Research

  • The Centre conducts its own research program. It addresses significant issues in the fields of population movements, urban planning, family formation, education and the labour market. This research is published in a variety of locations including in-house books, consulting reports and external books and journals.

    Having difficulty accessing one of our publications? Please contact CPUR.

    People and Place

    People and Place was published as a quarterly, peer-reviewed journal from 1993 to 2010 by the Centre for Population and Urban Research at Monash University. View the People and Place collection in the Monash ARROW Repository.

    CPUR Publications

  • Bob Birrell and Ernest Healy This report documents the scale of the Melbourne’s recent inner-city high rise apartment boom and the scale of its likely further expansion.It shows that it is an investor led boom, which is disconnected from any underlying increased preference for apartment living. It is delivering thousands of tiny apartments which reflect developers’ ... Read more
  • There has been a sharp decline in the growth of employment in Australia since 2010-11. The Australian Treasury expects this slow down to continue over the next two years and that as a result, unemployment will increase. At the same time as this slowdown is occurring, the Australian Government is running a record high permanent ... Read more
  • The federal and state governments base their GP manpower policies on the assumption that there is a shortage of GPs in Australia, particularly in non-metropolitan areas.This assumption is founded on a mindset that dates from the mid-2000s when there really was a shortage of GPs in some of these areas. There is a formidable bureaucracy ... Read more
  • Australia has been in the grip of a boom mentality over the last decade. Immigration policy settings have been adjusted to accommodate this boom ethos. However, there is now a serious mismatch between immigration policy settings and the state of the Australian labour market. The immigration program is set on full throttle, whereas the net ... Read more
  • Bob Birrell, Ernest Healy, Virginia Rapson and T. Fred Smith – July 2012 This study explains why housing prices are amongst the highest in the world and why this has occurred despite the Melbourne 2030 compact city policy planning initiatives. Melbourne 2030 has failed because developers cannot build medium density apartments at an affordable price. The ... Read more
  • By Bob Birrell, Virginia Rapson, Ian R. Dobson, Daniel Edwards and T. Fred Smith, Centre for Population and Urban Research, Monash University, May 2002 This study reports VCE outcomes for year 12 Victorian schools by school sector and location. It shows that there is a large and growing disparity in ENTER scores for students attending government ... Read more
  • By Bob Birrell, Jacqui Dibden and Jo Wainer, Centre for Population and Urban Research and Centre for Rural Health, Monash University, January 2000 This research report investigates the alleged regional crisis and widening socio-economic gap between Melbourne and regional Victoria. The study documents the extent of the divide by reference to indicators of economic activity, income, ... Read more
  • by Bob Birrell and Virginia Rapson, Centre for Population and Urban Research, Monash University, October 1998 This study examines partnering and ever-married levels for women and men over the decade from 1986 to 1996 in Australia. It then explores the factors shaping the significant declines in these rates that the research revealed. The report proceeds to an ... Read more
  • by Bob Birrell, Centre for Population and Urban Research, Monash University, November 2007 This research report is a detailed 42-page analysis of Coalition immigration reform proposals and outcomes. The study explores the political and parliamentary events that led to the outcomes summarised in the following digest. Immigration reform proposals and outcomes: a summary Proposals Outcomes Two year waiting period for ... Read more
  • by Bob Birrell, Lesleyanne Hawthorn and Virginia Rapson, Centre for Population and Urban Research, Monash University, for the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, June 2003 This report examined the size and growth of the surgical workforce in Australia and New Zealand, including the way it had been affected by government policy regarding surgical training in the ... Read more
  • By Bob Birrell, Virginia Rapson and Clare Hourigan, Centre for Population and Urban Research Monash University, for the Australian Family Association, March 2004 Men and Women Apart provides new information on changes in family patterns in Australia between the mid-1980s and today which is essential in understanding the current demographic dilemmas. The study shows that Australia has experienced ... Read more
  • by Bob Birrell, Ian R. Dobson, Virginia Rapson and T. Fred Smith, Centre for Population and Urban Research, Monash University, for the Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs (DIMIA), April 2004 A review of the movement of skilled workers into and out of Australia, over the years, 1997–1998 to 2002–2003. The report extends an ... Read more
  • by Bob Birrell, Kevin O’Connor, Virginia Rapson and Ernest Healy, Centre for Population and Urban Research, Monash University, March 2005 The Melbourne 2030 planning scheme is the Bracks Government’s blueprint for the accommodation of an additional one million people in Melbourne by 2030. The ‘compact city’ philosophy behind the plan and the radical administrative measures proposed to achieve ... Read more
  • Bob Birrell, Virginia Rapson and T. Fred Smith, Centre for Population and Urban Research, Monash University, for the Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs, June 2005 This report examines the international movement of skilled workers to and from Australia, with particular reference to the latest data available for the year 2003–04. Skilled workers are defined ... Read more
  • Bob Birrell and Virgina Rapson, Centre for Population and Urban Research, Monash University , May 2005 This report examines the sources of growth in Australia’s accounting workforce. It focuses on the ways in which changes to Australia’s skilled migration selection system have affected the migration component of this growth. The importance of the immigration ... Read more
  • by Bob Birrell, Virginia Rapson and T. Fred Smith, Centre for Population and Urban Research, Monash University, for the Water Services Association of Australia Inc., June 2005 This report focuses on the estimated impact of demographic change and urban consolidation (where an increased share of the dwelling stock is in the form of medium and high ... Read more
  • Revisiting entry to tertiary education in Victoria By Daniel Edwards, Bob Birrell and T. Fred Smith, Centre for Population and Urban Research, Monash University, October 2005 Access to university is becoming increasingly important as a determinant of occupational outcomes for young people.  If there is to be genuine educational opportunity, then all young people in Victoria with ... Read more
  • by Bob Birrell and Virginia Rapson, Director, Centre for Population and Urban Research, Monash University, for IDP Education Australia Limited, December 2005 This study examines the extent to which enrolments of overseas students at Australia’s universities are being driven by opportunities for permanent residence on completion of their Australian courses. It also examines changes to the ... Read more
  • by Bob Birrell (Centre for Population and Urban Research, Monash University), Lesleyanne Hawthorne (University of Melbourne) and Sue Richardson (Flinders University), for the Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs (DIMA), March 2006 This report was commissioned by the Hon. Amanda Vanstone, Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs in mid-2005. The authors were requested to examine Australia’s ... Read more
  • by Bob Birrell, Centre for Population and Urban Research, Monash University, May 2006 This report presents the key points from the research paper titled Brain drain, Brain gain: accessing the required skills commissioned under the auspices of the Minerals Industry National Skills Shortages Strategy (NSSS) and funded by the Department of Education, Science and Training (DeST). The study was ... Read more
  • By Bob Birrell, Virginia Rapson and T. Fred Smith, for the Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs, May 2006 This report describes the movement of skilled persons by major occupation to and from Australia for the years up to 2004-05. It examines separately the movements of Australian residents, long-term visitors to Australia and settlers. The report ... Read more
  • Analysis of socioeconomic indicators of North West Victoria and South West New South Wales and recipient and community perceptions of the program by Bob Birrell and Daniel Edwards, Centre for Population and Urban Research, Monash University, for Chances for Children and Mallee Family Care, June 2006 This report was prepared by the Centre for Population and Urban ... Read more
  • by Bob Birrell and Virginia Rapson, Centre for Population and Urban Research, Monash University with Dusseldorp Skills Forum (DSF), July 2006 Australia’s higher education and training policies are misguided and based on myths that will not meet the future demands of the workforce, says leading Australian social scientist (Bob Birrell). This report scrutinises some powerful myths that have ... Read more
  • by Bob Birrell, Ernest Healy and T. Fred Smith, Centre for Population and Urban Research, Monash University, December 2006 Could Melbourne be left behind as the resource-rich states of Western Australia and Queensland siphon off capital and manpower? So far it has not happened. Melbourne has ridden on the back of a property and associated construction ... Read more
  • by Bob Birrell and Daniel Edwards, University World News, November 2007 In a report published by University World News, the authors undertake a detailed analysis of data from the 2006 Census. The data reveal that a substantial proportion of Australia’s 18 to 20-year-olds are not participating in any form of education. In addition, of those non-attendees, labour force ... Read more
  • by Genevieve Heard, Siew-Ean Khoo and Bob Birrell, Centre for Population and Urban Research, Monash University , July 2009 Birthplace, ancestry, religion and indigenous status are traditionally strong determinants of partner choice. Where marriage occurs across group boundaries, it is therefore of much interest, particularly in a culturally ... Read more
  • by Bob Birrell & T Fred Smith, Australian Universities’ Review, vol. 52, no. 1, March 2010, pp. 4–12. Education is regularly publicised as Australia’s third-largest export behind coal and iron ore. Although it cannot be disputed that education is a major export, the published figures are inflated because of three broad factors. First, estimates of student expenditure on ... Read more
  • by Janet Stanley with Robert Birrell and Ernest Healy, MSI Report 10/2, Monash Sustainability Institute, January 2010. The Department of Sustainability and Environment is scoping a project that aims to understand, facilitate and review the process of adaptation to climate change in the Westernport Region of Victoria. This project may form a model for approaches that ... Read more
  • by Philip Wallis, Bob Birrell, Dave Griggs, Ernest Healy, John Langford and Janet Stanley, MSI Report 09/2, Melbourne Sustainability Institute, November 2009 This report presents scenarios of Melbourne’s water storage levels based on supply (inflows) and demand (population and per capita use) to give a broad-brush account of long-term water supply. While in reality many factors ... Read more
  • Melbourne: a parasite city? by Bob Birrell and Ernest Healy, People and Place, vol. 18, no. 3, 2010 Melbourne appears to be booming. Job growth is far more rapid than in Sydney. This article shows that Melbourne’s economy is being driven by population growth and that most job growth is in the city-building and people-servicing industries. The ... Read more