PROFILE OF SOUTH AUSTRALIA
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South Australia covers an area of 984,377 square
km (380,070 square miles) making it the third largest state by area
in Australia. South Australia has a population of just over 1.5
million where less than a third of the population reside in regional
South Australia. Combining this vast area with a small population
means that there is one person for every 278 square kilometres.
South Australia is the driest state in Australia with desert lands
constituting 60% of the area. With spectacular rugged coastline
a further 80% of the state is flat with notable hilly regions located
around Adelaide, the Clare Valley and Flinders Ranges located 150km
and 500km north of Adelaide respectively.
There are six provincial cities with populations ranging from 12,000
23,000 with the remaining population living in smaller towns
and on farming properties. The state experiences population growth
of nearly 1% each year.
The South Australian economy continues to experience growth in
comparison with the previous decade. However compared with the rest
of Australia, the states economic growth is relatively small
with Queensland and the Northern Territory experiencing the highest
percentage of growth.
South Australia relies on regional areas to remain as a major agricultural
producer within the nation. The following statistics show each states
contribution to the national Gross Domestic Product for 2001-02.
These figures reflect state population figures. New South Wales
=34%, Victoria =25%, Queensland =17%, Western Australia =11%, South
Australia =6%, Australian Capital Territory =2.1%, Tasmania =1.7%
and Northern Territory =1.3%.
Whilst experiencing more than a 2% decline in unemployment from
2000, South Australia falls behind the larger populated states in
overall employment numbers. Although specific regional towns such
as Whyalla and Roxby Downs are industry focussed and have high employment
rates, other isolated areas experience lower employment rates and
average incomes compared to other areas of Australia.
Although regional South Australia has an extensive network of highways,
accessibility and availability of transport options poses challenges
for these communities. As a predominantly ageing population living
across a wide expanse of land, the ability to access goods and services
is a key issue. Transport is critical, not only to access essential
goods and services, but social, cultural and recreational opportunities.
Most of these services are generally located within service centres
which provide many of these services for the surrounding towns and
communities. Therefore access to these centres is important, especially
for small communities that do not have basic essential services
such as a local chemist or convenience store. Adelaide, the capital
of South Australia, is also a key destination, particularly for
Page last updated on
March 23, 2005