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  • Samantha Reece

The growing trend for apartments

More Australians than ever are taking up apartment living, whether out of preference, convenience, or for other reasons. The 2016 Census of Population and Housing found that 10% (2,348,434) of all people in Australia spent Census night in an apartment. There is now around one occupied apartment for every five occupied separate houses in Australia - compared with one to every seven, back in 1991.

Over the past 25 years, the number of occupied apartments (including flats and units, excluding townhouses) in Australia has increased by 78% to 1,214,372 dwellings at the 2016 Census. There has been a steady increase in the number of apartments since 1991, although the Census shows slowing growth in the last five years. Most notably, the number of occupied apartments increased by 20% between 1991 and 1996, then by almost 17% between 2001 and 2006.

Of the 1,214,372 occupied apartments in Australia in 2016, nearly half (47%) were in New South Wales, followed by 23% in Victoria and 17% in Queensland.

New South Wales also had the highest proportion of apartments relative to all occupied private dwellings (at 21%). The Northern Territory was also prominent with 17% of its occupied private dwellings being apartments.

In 2016, 29% of all apartment residents (excluding visitors) in Australia were in the 25-34 age group. Another 11% were children aged 0-14 years, up slightly from the 10% share recorded a decade earlier.

In 2016, one in five (21%) of all people aged 25-34 years (and living in private dwellings) were apartment residents. Nearly one in eight (12%) of all persons aged 85 years or more - and 35-44 years - were also apartment residents.

Younger people were also quite prominent. More than one in ten (11%) of Australia's youth population (aged 15-24 years) resided in apartments. Similarly, nearly one in ten (9%) of all children aged 0-4 years had an apartment home.

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