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City of JoondalupPopulation forecast

Impact of COVID-19 on population growth

COVID-19 is a significant health crisis which has resulted in major social and economic disruption across the world. In Australia, the closure of borders (both external and internal) will have impacts on the size and distribution of future population growth. At a local level, the impacts on population growth and demographics outcomes will be felt differently.

.id developed population forecasts for City of Joondalup in December 2018. These forecasts do not consider potential impacts to assumptions stemming from COVID-19. They do, however, provide a baseline by which to understand where the population may have been without this external shock.

In order to further understand how COVID-19 may impact population growth within City of Joondalup, we have developed a COVID-19 impact assessment. This assessment is based upon our understanding of typologies (i.e. the characteristics, roles and functions of communities). It demonstrates how these influences may play out across a range of variables, at a localised level. These include:

  • Migration - who will move into an area as well as who is leaving the area.
  • Natural increase - impacts on the forecast numbers of births or deaths.
  • Economic resilience - availability of jobs.
  • Resident vulnerability - unmet social and economic needs.
  • Local amenity - factors that make an area a more enjoyable place to live.
The assessment draws on data from across our .id tools:,, and (including the COVID-19 economic forecasts developed and recently updated by NIEIR). We will continue to refine and update this impact assessment as more information becomes available.

Characteristics of suburban areas

City of Joondalup is one of 78 local government areas in Australia that can be classified as suburban.

Typical characteristics of suburban areas include:

  • urban areas in capital cities where the majority of the area is residential;
  • contain a range of centres providing employment, retail and other services (some areas may contain major employment centres);
  • a large number of separate dwellings, with some medium to higher density redevelopment occurring in older areas close to the CBD (or other large activity centres);
  • residential development opportunity generally limited to infill or brownfield opportunities;
  • greater land use diversity in areas close to the CBD (including transport infrastructure);
  • high levels of homeownership, with lower levels typically in areas close to the CBD (or other large activity centres);
  • higher share of resident workers traveling (often driving) outside of the area to work;
  • greater disadvantage more likely in areas with lower housing values compared to more expensive areas;
  • generally greater residential redevelopment opportunity in pre-war working class areas with underutilised industrial land;
  • generally greater heritage value in wealthier older areas where most development opportunities are likely to come from further residential subdivision; and
  • relatively homogeneous housing in middle and outer ring areas, which are attractive to families, although are experiencing greater resident diversity as people age in place.

Potential impacts on suburban areas

Based on our understanding of the characteristics of suburban areas, we consider the following to be likely impacts on population growth. These insights are not necessarily specific to the City of Joondalup, but reflect challenges and opportunities for this type of place.

Overseas migration

    Short-term impact from the shock to net overseas migration will be less severe in suburban areas, compared to other metropolitan areas. Most suburban areas attract people either born in Australia, or who are already established in Australia. However, areas close to the CBD (or other large centres) as well as universities, which typically attract high numbers of overseas migrants, will be severely affected.

    Longer-term impact will be larger, as a larger number of overseas born residents move into suburban areas within five years of arriving in Australia.

    Some impact on future international student residents. While the impact on the number of new international students will be severe nationally, COVID-19 will have the largest impact in suburban areas with or in the vicinity of large universities.

Internal migration

    Interstate migration will be minimally affected in the short-term for most suburban areas, which typically lose residents interstate. Due to border closures and economic uncertainty suburban areas which typically experience net out-migration to other States will retain more residents, while suburban areas which typically experience net in-migration will not gain as many new residents.

    Intrastate migration suburban areas typically lose large numbers of residents to other areas within the State, particularly to metropolitan growth areas, as well as regional and peri-urban areas. Levels of net out-migration could continue under COVID-19, as growth areas, regional centres and peri-urban areas continue to be attractive places to live.

Natural increase

    Births are likely to be fewer in the short-term as fertility typically declines in times of economic uncertainty. Suburban areas with higher levels of fertility, coupled with the loss of family-making age groups through less overseas migration, will be impacted more severely than other areas.

    Deaths caused by COVID-19 are currently at very low levels. This is due to low overall case numbers, however, the number of deaths could increase in suburban areas if outbreaks were seen in areas with relatively large numbers of vulnerable elderly residents.

Economic resilience

    Access to a range of metropolitan jobs, including higher-order service jobs means that suburban areas will continue retain and attract new residents where there is opportunity. Access to jobs will continue to be one of the most important drivers of population growth and employment growth in large metropolitan areas accounts for over 85% national job growth. While COVID-19 is impacting employment, large metropolitan areas will continue to play an increasing role in job provision.

    Jobs which are located within suburban areas will be negatively impacted by the economic shock caused by COVID-19. Suburban areas which contain larger employment centres, and with a greater share of higher order services jobs, will be affected more in the short-medium term than other areas.

Resident vulnerability

    COVID-19 will increase the likelihood of housing relocation among households who are already vulnerable due to factors such as, unemployment or insecure work, low income, and rental or mortgage stress. How this plays out in most suburbs will be subtle and dependent on a number of factors including a greater demand for rental accommodation due to greater job insecurity and fewer people able to access housing loans.*

    Moving house could affect household formation in several ways including: younger residents moving back home with their parents, elderly residents moving in with their children (as dependants), formation of group households and other larger households to share housing costs. In the case of areas with falling house values, there will be some residents unable to move resulting in an increase in housing stress.

Local amenity

    Suburban areas which are less congested, have access to quality open space and natural environment, such as beaches or parks, are typically more desirable and attractive to residents compared to other metropolitan areas. These generally ‘more advantaged’ areas will be more resilient to the COVID-19 shock, as they are highly sort-after places to live, with tightly held housing, and fewer residents experiencing pressure to move.

    Access to affordable quality accommodation in suburban areas which also have open space and natural environment, will attract even more new residents from other metropolitan areas than previously experienced.

    Quality health, education, transport, sporting and cultural infrastructure. Suburban areas with these added attributes will have higher levels of amenity, attractive to new residents.

*Some areas may also experience lower levels of housing relocation due to a higher share of residents who may be unable to move as a result of falling housing values resulting in higher levels of housing stress.

City of Joondalup


Migration is one of the most important components of population change. Net migration explains who will move into an area as well as who is leaving the area. It is therefore an excellent way of understanding housing markets and how the role and function of an area may be affected by COVID-19. Changes to migration may disproportionately affect industries such as the education sector due to their reliance on overseas migration.

DescriptionCity of JoondalupGreater PerthPotential impact
Overseas migration
Share of residents born overseas37.8%36.0%Negative impact
Overseas migration share of total net migration (2011 to 2016)2,298.2%96.9%Negative impact
Interstate migration
Interstate migration share of total net migration (2011 to 2016)-187.1%-0.2%Positive impact
Intrastate migration
Intrastate migration share of total net migration (2011 to 2016)-2,011.1%3.2%Negative impact
International student impacts
Residents attending university5.3%5.1%Some negative impact
Residents attending TAFE1.6%2.0%Negligible impact

Natural increase

The size of the population increases through births and decline through deaths. The number of forecast births is an indication of the exposure the community has to changes to the fertility rate. The share of residents aged 70+ years provides an indication of the exposure the community has to changes to the mortality rate due to COVID-19.

Natural increase
DescriptionCity of JoondalupGreater PerthPotential impact
Natural increase
Natural increase share of forecast population growth (2020 to 2024)137.6%43.4%Negligible impact
Share of residents aged 70+ years (2020)10.4%10.1%Some exposure

Economic vulnerability

Economic vulnerability is an indicator of the degree to which COVID-19 may negatively impact the employment prospects of local residents. Communities with high gross regional product decline and/or high levels of local jobs declining are more likely to experience lower levels of population growth. Additionally, economies with scale and diversification may be more likely to retain, and/or attract residents relative to other areas.

Economic vulnerability
DescriptionCity of JoondalupGreater PerthPotential impact
Economic output
Gross regional product change2.0%-13.5%Some positive impact
Local job impacts
Local job change-1.2%-8.8%Some negative impact
Local job change (including JobKeeper recipients)-1.2%-14.4%Some negative impact
Employed resident impacts
Employed resident change-3.1%-8.8%Some negative impact
Employed resident change (including JobKeeper recipients)-3.2%-14.4%Some negative impact
Share of residents who work in LGA30.0%--

Note: Impacts refer to September Quarter 2020 compared to September Quarter 2019

Source: National Institute of Economic and Industry Research (NIEIR) Version 2.0 (September 2020). ©2020 Compiled and presented in by .id (informed decisions).

Resident vulnerability

This indicator identifies communities with a high proportion of residents who have unmet social and economic needs (housing, income, education etc.) Due to COVID-19, these communities, particularly those with a younger, more mobile population, are expected to experience a greater change in how or where residents live (i.e. younger residents moving back home with their parents, formation of group households to share costs or leaving the area in search of employment opportunities elsewhere).

Resident vulnerability
DescriptionCity of JoondalupGreater PerthPotential impact
Socioeconomic vulnerability
SEIFA Rank (Disadvantage)1,0781,026Positive impact
Disengaged youth of 15-24 year olds6.8%9.4%Some negative impact
Share of low income households11.9%15.7%Some negative impact
Housing vulnerability
Share of households under housing stress7.0%10.7%Some negative impact
Mortgage vulnerability
Share of households owned with mortgage44.8%40.0%Some exposure
Share of households under mortgage stress6.3%9.0%Some negative impact
Rental vulnerability
Share of households privately rented15.8%22.0%Some exposure
Share of households under rental stress25.1%28.0%Some negative impact
Residential mobility
Share population of 18-39 year olds26.6%32.3%Some exposure

Local amenity

Local amenity considers the amenity a region provides its residents, with a particular focus on access to affordable housing and access to lifestyle opportunities. It is an indicator of the livability of an area, in the context of COVID-19.

Local amenity
DescriptionCity of JoondalupGreater PerthPotential impact
Housing Affordability
Housing Median Value$592,000$502,000Some negative impact
Unit Median Value$343,000$365,000Some positive impact

Data updates

This page shows the latest version of how COVID-19 may impact population growth for City of Joondalup. As new information becomes available (e.g. data revisions, additional data sets of relevance) updates will be applied.

Recent updates include:

  • 7 October 2020: Update to include National Institute of Economic and Industry Research (NIEIR) Version 2.1 (September 2020). NIEIR has estimated the potential impacts of coronavirus on economic activity, employment and sectors at the LGA level. Model outputs above are based on information available before September 24.
  • 25 September 2020: Update to include National Institute of Economic and Industry Research (NIEIR) Version 2.0 (September 2020).

Given the dynamic nature of COVID-19, revisions will be made to our population forecasts once sufficient data is available.


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