This information has been sourced from the Office of Northern Australia’s Our North | Our Future July Newsletter, featuring the “Northern Australia Economic Snapshot”.
Northern Australia – made up of all of the Northern Territory, parts of Western Australia and Queensland – accounts for 53% of Australia’s total land mass. Over one million people live across the expansive landscape, making up just 5.2% of the nation’s population in 2017-18. There are 169,400 Indigenous persons living in northern Australia, making up 15% of the the region’s population. Despite such a small percentage of population residing in the north, there is a wealth of economic prosperity and potential.
The population distribution is skewed towards outer regional areas with 56.7% of the population residing in these areas, compared to 19.5% in living in inner regional areas, 12.1% in remote areas and 11.8% living in very remote areas. Looking at the workforce, 643,600 persons are employed across the north and the average annual income is above average at $63,585.
In 2016-17, business and industry in northern Australia contributed $187 billion to the national economy, 10.7% of Australia’s GDP. Across the map, North Queensland generated the highest wealth in 2015-16 at around $70 billion followed by north Western Australia generating around $60 billion and Northern Territory at around $25 billion. Capital expenditure in the north accounted for 24% of the national CAPEX for 2017-18, standing at $29.2 billion.
Northern Australia’s trade and investment is largely reflected in maritime exports, with the total value of exports at $156 billion in northern Australia. 22% of all northern Australian maritime exports were sent from Port Hedland, the world’s largest bulk export port responsible for the exporting of $34 billion worth of goods. China is the top export destination at 47% of total exports, followed by Japan at 18%, then the Republic of Korea, India and Singapore.