The Outer Eastern Melbourne Area stretches from Melbourne’s densely populated outer eastern suburbs up into the surrounding foothills, agricultural valleys and forested areas of the Great Dividing Ranges and includes three local government areas:
- Knox City Council
- Maroondah City Council
- Yarra Ranges Shire Council.
The area covers approximately 2,700 square kilometers of Victoria.
The Outer Eastern Melbourne Area has a diverse and growing population, and a buoyant economy based on manufacturing, agriculture (including wine making), tourism, construction, property and business services and retail trade. But there are also pockets of socioeconomic disadvantage.
The Outer Eastern Melbourne Area is home to about 417,000 people. The annual population increase in the Outer Eastern Melbourne Area from 2004-2014 was 0.6%, well below the state average of 1.7%. The projected annual population growth for 2014-2024 is 0.8% with a projected population for 2024 of 451,635.
Almost one third (32.0%) of people in the Outer Eastern Melbourne Area are aged between 0-24 and about one in five people (18.5%) are aged 0-14. The area has over 71,000 families and 59% have children aged 15 years and younger. About 7% of families with children have a low income compared to the state average of 8.7%.
About 0.6% of the total population in the Area are of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin, which is a little below the state average of 0.9%.
Volunteering rates in the Outer Easter Melbourne area are high with one in five (19.8%) giving their spare time to volunteer. In the Maroondah local government area alone, volunteers deliver nearly 65,000 Meals on Wheels every year.
The vast majority of children in the Outer Eastern Melbourne Area are healthy and well (98.4%).1 A child’s health in their early years has a positive influence on how they develop, grow and learn. About two thirds of children in the area (67.9%) attend their 3.5 year old maternal and child health check in line with the state average of 66.1%. About 88.6% of children in the area are fully immunised between 24 and 27 months, the lowest in the state.
Access to early learning plays a crucial role in getting kids ready for primary school. In the Outer Eastern Melbourne Area, just below two thirds of children (64.7%) have an adult in their life who reads to them every day, compared to the state average of 69.6%.
In the Outer Eastern Melbourne Area, 11.5% of children are developmentally at risk and 5.8% are developmentally vulnerable, significantly lower than the Victorian average of 7.4%. Maroondah has the lowest levels of children who are developmentally vulnerable at 5.1%.
The area also has a relatively moderate number of children with emotional or behavioral problems at school entry (4.2% compared with state average 4.6%). In 2014, 88.1% of people 19 years or older had completed Year 12, close to the state average of 88.2%. Most students in grade 5 and 6 (85.8%) report feeling connected to their school but 61% of students in year 7 to 9 say they feel connected to school – this is slightly lower than the state average of 62.3%).
The Outer Eastern Melbourne Area provides a safe environment for most children with 96.5% of parents with children aged under 13 years of age saying their neighbourhood is safe. However, many children continue to be impacted by family violence in their homes – in the 2013 financial year, there were 926 reports of family violence per 100,000 people in the Outer Eastern Melbourne Area – children were present in 34.2% of these incidents.
Data sources include:
1 Victorian Child Health and Wellbeing Survey: Number of children aged 0 to 13 years of age who are reported to have ‘good’, ‘very good’ or ‘excellent’ health.