which are available from ABS. 


Figures for some 2006 categories are not yet available, and it should be kept in mind that 2006 data is First Release. Consequently this overview is intended to be indicative rather than definitive.  Some information used for 2001 in this overview was not available in Usual Place of Residence Profiles and was instead retrieved from 2001 ABS Basic and Expanded Community Profiles, as indicated.  Results may be subject to change as more detailed information becomes available, and should be treated with care until Community Profiles for the 2006 census are released in August 2007. 


In this assessment, “Macedon Ranges” and “Shire”  means the Shire of Macedon Ranges (South Loddon SLA); “Balance” means the former shires of Newham & Woodend and Gisborne areas (includes Gisborne, New Gisborne, Macedon, Mt. Macedon, Woodend, and Newham townships); “Romsey” means the former shire of Romsey area (includes Romsey, Lancefield and Riddells Creek townships); and “Kyneton” means the former shire of Kyneton area post-1995 amalgamations (includes Kyneton, Tylden and Malmsbury townships).




Population Growth (2001 Basis: PUR)


From 2001 to 2006, the Shire's population grew at an average annual rate of +1.16% or +421 people annually, or overall, at +5.8% (+2,105 people) for the five years.  This is well below the +2.14% average annual growth (+840 people annually), and +10.7% and +4,200 people over five years, estimated by the Department of Sustainability and Environment[1] as the amount of growth occurring in Macedon Ranges.  The difference between actual (census) and estimated (DSE) figures is a significant anomaly which has implications for businesses, Council's budget and other actions that have relied upon DSE's +2% estimated growth rate. 


The Balance area (+4.9%, +896 people) and the Romsey area (+8.6%, +860 people) had the highest 5 year 'people' growth, while the Kyneton area grew more slowly (+4.4%. +350 people). Romsey led other areas of the Shire in the rate of growth, with an average annual growth rate of +1.7% compared to +0.98% (Balance), and +0.87% (Kyneton).  The number of indigenous residents also grew to 171, a rise of +47 people or +40.0%. 


In the Balance area, it is likely that Gisborne grew more strongly than Woodend (based on observations of a higher number of development approvals and the nature and size of developments in the Gisborne area).  The combining of these two major centres for census purposes may be smothering important distinctive characteristics of one or both centres (for example, Woodend historically has a higher proportion of social housing and lower income households than the Gisborne area).  A clearer picture will emerge from examining individual collector district results and DSE Towns In Time data (due in 2008).  


Age (2001 Basis: PUR)


Macedon Ranges' population has aged overall, with a median age of 39 (36 in 2001), while Victoria and Australia had a median age of 37, and Melbourne came in with 36.  The oldest population area in Macedon Ranges was Kyneton with a median age of 41 (38 in 2001), the youngest was Romsey with 37 (34 in 2001). 


For all of that, there were still more people in Macedon Ranges aged 0-4 and 5-14 in 2006 than in 2001.  This group (8,911 people) made up 23.2% of the population (down from 24.4% in 2001).  Romsey had the only growth (numerically) in the 0-4 and 5-14 age brackets (+45, +6.0%) and (+57, +3.1%).  Only Kyneton registered growth in the 15-24 years group, up by +60 people or +6.9%.  Likewise only Romsey had growth in 25-54 year olds (+139, +3.1%).   All areas had more 55-64 year olds, which Shire-wide grew by +3.5% as a proportion of the total population.  The most growth in numbers of people in this age bracket was in the Balance area (+766 people, +43.7%) but the highest increase in percentage terms from 2001 was in Romsey (+450 people, +50.4%).  The highest growth in the 65 years and over bracket was in the Balance area (+407 people, +25.9%).  All up, in 2006 there were 5,005 people aged 55-64, and 4,172 aged 65 and over in the Shire, a total of 9,177 people or a combined 23.9% of total population, a similar proportion as the 0-14 age group (23.2%).


Same Address As Five Years Ago  (2001 Basis: Basic / Expanded Community Profiles)


2006 figures for people who lived in the Shire, lived outside and moved in, or moved to a different address within the Shire between 2001 and 2006, have yet to be released.  They will be of interest because figures for 1996 to 2001 showed 14,519 people (43.1%) of the total 2001 population lived at another address in 1996, and of these almost 11,000 lived outside Macedon Ranges.  Around 3,500 of these were new or 'additional' residents (i.e. growth), which means more than 7,000 residents moved out of the Shire over the five years, and were replaced by an equivalent number of newcomers.  While the large number of “replacement residents” goes some way towards explaining why there seems to be so many new residents in the Shire, it is worth remembering that most, based on census data, are not adding to the Shire’s population base.


Ethnicity and Language (2001 Basis: PUR)


The Shire is strongly Australian (91% citizenship).  Of these, 82% were born in Australia. In comparison, Melbourne had 84.5% citizenship and 64.2% born in Australia, Victoria had 86.3% and 69.6%, and Australia, 86.1% and 70.9%.  The highest proportion of non-Australian born residents in Macedon Ranges came from England/Scotland/UK, and then from New Zealand, Germany and Italy.  There is in fact a higher proportion of UK-born residents as a percentage of total population in Macedon Ranges Shire than in Melbourne, Victoria or Australia.


92% of residents spoke English only at home (Melbourne: 68.1%, Victoria: 74.4%, Australia: 78.5%).  Italian, Greek, Maltese and Croatian were the main non-English languages spoken at home (albeit by a very small proportion of total population).


Religion (2001 Basis: PUR)


Catholicism was the most popular single religious denomination (27.8%).  However, while 470 more Catholics were recorded in 2006 (for a total of 10,677), those figures still represent a reduction in Catholicism as a proportion of total population from 2001 (28.2%).  The "No Religion" category was the next largest single group (23.9%), and grew significantly by +25.6% (+1,872 people) over 2001 figures.  Anglican, Uniting, and Presbyterian & Reformed were the other main religions, although all lost ground in numerical and percentage terms, between 2001 and 2006.


Marital Status (2001 Basis: PUR)


Macedon Ranges has a 'very married' population (57.8%), especially when compared to Melbourne (49.3%), Victoria (50.0%) and Australia (49.6%), although 57.8% still represents a drop from 58.8% in 2001, and coincides with a similar rise in people who are separated or divorced.  In 2006, there were 920 more married people, 595 more never-married people (26.9% of total population), 477 more separated or divorced people (10.4%), and 57 more widowed people (4.9%) than in 2001. In percentage terms, Romsey (59.7%) just pipped the Balance area (59.6%) as the 'most married', while Kyneton had the highest proportion of separated or divorced (12.4%), never married (28.5%) and widowed (7.4%) people of any area in the Shire.


Income and Rent/Home Loan Payments (2001 Basis: Basic / Expanded Community Profiles)



Overall, median individual weekly incomes rose slightly in 2006 over 2001.  In 2006, Macedon Ranges maintained its historical role of having a higher per capita median weekly income than Melbourne.  The Shire's median weekly individual income of $484 (-$15 to +$84 change from 2001) topped Melbourne ($481), Victoria ($456) and Australia ($466).  The Balance area rated highest in the Shire ($521: +$22 to +$121), followed by Romsey ($498: -$1 to +$98).  Kyneton was a notable exception and lagged well behind with $398 (-$10 to +$98). 


Median weekly household ($1,113) and family ($1,269) incomes in the Shire followed the same pattern and were again higher than Melbourne ($1,079, $1,242), Victoria ($1,022, $1,170) and Australia ($1,027, $1,171).  The Balance area recorded the highest median weekly incomes ($1,209, $1,430), followed by Romsey ($1,142, $1,251) with Kyneton again lagging behind ($859, $1,076).  



At the same time, median weekly rents rose between $20 and $70 in the Shire, to $170.  Gisborne and Woodend had the highest at $195, with Romsey $170, and Kyneton the lowest with $150.  All were below the Melbourne median weekly rent of $200. 


Household Loan Repayments

Median monthly household loan repayments rose substantially from 2001 levels across the Shire.  Overall, monthly repayments in Macedon Ranges rose by $201 to $400 per month to $1,200 (Melbourne $1,300, Victoria $1,252, Australia $1,300).  The Balance area equalled Melbourne and Australia with a median monthly repayment of $1,300, a rise of around $300 to $500 per month from 2001.  Romsey came in at $1,246 (+ $250 to $450) and Kyneton $1,083 (+ $280 to $480).  


Families (2001 Basis: Basic / Expanded Community Profiles)


Macedon Ranges remains a community of families.  However, the proportion of Couples with children as part of total population fell by 3% over 2001 figures, but at 51.1% is still the majority family type.  Couples without children (35.9% of total population) rose 3% from 2001 levels.


One parent families grew by half a percent to 12.1%, with the biggest increase in Romsey (+77), and there was a slight reduction in the 'Other families' type. 


Married couples with children make up 53.5% of the Balance area, 53.4% of Romsey, and 42.4% of Kyneton.


The largest increase (numerically) in Couples without children was in the Balance area (+306).  Romsey (+212) had the highest growth in % terms (+25.8%), and Kyneton, with an additional 100 couples, had the highest proportion of Couples without children (41.2% of that area's population). 


The most One parent families lived in the Balance area (597 families); Romsey had the highest growth in % terms (+29.5%); and Kyneton had the highest proportion of area total population (15.2%). 


Household Types (2001 Basis: Basic / Expanded Profiles)


There were 10,372 family households in occupied private dwellings in the Shire in 2006, 2,495 Lone person households, and 226 Group households.  Family households made up 76.3% (+797, +8.3% from 2001) of all households.  In comparison, Family households made up only 68.1% of occupied private dwellings in Melbourne; 68.1% in Victoria; and 67.4% in Australia. 


In Macedon Ranges, Family households (76.3%) easily outnumbered Lone person households 18.4% (+273, +10.9%) and Group households at 1.7% (+6, +2.7%).  Lone person / Group households in Melbourne: 22.6% / 4.2%; Victoria: 23.3% / 3.8%; and Australia 22.9% / 3.7% made up a significantly higher proportion of all households than in Macedon Ranges. 


The Balance area had the highest number of  Family households in 2006 with 5,228 or 78.2%, an increase of +363 or +7.5% from 2001.  Romsey had 2,946 (+311, +11.8% from 2001) and the highest proportion of Family households (79.5%), while Kyneton had 2,199 Family households or 68.6%, an increase of +117 or +5.6% from 2001.  With Lone person households, the Balance area had the most with 1,144 (17.1% of that area’s households), an increase of +155 or +15.7% from 2001.  Kyneton came next with 806 (25.2%), an increase of +42 or +5.5%.  Romsey had 547 (14.8%), an increase of +76 or +16.1% from 2001.


Household Size (2001 Basis: Basic / Expanded Profiles)


The average household size didn't change from 2001 to 2006: 2.8 persons per household, while  Melbourne, Victoria and Australia all had 2.6 persons per household. The census data show that the Balance area recorded a shift from 2.9 to 2.8;  Romsey went from 3.0 to 2.9; and Kyneton stayed at 2.5. 


Dwellings/Housing Stock (2001 Basis: Basic / Expanded Profiles)


There was a total of 15,257 private dwellings across the Shire in 2006, an increase of +1,553 (+11.3%) from 13,704 in 2001.  Of those 15,257 dwellings, 13,594 were occupied.


In 2006, 1,663 private dwellings were unoccupied (10.9% of all private dwellings), a rise of +2.1% and +445 unoccupied dwellings from 2001 figures (1,208, 8.8%).  2006 vacancy rates (in % terms) were higher in Macedon Ranges than Melbourne (119,600 unoccupied dwellings, 8.1%), Victoria (215,700, 10.4%) and Australia (830,400, 9.9%).

 The number of unoccupied private dwellings in Macedon Ranges (1,663) in 2006 exceeded the number of new private dwellings (1,553).


Dwellings v Unoccupied Dwellings 2006 Shire Balance Romsey Kyneton
No. and proportion of all private dwellings: 15,257 7,437
No. and proportion of unoccupied private dwellings:  1,663
Private dwellings increased as follows: +1,553
Unoccupied private dwellings increased as follows: +445

    1 Percentage in SLA area    2 Percentage in Shire


Note:  There is an unknown number of 'weekenders' in the Shire, second houses owned by people who have their primary residence somewhere else.  However, these figures suggest there may be something else happening such as a possible over-supply of housing (at least some forms of it), or planning approvals and housing development are out-pacing demand, or perhaps housing is too expensive or too far away from Melbourne or too suburban and isn't selling or isn't being occupied. 


Housing Type (2001 Basis: Basic / Expanded Profiles)


In 2006, there were 12,871 separate houses in the Shire, which formed 94.7% of all occupied private housing stock.  This represented an increase of +1,111 separate houses or +9.4% from 2001.  Separate houses formed the following proportion of total occupied private housing stock in 2006: Shire 94.7% (12,871: +1,111, +9.4%); Balance 94.7% (6,331: +533, +9.2%); Romsey 97.1% (3,601: +390, +12.2%); and Kyneton 91.8% (2,941: +190, +6.9%).


There were 212 semi-detached, row or terrace houses or townhouses in the Shire in 2006(1.6% of total private housing), 4 fewer than in 2001.  The Balance area had 153, an increase of +47 or +44.3% over 2001 figures; Romsey had 24, a drop of -1 or -4.0%; and Kyneton had 34, a loss of -53 or -60.9%.  Semi-detached, row or terrace houses or townhouses formed the following proportion of total private housing stock in 2006: Shire 1.6%; Balance 2.3%; Romsey 0.6%; and Kyneton 1.1%.


Similar anomalies show up in figures for Flats, units and apartments: there were 403 flats units or apartments in the Shire in 2006, an increase of +123 and +43.9% from 2001.  However, the Balance area, with 156, had -4 (-2.5%) fewer than in 2001; Romsey had 59, an increase of +45 (or +321.4%) over 2001; and Kyneton had 185, an increase of +79 (or +74.5%).  Flats, apartments and units formed the following proportion of total private housing stock in 2006: Shire 3.0%; Balance 2.3%; Romsey 1.6%; and Kyneton 5.8%.


Note:   2001 figures are not Usual Place of Residence and should be treated with care.  However, the extent of anomalies in smaller housing types suggests something else may be happening.  It would be nonsensical to suggest there were no new units in Gisborne or Woodend between 2001 and 2006.  It could be that in filling in the census, "unit" households have considered themselves separate houses where the property is held on a separate title.  This would overlook the number of medium density/small lot housing approvals during that time and falsely bolster separate house statistics, painting inaccurate picture of housing stock in Macedon Ranges. It may also be that application approvals are perhaps not translating into built dwellings. Overall, these anomalies point to the need to better understand the Shire’s housing base and development approvals (particularly in light of the latest population growth figures), and for an independent housing stock audit to obtain more accurate and fuller information.


Tenure (Home Ownership)  (2001 Basis: Basic / Expanded Profiles)


2006 showed a reversal in home ownership statistics.  In 2001 43.8% (5,260) of occupied private dwellings were fully owned; in 2006, only 35.7% (4,853) were.  Concurrently, the percentage of occupied private dwellings being purchased rose by around 5%, from 39.2% (4,708) in 2001 to 44.5% (6,044) in 2006. 


Rental dwellings rose numerically (from 1,726 in 2001 to 1,925 in 2006) although as a proportion of occupied private dwellings the level dipped slightly but stayed around the 14% mark ). 


Other tenure type fell as a proportion of all occupied private dwellings from 0.8% (90) in 2001 to 0.6% (79) in 2006, while the proportion of households that gave no information on dwelling tenure sky-rocketed (from 1.8% to 5.1%). 


Landlord Type  (2001 Basis: Basic / Expanded Profiles)

The number of rental properties Shire-wide increased by +385 (+25.0%) from 2001 to 2006.  An increased number of properties have real estate agents as landlord (45.2% in 2006, 37.1% in 2001) while Other landlord type decreased as a proportion of rental properties from 51.8% in 2006 to 39.5% in 2001.  The Balance area had the most rental properties with 929 (48.8%), followed by Kyneton with 609 (+87) and then Romsey with 389 (+79).




[1]  DSE Population Bulletins