Thursday, 10 April 2008

Populations and constellations

In 1885 the population of the Rosewood Scrub was 8,000. According to the 2006 census, the population of the Scrub (Haigslea, Marburg, Tallegalla, Minden, Prenzlau, Lowood and Glamorgan Vale) is 4,490. Even if you include the town of Rosewood, which is not officially part of the Scrub, you get a modern population of 6,456. If you range a bit wider and add in Thagoona and Grandchester you get up to 8,830. Add in Walloon where the population pressure from Ipswich city is building and you get a population of 10,362.

It’s perhaps surprising to think that 124 years later, the Scrub is not as densely populated as it was in 1885. Even if you take into account such things as rural population decline due to jobs and lifestyle decisions (there are definitely “cooler”, more glamorous, better job market places to live), this should be offset by the relentless pressure of the Southeast Queensland population boom, status as a satellite town to Ipswich and dormitory town to Brisbane and the treechanger and/or lifestyle new inhabitants of the area.

That it isn’t, is something for which I am grateful. Nonetheless, it is interesting to look out my windows at night at those pinpoints of light in the hills and think that the constellations of stars were probably more numerous, if not as bright, last century.

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