In Search of Adventure: Western Australia’s Vast Landscape

By Josh •  Updated: 02/21/23 •  9 min read

Western Australia is the largest state in Australia, but it also has some of the lowest population densities.

Have you ever wondered why this is the case?

In this blog post, we’ll explore why Western Australia is so sparsely populated and how it affects its residents.

The trees in Western Australia and the scrub brush

The Historical Background of Western Australia

The Historical Background of Western Australia is deeply intertwined with the challenges it faces today.

Colonized by the British in the 19th century, the area has been a remote outpost ever since.

Even with its natural resources, the isolated location and extreme poverty of the soil have made it difficult to attract investment or grow the population.

Western Australia’s development was further hampered by limited infrastructure and resources, resulting in a population density that is one of the lowest in the world.

Though there have been some efforts to encourage growth, such as tax incentives and migration from other states, Western Australia still continues to lag behind in comparison to other areas of Australia.

The Economic Challenges of the Area

The Economic Challenges of the Area are rooted in its sparsely populated nature.

With only 10% of the population living in Western Australia, its economy is largely dependent on the industries that serve this small population.

This leaves the WA economy with the challenge of very limited resources and a lack of access to new markets or technologies.

This can make it difficult to create new economic opportunities and attract new businesses or industries.

Additionally, the remoteness of the area can make it difficult for businesses to transport goods, services, or people in and out of the region, which can hinder economic growth.

Challenges of the Remote Location

The remote location of Western Australia presents a unique set of challenges for the region.

With vast distances between populated centers, access to services and other amenities can be difficult.

This can lead to economic hardship for those living in remote areas, as well as difficulty finding employment opportunities, adequate health services, and educational facilities.

Additionally, the extreme climate of the outback, with temperatures ranging from hot to freezing, can make living in the area difficult and limit opportunities for recreational activities.

Furthermore, with an average annual rainfall of less than 250mm, it is not suitable for sustaining large-scale agricultural production or other forms of economic activity.

The Climate of Western Australia

The Climate of Western Australia is extremely diverse, ranging from the hot monsoonal climate in the far north to the Mediterranean climate of the southwest coastal area.

It is a lot of jungle and desert, with an arid environment that is often too hot and isolated to sustain large populations.

This extreme heat, isolation, distance, and aridity have contributed to Western Australia’s sparse population.

In addition to this, the average annual rainfall in Western Australia is low, making agricultural production difficult in some areas.

These factors have contributed to the low population density found in much of Western Australia.

The Impact of Remote Location on Population

The remote location of Western Australia, combined with its inhospitable environment, has had a significant impact on its population.

The sparsely populated areas are largely due to the low annual rainfall, lack of infrastructure, and limited agricultural potential in the area.

This makes it difficult for people to move there and settle down and has resulted in a much lower population density than in other parts of the country.

The limited opportunities mean that many people are reluctant to relocate to Western Australia, making population growth a challenge for the region.

The Low Annual Rainfall in Western Australia

The Low Annual Rainfall in Western Australia is a major contributing factor to the sparse population of the region.

Despite Las Vegas receiving less rain than the driest parts of Western Australia, the extreme lack of precipitation in the area has led to conditions that are difficult to sustain human life.

The central two-thirds of the state is arid and receives very little rain, while even in the northern parts, rainfall has declined significantly over the last 60 years.

This arid climate and inhospitable environment have limited the agricultural potential, making it a challenge to support a growing population.

The Lack of Infrastructure in The Region

The lack of infrastructure in the region is a major contributing factor to the low population density of Western Australia.

The region is well endowed with natural resources but has been neglected when it comes to infrastructure development.

This has resulted in poor access to services and amenities, and limited opportunities for economic growth and development.

The Government of Western Australia has made efforts to support regional development by assessing the water resources and supply options needed for Western Australia’s future population and economic growth.

However, without adequate infrastructure in place, these efforts will be limited in their effectiveness.

The Inhospitable Environment of the Outback

The Outback is a remote, vast, sparsely populated area of Australia, and its inhospitable environment presents a challenge to those considering living in the region.

The climate is hot and arid, with few navigable rivers, dry soil, and low annual rainfall.

There is also little infrastructure in the area, and its limited agricultural potential means that it is not an attractive option for many people.

The combination of these factors has resulted in a low population density in Western Australia which has contributed to its sparsely populated status.

The Low Population Density in Western Australia

The low population density in Western Australia is due to a combination of factors, including the historical background of the area, economic challenges, the remote location, climate, low annual rainfall, and lack of infrastructure.

With an area of 2.6 million square kilometers and a population of just over 2.6 million people, the population density is 0.89 people per kilometer – ranking it the second least populated state in Australia after Northern Territory.

This inhospitable environment combined with limited agricultural potential has led to a lack of incentives for people to move to the region.

However, there are potential solutions that could be implemented to increase population density in Western Australia such as tax incentives for businesses and residents, encouraging migration from other states, promoting tourism in the area, and developing infrastructure to support growth.

The Limited Agricultural Potential In The Area

While Western Australia’s major cities have population densities comparable to the rest of the Western world, when you take into account the vast expanse of desert and semi-arid regions, it’s clear that the area is sparsely populated.

This is largely due to the lack of agricultural potential in the area.

Despite having abundant land and a suitable climate, there is a lack of water resources, infrastructure, and labor supply response that limits agricultural production.

The low annual rainfall in this region, combined with its remote location and inhospitable environment make it difficult for farming or livestock production to be successful.

This has had a huge impact on population density in the region, as well as limiting economic growth potential.

Potential Solutions to Increase Population in Western Australia

As potential solutions to increase population in Western Australia, tax incentives for businesses and residents, encouraging migration from other states, promoting tourism in the area, and developing infrastructure to support growth could all be implemented.

Incentives such as tax breaks and subsidies may encourage businesses to set up in the region, while encouraging migration from other Australian states may help to bring in skilled workers.

Furthermore, promoting tourism and developing infrastructure such as roads and communication networks may enable more people to access the area and improve life for existing residents.

Tax incentives for businesses and residents

Tax incentives for businesses and residents are key to the increasing population in Western Australia.

The Australian Government has sought to increase its population in the area by providing measures that incentivize businesses and residents to settle in the region.

Through tax incentives, businesses can be given financial support to set up operations in the region, while individuals may be given exemptions from certain taxes, such as income tax.

This can help to attract more people to the area and create a more vibrant economy.

Additionally, encouraging migration from other states and promoting tourism can help bring more people into the area and help stimulate economic growth.

With these efforts, Western Australia can become a more habitable place with a higher population density.

Encouraging migration from other states

Encouraging migration from other states is one potential solution to address the low population density in Western Australia.

The state has seen a large increase in population due to overseas migration, with 60 percent of the increase coming from outside of Australia.

With most Western countries not having a substantial immigration program, there are opportunities for Western Australia to attract migrants from these countries and other non-OECD countries.

Incentives such as tax breaks and other benefits could be offered to encourage more people to move to the area, which could lead to more economic development and job opportunities in the region.

Promoting tourism in the area

In order to increase the population of Western Australia, it is important to promote tourism in the area.

The remote and unique environment of the region provides a unique experience for visitors, with attractions such as Uluru and the Outback as popular holiday destinations.

Encouraging more people to visit the area, it can bring in more income, create new jobs, and stimulate growth in the region.

The government can also provide incentives such as tax breaks and subsidies to businesses that focus on tourism in the area.

In addition, local authorities should focus on improving infrastructure and services to make sure that visitors have a safe and enjoyable experience when they visit the region.

These measures can help to attract more people to the area and create sustainable population growth.

Developing infrastructure to support growth

To increase the population in Western Australia, it is important to develop infrastructure to support growth.

This includes improving transportation links between the region and other parts of the country, as well as investing in public services such as hospitals and schools.

Investing in roads, rail, airports, and ports can also help to make the area more accessible and attractive to potential settlers.

Additionally, improving access to telecommunications and energy networks can help stimulate economic activity, creating jobs and increasing the number of people living in the area.

With the right infrastructure in place, Western Australia can become a more attractive destination for people from all over the world.


Josh is a loving dad and husband, writer, business owner, and someone who loves to explore the world. He last travelled to Australia to visit Sydney, Brisbane, and Cairns and am looking to head back soon to see more! He is a huge fan of hiking, drawing, and so much more!