WA recorded Australia's strongest growth and sharpest drop in regional small business numbers over the five years to 2000-01.
Experimental ABS data indicate that the Kimberley recorded the largest percentage increase in small business numbers of Australia's 57 statistical regions between 1995-96 and 2000-01. The number of businesses rose by 13.6 per cent, from 1,704 to 1,935.
But the number of small businesses in the Pilbara dropped by 22.4 per cent – the steepest decline of any region.
Perth's small business count rose by 0.5 per cent over the five year study period, but the number of small businesses in the rest of the state fell by 1.5 per cent.
This mirrored a national trend for modest growth in business numbers in the capital cities and contraction in the regions. In the five years to 2000–01, the number of small businesses in Australia's state and territory capital cities increased by 6.4 per cent to 945,320, and only Hobart recorded a decrease in the number of small businesses.
But outside of the capital cities, the number of small businesses decreased by 1 per cent. Of the 50 statistical divisions outside the capital cities, only 15 recorded an increase in the number of small businesses over the five year period.
Source: ABS Cat. 5675.0
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