International Students

An issues paper out of Mitchell Institute at Victoria University: International Students Critical To Coronavirus Recovery There is also a post on this at The Conversation with an interactive map: International students make up more than 30% of population in some Australian suburbs

Iinternational Students

I have no idea how robust this data is. The scaling on this map which represents SA2 areas is not good. The now almost ubiquitous interactive map may be good PR presentation but is not always the best way to present meaningful comparative data. If you scroll down the coast to Townsville there may be an initial impression that there is a higher percentage of international students which would be false. This is because JCU is situated within the Douglas SA2 with international students above the 5% band. However the Douglas SA2 on the Townsville urban fringe extends over a large geographical area on the map with nothing in most of it.

Aggregating urban areas on the data presented international students would comprise 1.35% of of the Cairns population and 0.98% in Townsville. Anyway to aggregate the Cairns urban area by SA2 percentage of population pre and post covid:

2019% 2020%
    Manoora 1.4% 1.2%
    Clifton Beach – Kewarra Beach 1.3% 1.2%
    Kanimbla – Mooroobool 1.5% 1.2%
    Trinity Beach – Smithfield 1.9% 1.6%
    Westcourt – Bungalow 3.0% 2.6%
    Manunda 3.5% 3.1%
    Cairns City 4.4% 3.7%

These are the top seven above 1% of population based on 2019 SA2 ERP from ABS so is a bit of a fudge on 2020 but shouldn’t make a material statistical difference. They are concentrated around the City and JCU with a significant jump down from there into other suburbs.

The numbers show a reduction of 304 students in Cairns urban area from 2,209 to 1,905 or about 13% of students which if anything is more modest maybe than expected. Population is an overlooked aspect of the covid crisis. Estimated population growth by ABS for 2018-2019 in Cairns was driven by net overseas migration with natural and internal migration mostly cancelling each other out.


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