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If you ask any one from Government or officialdom as to the population of the Bay Islands, you will be told it is ‘around 8500’.

This is because that was the figure that was designated following the last Commonwealth Census in 2011, the figure was actually closer to 6000.

A shock to most will be the ‘unofficial figure’ and probably more accurate figure in excess of 10,000!

The census figures are not very accurate because of the way in which the figures are collected.

It is difficult to get an accurate figure because at the last census the figures were collected via door knock and online.

However, a much more accurate way of determining population at any give time has been realised.


Redland City Council has actually been running a regular census every week throughout the Redlands and didn’t realise it until someone pointed out that weekly garbage collection figures would be a far more accurate way of establishing true population figures. The easy way could be to count the number of rubbish bins collected on a regular basis.

Cr Mark Edwards told The Friendly Bay Islander: “Council has been doing that for some time now, and has come to a regular pattern and numbers in garbage collection.

“On the basis of the census calculation of 1.5 people for each house on the islands, our population is more like 10,000,” he said.

If that is the case, it means a whole gamut of services and planning may need to be adjusted.

There is no official explanation as to the spectacular growth, although there has been considerable building on the islands particularly over the past two years.

However, it takes the population to the inevitable conclusion that we have reached approximitly 48% of our possible full potential growth.

In a story in our March edition we revealed that the islands, on current land ownership, has a potential 22,000 population total.

That figure does not include any land sales of ‘unsold’ on ‘undeveloped’ land.

Figures for the census and garbage collection are based on the average of 2 people per household.

The 2011 Census gives the following figures for the respective islands

Macleay Island 2572

Russell Island 2473

Lamb Island 450

Karragarra Island 160

Coochiemudlo Island 708

North Stradbroke Island 117 (clearly an anomaly - council believes the permanent population is around 2500)




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