YOUNG families are flocking to Mandurah, according to census data collected by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
The census revealed a 35.4 per cent jump in the number of residents aged 25-29 years since 2006; something the City of Mandurah puts down to better opportunities on offer.
“It is very encouraging to see a strong growth in the local young adult population, as for a long period of time young people traditionally left Mandurah to pursue study or career opportunities,” Graeme Davies, City of Mandurah acting chief executive officer said.
“More and more young people and families are discovering that Mandurah offers an unrivalled lifestyle, however the City’s main focus now is to provide opportunities for people to ‘live, work and play’ in Mandurah.”
With a growth in young adult population comes a growth in infant figures, which has been reflected by the census with an increase in children aged 0-4 years by 31.2 per cent.
“The figures reveal that Mandurah has a strong growth in its early childhood and young adult populations, and a slight decline in its older population,” he said.
But not all young adults are looking to start a family with the new figures showing a near double increase since 2006 in the number of couples aged between 25-29 years without any children.
Mr Davies said while families were looking at Mandurah and its surrounding suburbs as a region of opportunity, the census was still disappointing as it highlighted the fact Mandurah wages are behind those of the rest of the nation.
“The median weekly income for families has increased from $1038 in the 2006 Census to $1254 in 2011, according to the 2011 Census QuickStats figures for the Mandurah Local Government Area,” Mr Davies said.
“While this is an improvement, it is still behind the WA and Australian averages of $1722 and $1481 respectively.”
According to the census data, the Mandurah region experienced a 20 per cent increase in residents, which could be put down to better transport facilities.
“This increase is partially as a result of the Perth to Mandurah Railway (opened in 2007) which has made it easier for Mandurah residents to commute to Perth for study, work and entertainment pursuits,” Mr Davies said.
With more people making a permanent move to Mandurah, housing options have changed since 2001, according to the census data.
In 2001, just 394 family households listed a flat, unit or apartment as their place of residence.
By 2011, that figures had blown out to 1747 which is more than four times the original number of households.
Those households residing in flats, units or apartments are not just restricted to couples without children, with a 94.4 per cent increase in the households with children choosing to reside in that type of accommodation since 2001.
MANDURAH families are more inclined to send their children to a non-government school, according to figures released in the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) census.
In 2001, a combined 1310 primary students attended Catholic and non-government schools but in the most recent figures that number now stands at 2621 – almost double 10 years ago.
In non-government schools alone, there has been a 57.6 per cent increase in enrolments in the region for primary-aged children since 2001.
The figures are similar for high school-aged children, where there has been a jump of more than 60 per cent in enrolments for non-government schools.
As recent as 2006, public high school enrolments were more than three times that of non-government schools.
But in the recent census data, that figure is less than two times the amount with 1154 students currently enrolled in non-government high schools compared to 2194 in the public system.
But according to Department of Education executive director of statewide planning and delivery Lindsay Hale, the figures highlight the growth of the region.
“The Mandurah area is expanding rapidly, with many new housing developments attracting families with young children,” he said.
“The Department will continue working with local communities to ensure every child has access to high quality schools.”
The education department said public schools like Coodanup and Halls Head community colleges were steadily growing.
“The number of students in year 11 and 12 is growing steadily at Coodanup College and Halls Head Community College,” he said.
“Following the amalgamation of Mandurah Senior High School and Mandurah Senior College to the new John Tonkin College, enrolments increased compared to the combined 2011 school populations.”
The census figures also revealed more than double the number of students currently enrolled both full- or part-time at university.
In 2001, 625 were university students while in the most recent data Mandurah currently has 1545 enrolled at university.