Just one in five of Australia's fly-in fly-out and drive-in drive-out workers are directly employed in the resources sector, a study commissioned by the mining industry shows.

It comes after a federal parliamentary inquiry earlier this year heard accusations that FIFO workers were a "cancer" in Australia's rural towns because they created housing shortages, drove up real estate prices and strained limited public services.

NSW Minerals Council CEO Stephen Galilee says a KPMG analysis of the 2011 census data debunks the myth that fly-in fly-out (FIFO) and drive-in drive-out (DIDO) workers are all from the mining industry.

"Of the 118,000 residents in the (NSW) Hunter Valley, just 1785 are long distance commuters and around 390 or a minuscule 0.02 per cent of our mining workforce would be classified as FIFO and DIDO workers," he said.

"Long distance commuting in our industry is the exception, not the rule."

The analysis shows a total of 64,056 workers travelled long distances from home to Australia's capital cities, including more than 28,000 in construction, around 14,000 public servants and 13,000 healthcare workers in 2011.

Miners represented 21 per cent of the total LDC workforce.

Mr Galilee said the research showed the majority of the mining workforce lived close to the mine operations where they worked.

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