The last important indicator when looking at lifestyle on the Gold Coast is household and there are four main measures in assessing this – household type, dwelling structure, bedrooms per dwelling, and people per dwelling.
Household types are divided into three main types: couples with children, couples without children, and lone person households. The most common household type on the Gold Coast in 2016 was couples with children (28%). Within this type, the most common arrangement was couples with young children (16%) followed by couples with older children (8%) These figures were all close to State and National averages.The next most common type was couples without children (25%), of which the most common type was older couples (10%). Lone person households accounted for 21% of all household types, of which the most common was older people (65years +) living by themselves (9%). These figures were all close to State and National averages.
The most common number of bedrooms per dwelling was three (34%) and this was close to State and National average. 26% of dwellings had four bedrooms and 20% of dwellings had two bedrooms. 6% of dwellings had one bedroom and 6% of dwellings had five or more bedrooms. All these figures were close to State and National average.
The most common number of people per dwelling was two (36%), followed by one (23%), three (17%), and four (15%). More than five people per dwelling accounted for 9% of all residences. All these figures were close to State and National averages.
In 2016, 55% of the Gold Coast lived in separate houses as the main dwelling structure. This was almost 20% under the State and National figures.24% of Gold Coast dwelling structures were medium density and 19% were high density structures. Both of these figures were well above State (16% and 8%) and National (18% and 9%) percentages.
With respect to household types, number of bedrooms per dwelling, and number of persons per dwelling the Gold Coast is close to State and National averages. Where the Gold Coast does vary markedly from State and National figures is in terms of dwelling structure. The Gold Coast has substantially more medium and high density dwellings than either Queensland or Australia.
When we look at cost of housing, we need to distinguish rental premises from accommodation under mortgage. There are more rented residences (34%) and less fully owned residences (25%) on the Gold Coast when compared to State (32% and 27%) and National figures (29% for both). The percentage of housing under mortgage (31%) varied by only 1% from State and National figures.
With regard to the cost of housing, there are two main measures to take account of: mortgage repayments and rental payments. The median weekly mortgage repayment for the Gold Coast in 2016 was $443, which was $34-$37 pw higher than the State and National average. It was also $14 higher than median mortgages for Brisbane. 43% of monthly mortgage repayments were under $1,800 which was less than the State (49%) and National (48%) figures. 29% of monthly mortgage repayments were between $1,800 and $2,200 which was higher than the State and National average of 25%. 33% of repayments were greater than $2,200 which was higher than both the State and National figures (28% and 30%).
The median weekly rent on the Gold Coast in 2016 was $395 which was $55-$60 pw higher than the State and National average. It was also $32 pw higher than the average for Brisbane. In 2016, 69% of rental payments were in the range $300-$550 which was higher than the State and National percentages (53% and 48%). Only 18% pay less than $300 pw which is significantly less than the State and National average of 37% and 31%.
There were less fully owned premises and more rented premises on the Gold Coast when compared to State and National figures, although these variations were not large (less than 5%). There was more rental accommodation and less fully owned residences, although the residences under mortgage was the same as State and National figures. The median Gold Coast mortgage was 7% higher than State and National figures and with 4% more households paying mid-range mortgages when compared to State and National averages and 3-5% paying high range mortgages. The median Gold Coast rental was 15% higher than the State and National average, with substantially less households in the lowest rental bracket and substantially more people paying in the mid to high bracket. In summary, the cost of housing on the Gold Coast, whether rental or mortgage, was much more expensive.
At the 2016 census, three occupations accounted for 46% of the labour force on the Gold Coast: these were professionals (18%), trades (15%), and clerical workers (13.5%). There were less professionals when compared to Queensland (20%) and Australian (22%) figures, but there were more trades workers when compared to state (14%) and national (13%) figures. The percentage of clerical workers was the same as state and national figures. All other occupation groups were the same as the state and national percentages.
At the same time, there were five main industries which accounted for 50% of the labour force on the Gold Coast: health (12.5%), construction (11.5%), retail (11%), accommodation and food (10%), and education (8%). Gold Coast employment in the health, retail, and education industries was the same as state and national figures, while there were more people employed in construction (Qld 9% Aust 8%) and accommodation and food (Qld 7% Aust 7%). Employment in all other industries was the same as state and national percentages.
So apart from there being more trade workers employed in construction, there were only two variations from state and national figures: there are less professionals employed on the Gold Coast and more people employed in the food and accommodation industry.All other occupation and industry figures varied by no more than 1% from state and national percentages.
The Gold Coast is the sixth largest, and fastest growing, city in Australia. In 2016, its population was 550,000, having increased by 12% over the previous five years. If we divide this population into five main age groups – 0-17, 18-34, 35-49, 50-69, and 70+ – we find that each of the first four age groups all average around 22% of the population, with the fifth age group, 70+, 12% of the population. This profile does not vary by more than 1% from Queensland and Australian figures.The Gold Coast does not have a predominance of younger or older people but conforms very closely to State and National figures.