Demographic Change in Australia's Rural Landscapes

Paperback - April 2011 - AU $89.95

Examines broad and local-scale patterns of demographic change in rural landscapes.

Throughout history, humans have lived primarily in rural landscapes. In 2008, for the first time, the global population became predominantly urban. While much research has focused on the impacts of increasing urbanisation, we have very little knowledge of the implications of these changes for rural landscapes. Global trends suggest populations in rural landscapes are, relatively speaking, in decline. Yet this broad trend is too simplistic and can be very misleading for researchers, land managers and policy makers. This generalisation often masks a much more complex and dynamic process of demographic change, with some rural areas increasing in popularity and experiencing new environmental pressures. + Full description

The patterns of change can be broadly characterised in two ways: population decline and dissolving rural communities; and amenity-led in-migration (or counter-urbanisation) – a trend identified in developed regions such as North America and Australia. Both of these patterns have substantial implications for the management and sustainability of rural landscapes and communities.

This book examines broad and local-scale patterns of demographic change in rural landscapes, identifying some of the drivers of these changes using local case studies, and outlining the implications of changes for society and the environment. The book adopts an interdisciplinary approach by explicitly linking demographic change with environmental, land-use, social and economic factors.

- Short description


"Demographic Change in Australia’s Rural Landscapes is a valuable and highly informative collection which examines contemporary population dynamics in rural Australia, identifying some of the drivers of demographic change using case studies or international comparisons, and exploring the implications for rural areas, their residents and communities."
Frances Rolley, Journal of Population Research, pp. 117–118, Vol 29 (2012)

"Overall, the book is well written, it is based on rigorous research and it presents complex multifaceted issues in a user-friendly manner. It will be essential reading for students of relevant postgraduate studies, as well as researchers and policymakers seeking to understand the patterns and impact of migration in Australia."
Ruth McAreavey, Australian Planner, pp. 376-377, November 2012


Paperback | April 2011 | $ 89.95
ISBN: 9780643096912 | 404 pages | 234 x 155 mm
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing


  • Integrated interdisciplinary approach
  • Focus on rural landscapes
  • Implications for planning policy


1 Patterns, Drivers and Implications of Demographic Change in Rural Landscapes
2 Amenity-Led Migration in Rural Australia: A New Driver of Local Demographic and Environmental Change?
3 Sea- and Tree-Change Phenomena in Far North Queensland, Australia: Impacts of Land Use Change and Mitigation Potential
4 Seeking Trees or Escaping Traffic? Socio-Cultural Factors and ‘Tree-Change’ Migration in Australia
5 Demographic Change and Rural Nature
6 Agricultural Areas Under Metropolitan Threats: Lessons for Perth from Barcelona
7 Agricultural Land Ownership Change and Natural Resource Management: Comparing Australian and US Case Studies
8 Land-Use Planning and Demographic Change: Mechanisms for Designing Rural Landscapes and Communities
9 Demographic Change and the Implications for Commercial Forestry: Lessons from South-East Australia
10 Why Farming Families Decide to Maintain Native Biodiversity on Their Farms and the Implications of Demographic Change for Conservation Policies
11 Immigration and Multicultural Place-Making in Rural and Regional Australia
12 Too Bad to Stay or Too Good to Leave? Two Generations of Women with a Farming Background – What is Their Attitude Regarding the Sustainability of the Australian Family Farm?
13 Doing More for Fewer: Health Care for Declining Rural Communities
14 Staffing Rural Schools: A New Perspective
15 Fly-In Fly-Out: The Challenges of Transient Populations in Rural Landscapes
16 Demographic Change in Rural Australia: Future Opportunities and Challenges

View the full table of contents.


Gary Luck is an Associate Professor in Ecology and Environmental Management in the Institute for Land, Water and Society at Charles Sturt University and currently holds an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship. His research interests include biodiversity conservation in human-dominated landscapes, the relationships between human behaviour and conservation, and ecosystem services. He has worked on a number of interdisciplinary projects with economists, psychologists and sociologists.

Digby Race is a Senior Research Fellow in the Institute for Land, Water and Society at Charles Sturt University, and is involved in several large research projects exploring the socio-economic challenges and opportunities of change in the agricultural and forestry sectors, and change amongst rural communities more generally. Digby has worked with a number of research partners over the past two decades to explore the socio-economic and policy implications of different approaches to environmental management for regional communities, both in Australia and in Asia-Pacific countries.

Rosemary Black is a Senior Lecturer in the Institute for Land, Water and Society at Charles Sturt University. Her research interests include environmental communication, ecotourism, sustainable behaviours and evaluation. She has published over 30 refereed journal articles and book chapters and edited two books. Rosemary has collaborated with industry partners on a number of applied research projects.