3218.0 - Regional Population Growth, Australia, 2004-05  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 23/02/2006   
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For Australia, this publication contains estimates of the resident population of Local Government Areas (LGAs), Statistical Divisions (SDs), Statistical Districts and states and territories at June 2000, 2004 and 2005, according to the 2005 edition of the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC). For the Northern Territory and Australian Capital Territory, estimates for Statistical Subdivisions (SSDs) are also included. For Australia and the states and territories, estimated resident population for Remoteness Areas (RAs) at June 2001, 2004 and 2005, according to the 2001 edition of the ASGC, are also provided. Estimates for 2000 and 2001 are final estimates, based on results of the 2001 Census of Population and Housing, while estimates for 2004 are revised (and denoted 2004r) and estimates for 2005 are preliminary (and denoted 2005p).


The content of this publication has changed. Tables showing estimates of the resident population of Statistical Local Areas (SLAs) in Australia are no longer included in this publication, and have been replaced by tables showing the estimated resident populations of all SDs in Australia and SSDs in the Northern Territory and Australian Capital Territory. However, tables containing estimates for all SLAs and SSDs in Australia are freely available from the accompanying electronic releases on the ABS web site <www.abs.gov.au>. The electronic product Regional Population Growth, Australia, Electronic Delivery, cat. no. 3218.0.55.001, contains the SLA data in both Excel spreadsheet and SuperTABLE Data Cube formats.

Estimated resident population data for New Zealand are also no longer included in this publication. Regional population estimates for New Zealand are available for free on the Statistics New Zealand web site <www.stats.govt.nz>.

For the first time, this publication includes estimated resident population data for Australia and the states and territories by Remoteness Area (RA), according to the 2001 edition of the ASGC.


In commentary based on statistics in this publication, it is recommended that the relevant statistics be rounded. Small area population estimates are the result of mathematical modelling and are subject to error. While unrounded figures are provided in tables, accuracy to the last digit is not claimed and should not be assumed. No reliance should be placed on statistics with small values.


For further information about these and related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070 or Andrew Howe on Adelaide (08) 8237 7370.



  • Australia’s estimated resident population (ERP) at June 2005 was 20.3 million, an increase of 237,100 people compared with June 2004. This represents an annual growth rate of 1.2%, the same as the average annual growth rate for the five years to June 2005.
  • All states and territories experienced population growth in 2004-05, with the largest increases occurring in Queensland (up 75,900 people), Victoria (up 59,400 people) and New South Wales (up 53,500 people).
  • Victoria’s population passed the 5 million mark during 2004-05, Western Australia's passed 2 million and the Northern Territory's passed 200,000 people.
  • Queensland, Western Australia and the Northern Territory recorded annual growth rates greater than Australia overall in 2004-05. Queensland’s population increased by 2.0% while Western Australia’s increased by 1.6% and the Northern Territory’s by 1.5%.
  • Victoria’s growth rate for 2004-05 of 1.2% was the same as Australia overall. The remaining states and territories recorded lower annual growth rates than Australia, with the population of New South Wales increasing by 0.8%, South Australia and Tasmania each increasing by 0.6%, and the Australian Capital Territory by 0.3%.
  • In each state and territory, the areas with the largest or fastest population growth tended to be outer suburbs, inner cities and certain regional centres, especially along the coast.
SLA POPULATION CHANGE, Australia - 2004-05
Diagram: SLA POPULATION CHANGE, Australia—2004–05

  • Selected SLAs are referred to in some of the following text and tables, particularly where LGAs cover multiple SLAs, such as in Brisbane (C) and Darwin (C), and in unincorporated areas within the Northern Territory and Australian Capital Territory. Estimates of the resident population of all SLAs in Australia are available from the accompanying electronic release, Regional Population Growth, Australia, Electronic Delivery (cat. no. 3218.0.55.001), on the ABS web site <www.abs.gov.au>.

  • It is important to recognise that sub-state/territory population estimates in this publication and the accompanying electronic releases are produced using mathematical models and are subject to error. Caution should be exercised when using the estimates, especially for areas with very small populations. For more information see paragraphs 18 to 21 of the Explanatory Notes.

  • At June 2005 capital city Statistical Divisions (SDs) were home to 12.9 million people, around two-thirds (64%) of Australia’s population. The combined population of capital city SDs increased by 138,000 people in 2004-05, accounting for 58% of Australia’s growth for the year.
  • Melbourne SD recorded the largest growth of capital cities in 2004-05, increasing by 41,300 people, followed by Brisbane SD (up 33,300 people) and Sydney SD (up 29,800 people).
  • Population growth in the Melbourne SD in 2004-05 equated to an average increase of 790 people per week. Other large capital cities such as Brisbane increased at an average of 640 per week, Sydney 570 per week and Perth 450 per week.
  • Brisbane SD was the fastest growing capital city in Australia in 2004-05, increasing by 1.9%, followed by Darwin SD (up 1.7%) and Perth SD (up 1.6%).
  • Overall, the rate of growth of the capital city SDs in 2004-05 (1.1%) was slower than the average annual growth rate for the five years to 30 June 2005 (1.2%). Only two capital city SDs - Perth and Darwin - grew at a faster rate in the last 12 months than their five year average rate of growth.

Outer suburban growth
  • Large increases in population continued to occur in many outer Local Government Areas (LGAs) within capital city SDs. In Sydney SD, the LGAs of Blacktown (C) and Baulkham Hills (A) experienced large growth (up 5,400 and 3,500 people respectively), while in Melbourne SD the fringe LGAs of Wyndham (C) and Casey (C) increased by 7,900 and 7,400 people respectively.
  • Some outer suburban areas in the smaller capital cities also experienced significant growth, such as occurred in the Brisbane Statistical Local Areas (SLAs) of Wakerley, Parkinson-Drewvale and Doolandella-Forest Lake. In Adelaide SD, the outer suburban LGA of Salisbury (C) recorded the largest population increase in the state, while in Perth, the LGAs of Wanneroo (C), Rockingham (C), Gosnells (C) and Cockburn (C) experienced large growth. Kingborough (M), to the south of Hobart, recorded the second largest increase in population of Tasmanian LGAs, while Palmerston (C), on the outskirts of Darwin, recorded the second largest growth of any Northern Territory LGA. The Australian Capital Territory SLA of Gungahlin-Hall - SSD Bal recorded the largest growth of SLAs in the territory. Other outer suburban SLAs within the Canberra SD to experience relatively large growth were Banks (to the south) and Dunlop (to the north-west).

Inner city growth
  • Many of Australia’s inner city areas experienced high levels of growth during 2004-05. Perth (C) recorded the fastest growth rate of all LGAs in Australia, with a 13% increase. Melbourne (C) recorded an annual growth rate of 5.6%. The population of Adelaide (C) increased by 2.6%, which was a faster growth rate than any other LGA in the Adelaide SD, and Sydney (C) increased by 2,400 people (1.6%) which was the fourth largest growth of all LGAs in New South Wales. Elsewhere in Australia, other inner city areas to experience high levels of growth were the Brisbane SLAs of City - Remainder, which increased by 28% (or 920 people), City - Inner which increased by 14% (or 330 people) and Bulimba which increased by 8.1% (or 410 people). The Darwin SLA of Stuart Park increased by 530 people (or 12%) and the Canberra SLAs of Turner (350 people) and Barton (310 people) also experienced strong growth.

  • In general, the largest growth outside capital city SDs occurred in coastal Australia.
  • Several coastal Queensland LGAs experienced strong growth in 2004-05. Gold Coast (C) in Queensland recorded the second largest increase in population of all LGAs in Australia (up 12,600 people), behind Brisbane, which increased by 13,300 people. Strong growth continued in many other Queensland coastal areas such as Pine Rivers (S), Maroochy (S), Cairns (C), Caloundra (C) and Townsville (C).
  • In New South Wales, increases in population were recorded in most coastal LGAs outside the Sydney SD, with the largest occurring in Shoalhaven (C), Newcastle (C) and Lake Macquarie (C). The statistical district of Newcastle recorded the second largest growth of the statistical districts, after Gold Coast-Tweed, which is on the Queensland/New South Wales border.
  • The Victorian LGAs of Bass Coast (S) and Greater Geelong (C) continued to experience strong growth in 2004-05. In South Australia, the populations of Alexandrina (DC), Yankalilla (DC), Victor Harbor (C) and Copper Coast (DC) were among the fastest growing LGAs in the state. In Western Australia the coastal LGAs of Mandurah (C), Busselton (S), Harvey (S) and Capel (S) experienced continuing strong growth.

  • Various regional centres throughout inland Australia continued to gain population during 2004-05, such as the New South Wales LGAs of Maitland (C) and Queanbeyan (C), the Victorian LGAs of Ballarat (C) and Greater Bendigo (C), the Queensland LGA of Toowoomba (C) and the South Australian LGA of Murray Bridge (RC).

  • The largest decline in population in 2004-05 occurred in the Perth LGA of Joondalup (C), which decreased by 760 people, followed by the Sydney LGAs of Canterbury (C) and Marrickville (A), which decreased by 660 and 640 people respectively. Stonnington (C) in Melbourne and Waverley (A) in Sydney recorded the fourth and fifth largest decreases in population, down 420 and 390 people respectively.
  • Of LGAs with populations greater than 2,000 people at June 2004, all of the 20 fastest decreasing LGAs in Australia in 2004-05 were located in state and territory balances (that is, those areas outside the capital city SDs). The fastest decreasing LGA was located in the balance of South Australia, with the LGA of Coober Pedy (DC) declining by 5.6%. The population of Katanning (S) in Western Australia recorded the second highest rate of population decline in 2004-05, decreasing by 3.8%, followed by the Queensland LGA of Mundubbera (S) (down 3.7%).