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Census to pinpoint WA's fast growth

AAP logoAAP 5/08/2016 Greg Roberts

It is well known that Western Australia has been the nation's fastest growing state over the past decade but Tuesday's census will reveal who and where those extra hundreds of thousands of people are.

When West Australians were last counted in 2011 the mining boom was at its peak, meaning the male-dominated resources industry contributed to there being more men than women in the state.

The Northern Territory also has more blokes but the other five states and the ACT have more women.

Now that the boom is over and there are fewer uniformed fly-in fly-out workers walking around Perth airport, will there be more ladies in the state?

Perth's population was around 1.8 million in 2011 but passed two million in 2014 leaving its "big country town" past further behind.

WA's population was nearly 2.6 million at the time, representing 11 per cent of Australia's population, up from 2.2 million and 10.4 per cent in 2011.

All those extra people place greater demands on education, health and transport and change electoral boundaries.

The caveat is that with WA's economy spluttering, not everyone new to Perth will stay and population growth will slow.

"While we may look around our community and see recent changes in industry, without the census we don't have the data to tell us the whole story," WA census director David Waymouth said.

There is a lot more to WA than Perth too - the 2.5 million sq km it occupies is one-third of Australia.

Colin Clark, 56, will be responsible for conducting the census in a 2 million square kilometre area that will include remote area mobile teams that visit indigenous communities.

"Some of the Aboriginal communities are really remote, so sometimes the only guide to how fast they are growing, whether people there can get work or if they have sufficient healthcare and education services is census data," he said.

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