The Australian Government recently released the 2011 State of Australian Cities report. This fascinating document compares Australian cities against each other, and with cities internationally, in terms of economy, social factors and the environment.
The report tells us a lot about the world where we live. For example, did you know that an overwhelming majority of migrants initially settle in Australian capital cities (particularly Sydney and Melbourne) but are quite likely to move interstate within 5 years of arrival, demonstrating a higher mobility rate than the rest of the population? And that most people who leave Melbourne or Sydney are likely to be headed for Perth or Brisbane?
How does your journey to work compare with most Melburnians? On average, Melbourne residents take about 31 minutes to get to work, and commuting times across Australia have changed little for a decade despite 3 million more residents and a higher investment in public transport use than many comparable cities internationally. And what are your plans for your work life post-uni? Mining now a higher proportion of Australia's GDP than traditional industries such as manufacturing. However manufacturing industries are still major employers in cities and continue to make up a significant proportion of Australia's economic value.
Despite ongoing debate about climate change, we're definitely learning to take better care of our environment. Since 2006 Australians have been consuming less energy, producing less household waste, consuming less water and have cleaner air in their cities than before. Water restrictions have eased in the south-eastern states after increased rainfall in 2010/2011 and Melbourne remains the world's most liveable city according to one international standard.
- You can see all this and more in the 2011 State of Australian Cities report.