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Census data shows growth in at-risk housing

Australians are continuing to build homes near the coast despite the increasing likelihood of natural disasters, according to new research.

The study of census figures by data technology group BigData Earth shows about 670,000 new homes have been built within 10km of the shoreline since 2006.

BigData Earth founder Keping Chen says he expects exposure on the coast to continue growing.

“The rapid exposure accumulation will have far-reaching implications for regional development and planning, infrastructure and emergency management,” he told

“Given the fact the majority of historical disaster losses in Australia have occurred in the coastal region, the ongoing increase of exposure and its dynamics certainly requires deeper research into the potential heightened risk from natural hazards and extreme events.”

The number of homes within 100km of the coast increased from less than 7 million to 8 million in 10 years from 2006 to last year.

Mr Chen says the study provides a dynamic view of Australia’s exposure to natural perils, and the data is “very reliable and robust”. To see the results, click here.

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