Remote Australia Data
Desert Australia or remote Australia?
While there is no hard and fast definition of 'desert Australia', the boundary was generally represented on maps as the arid and semi-arid regions of Australia (i.e. those regions with less than 500 mm of annual average rainfall).
Roughly 75% of the Australian land surface and 3% of the population falls within this climatic description, and the terms rangelands (those regions used for grazing sheep and cattle on native pastures) and deserts (those regions where no commercial primary production is regularly practiced) apply.
The CRC-REP has adopted the regional term ‘remote’ in place of ‘desert’, which changes the potential geographical, social, cultural and economic scope of activities of the CRC.
Remote regions of Australia are based on the physical road distance to the nearest town or service centre in each of five population size classes. Both of the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) categories of remote and very remote are considered its territory. The Australian Bureau of Statistics uses this classification system for the collection and dissemination of geographically classified statistics. This means that the term ‘remote’ has quantifiable meaning in the machinery of government and policy, whereas ‘desert’ does not.
Some facts about remote Australia
- The geographical area is 86% of the country
- It is home to 3% of Australia's population
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, the world's oldest living culture, are 48% of the total population in very remote areas, and ~15% of the population living in remote areas
- 26% of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia live in remote or very remote areas.
- There is a very high level of mobility
- It contributes $90 billion (45% export earnings)
- There are 40,000 SMEs: 1½ times more per capita than the national average