The Australian Bureau of Statistics has revealed Cairns had a population growth of 1.9 per cent from 2012-13, the slowest of any major city in northern Australia. Townsville, Mackay, Rockhampton and Darwin all recorded bigger growth.Apart from that headline requiring some geographical editing this should also be kept in perspective. That population growth rate for Cairns is in line with the Queensland average. Perhaps the headline could have been that all the northern tropical cities continue to grow above the Queensland average?
Those numbers are also Local Government Areas (LGA) and in comparing cities perhaps the Significant Urban Area (SUA) may be more appropriate. Cairns SUA grew at a slightly faster 2.0% rate which is the same as Brisbane, Sunshine Coast, and Gold Coast. Rockhampton SUA growth is 0.2% lower when the Capricorn Coast/Livingstone Shire area is removed from the LGA while Cairns growth rate increases 0.1%. Amalgamation & De-amalgamations are not yet incorporated in the LGA estimates.
In line with this it is also noted that in the state electoral division data (SED) that Cairns at 2.1% grew faster than both Barron River and Mulgrave which extend out beyond the city SUA limits. This is the SA2 population growth estimates chart of the range for the Cairns suburbs:
Trinity Beach-Smithfield was easily the largest there in terms of total growth in numbers however some of the growth rates here may surprise slightly (Manunda?). These are estimates from ABS based on a number of factors.