A remote coastal town in northern Western Australia has the country's highest average income, outstripping the wealthiest areas of Sydney and Melbourne, new census data has revealed.

According to the data, the richest 13 towns in Australia are all in Western Australia, an area which has experienced a huge boom in mining owing mostly to China's demand for natural resources, the Telegraph reported.

The data, compiled from 2011's census, also reveals that the town with the largest number of high earners is the small mining port of Dampier, where nearly a quarter of households make over $218,995 a year.

It is quite remarkable what is happening in some of these remote areas, economist Craig James told The Daily Telegraph.

The traditional areas in Sydney and Melbourne are still high earning. They have not gone backwards. It is just that the mining areas have moved past them.

According to James, miners working in such remote areas can earn around $220,000 a year, while cooks, drivers and other un-skilled labourers can earn over $100,000.

It is the modern day equivalent of the gold rush but it has the potential to last a whole lot longer, James added.

It is not like a gold boom where the price accelerates and then falls in a heap. China's industrialization is the biggest the world has ever seen. People in China are only just getting cars and washing machines and so on. The price of minerals may drop but the demand for them will be ongoing.