Ballarat is the third most populous urban area in the state of Victoria, Australia. Ballarat is the third most populated city in Victoria, and the fifth most populated inland city in Australia. The estimated 2014 population for the city is 99,474.
Area and Population Density of Ballarat
The estimated 2016 population of Ballarat is 157,485 people based on the census of 2016. The population density is about 800 people per square kilometer or about 2,000 people per square mile. The city is located on a 44 square mile area.
The city is based around two activity centers that include the Central Business District and Wendouree. The Central Business District is a mix of office buildings and retail. Wendouree has a high concentration of the city’s community functions, business, and retail establishments as well as the only mall in the city. Beyond the central areas, the city extends out into several suburban areas that feature a variety of housing styles. The settlement patterns around Ballarat include single country homes and small villages, some with less than a few thousand residents.
In Ballarat as of 2016, the male to female ratio is 48% male and 52% female, and the median age of residents is 42. Children 0 -14 years old comprise 19.4% of the population and people over the age of 65 are 15.1% of the population. Of people over the age of 15 years, 44.9% are married. 36.4% of the population, over the age of 15, has never been married and 12.1% are either divorced or separated. The remaining 6.5% are widowed. 31.2% of the population is attending school in this city.
The most common ancestries are English and Australian. People of English descent make up 30.8% of the population, and people of Australian ancestry make up 30.1% of the population. Three more common ancestries in Ballarat are Irish at 10.9% of the population, Scottish at 8.6%, and German at 3.1% of the total population. 86.4% of the residents of Ballarat were born in Australia.
The most commonly reported religious affiliate is Catholic at 27.4% of residents, followed by 36.7% of residents stating no religious affiliation. The next three most common religions reported were Anglican at 14.1% of residents, Uniting Church at 9.3%, and Presbyterian at 3.7% of residents.
In Ballarat, 91.7% of residents speak only English in their homes. The other most common secondary languages spoken in homes are Mandarin, Italian, Arabic, Greek, and German. 5.7% of residents speak two or more languages in their homes.
Approximately 55.9% of Ballarat’s residents report being employed full time, and 32.3% of residents report being employed part-time. The unemployment rate is 5.8%, and 5.9% of residents reported being away from work.
Ballarat Population Growth
Indigenous people first inhabited Ballarat. Scottish squatters settled it in 1837, and a gold rush in 1851 brought thousands of new residents to the area. Eventually, news of the gold rush went worldwide and brought immigrants from Ireland and China. The population swelled to over 20,000 people in a very short time. The city made the successful transition from gold rush town to industrial age city. Population growth has been steady even after the gold mining eventually collapsed, and the city went through a brief depression. There is a new surge in population due to commuters who are moving to Ballarat because of expensive housing costs in Melbourne. The predicted population for 2031 is 128,331.