Geographic distribution of the APS

Last updated: 26 Sep 2017

This page is: current

37.9% of the APS are based in the ACT and comprise over a quarter of the ACT labour force1. The next highest populations are in NSW which has 18.9% of the APS, of which 6% are in regional areas, and Victoria which has 16.8%, of which 2.8% are in regional areas.

  • ACT, NSW and Victoria have the highest proportion of APS employees and their combined populations account for almost three quarters of total APS numbers.
  • In the ACT, APS employees represent 27% of the labour force. In NSW, QLD and Victoria, the proportion of APS employees is less than 1% of the labour force with the lowest representation in WA at 0.5%.
  • Regional distribution varies between States with NSW having the highest number of employees based in regional areas at 6%.

Infographic showing the percentage of APS employees within the Australian Capital TerritoryInfographic showing the percentage of APS employees within the New South WalesInfographic showing the percentage of APS employees within the Victoria

Distribution of APS employees by state

At 30 June 2017, 37.9% of APS employees worked in the ACT (Figure 7.1). The proportion of employees working in the ACT has remained relatively consistent over the previous decade ranging from a high of 39.7% in 2012 to a low of 36.5% in 2008. There were also significant propotions of APS employees in NSW (18.9%) and Victoria (16.8%). In total these three jurisdictions employed almost three quarters (73.6%) of the APS.

Figure 7.1: Geographic distribution of APS employees by State as at 30 June 2017

Map of Australia showing the number and percentage of APS employees by State

Source: APS Statistical Bulletin 2016-17 – data tables, Table 7a

APS employment as a proportion of the State labour force

In June 2017, APS employees comprised 26.6% of the ACT labour force which indicates a high dependence on public service employment in this jurisdiction. NSW had 18.9% of the APS population overall but this only represented 0.7% of their labour force. Similarly Western Australia had 4.5% of the APS which comprised just 0.5% of their labour force. Note that the APS headcounts exclude state public sector employees.

Figure 7.2: APS headcount as a % of State labour force as at 30 June 2017

Map of Australia showing labour force numbers and APS headcount by State and APS headcount as a percentage of the State labour force

Source: APS Statistical Bulletin 2016-17 – data tables, Table 7a and Australian Bureau of Statistics. 6291.0.55.001 Labour Force, Australia, Detailed. June 2017

Regional distribution of the APS by State

The highest proportion of APS employed in regional areas was in NSW (6%) and the lowest in SA where only 0.2% of APS employees were in regional areas.

Figure 7.3: Regional distribution of the APS by State as at 30 June 2017

Chart showing distribution of the APS between capital and regional areas

Source: APS Statistical Bulletin 2016-17 – data tables, Table 7b.