This is the first of a series of reports analysing spatial trends in population, employment and commuting in our five largest cities. • Perth’s population increased by 139 200 between 2001 and 2006 to reach 1.61 million, representing 1.8 per cent growth per annum. Sixty-four per cent of this growth occurred in the Outer subregions and a further 8 per cent in Peel (the following map presents subregional boundaries). The increased population was accommodated largely through residential development on the urban fringe but also through inner city redevelopment. The City of Wanneroo, on Perth’s northern fringe, accounted for 23 per cent of Perth’s population increase. • Perth is a low density city, with comparatively few high population density suburbs. However, two-thirds of Perth’s suburbs increased their population densities between 2001 and 2006, often substantially. • Population is concentrated in the outer suburbs, while employment is concentrated in the inner and middle suburbs. In 2006, the Outer subregions had 50 per cent of the population, but just 30 per cent of jobs. A lack of jobs, relative to population, is most evident in the South-East and North-West subregions. • The major job concentrations occur in the City of Perth, which has 17 per cent of employment, and in the Kewdale-Welshpool, Malaga, Osborne Park and Canning Vale industrial centres. • Employment in Outer subregions grew by 3.7 per cent per annum from 2001 to 2006, much higher than the Perth average of 2.3 per cent. Industrial and specialised centres recorded very strong jobs growth. • The major industry drivers of jobs growth were construction, health and community services and government administration and defence. • Trips to work in an inward direction dominate those in an outward direction (43 and 9 per cent, respectively), while commuting within the home subregion is also important (44 per cent). More complex forms of commuting, such as journeys between Outer subregions grew most rapidly. • Commuting times and distances remained stable from 2001 to 2006. • Gravity model regression analysis reveals that the current pattern of commuting flows in Perth is largely driven by the spatial distribution of population and jobs throughout the city. The spatial growth in employed residents and jobs also plays an important role in explaining changes in commuting flows between 2001 and 2006. • Some incremental progress has been made against urban planning objectives between 2001 and 2006, particularly regarding outer suburban jobs growth and boosting public transport use.

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