3218.0 - Regional Population Growth, Australia, 2010-11 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 30/03/2012   
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State summary

Population change in Sydney

Population change in the remainder of NSW

Population density

Centre of population

Local government area populations


At June 2011, the estimated resident population of New South Wales (NSW) reached 7.30 million people, representing around one-third of Australia's population. NSW experienced the second largest population growth of all Australian states and territories, with an increase of 82,200 people since June 2010. However, the state's growth rate (1.1%) in 2010-11 was lower than its average annual growth rate for the five years to June 2011 (1.4%). The NSW growth rate in 2010-11 was also lower than the national figure of 1.4%.

SLA POPULATION CHANGE, New South Wales - 2010-11
Diagram: SLA POPULATION CHANGE, New South Wales—2010–11


In the year to June 2011, the population of Sydney SD increased by 59,800 people to reach 4.63 million, remaining the largest capital city population in Australia. Sydney SD represented 63% of the total state population and had the highest annual growth rate (1.3%) of any SD in NSW.

The eleven LGAs with the largest growth in NSW in 2010-11 were all within Sydney SD. Blacktown (C) in Sydney's west recorded the largest increase (5,800 people), followed by the neighbouring LGA of Parramatta (C) (4,300). Large population growth also occurred in Sydney (C) (3,500), Liverpool (C) (3,400) and the adjacent Bankstown (C) (3,000). All 43 LGAs in Sydney SD increased in population, although Hunter's Hill (A) in lower northern Sydney and Strathfield (A) in the inner west both grew by less than 200 people.

In 2010-11, the six fastest-growing LGAs in NSW were all within Sydney SD. These included Canada Bay (A) (3.0%), Parramatta (C) (2.5%) and Auburn (C) (2.4%), all located along the Parramatta River in inner western and central western Sydney. Camden (A) (2.8%) in outer south-west Sydney and Manly (A) (2.2%) on the northern beaches also had fast population growth.


ERP at 30 June
Population Change


Blacktown (C)
313 100
5 800
Parramatta (C)
176 400
4 300
Sydney (C)
185 400
3 500
Liverpool (C)
188 600
3 400
Bankstown (C)
191 500
3 000


Canada Bay (A)
81 000
2 400
Camden (A)
58 300
1 600
Parramatta (C)
176 400
4 300
Auburn (C)
80 400
1 900
Manly (A)
42 800


At June 2011, the population in the remainder of NSW beyond Sydney SD was 2.67 million people (37% of the NSW population), an increase of 22,400 people (0.8%) since June 2010. Hunter SD, on the coast north of Sydney, continued to experience the largest population increase of all SDs in the remainder of NSW (up 8,100 people). The next largest increases were recorded in the coastal SDs of Illawarra (up 3,500) and Mid-North Coast (2,700), followed by the inland SD of Central West (1,800) which incorporates the Bathurst-Orange region.

In 2010-11, Hunter SD (1.2%) and Central West (1.0%) also had the fastest growth rates in the remainder of NSW.

The Far West, which includes the LGA of Broken Hill (C), was the only SD in NSW to experience population decline in 2010-11, losing 80 people. In addition, the inland SDs of Murray and North Western both recorded annual growth rates below 0.5%.

Coastal Change

At June 2011, around 20% of the NSW population (1.43 million people) lived in coastal LGAs (LGAs with a boundary adjoining the sea) outside Sydney SD. Combined, the population of these coastal LGAs grew by 12,300 people (0.9%) between June 2010 and June 2011.

All 21 NSW coastal LGAs continued to experience population increases in 2010-11, with almost one-half recording growth of more than 500 people during this period. The largest population growth outside Sydney SD was in the coastal LGAs of Lake Macqaurie (C) and neighbouring Newcastle (C), both up 1,800 people and both in the Hunter region. The next largest population increases occurred in Shoalhaven (C) (1,300) and Wollongong (C) (890) both in the Illawarra region, followed by Port Macquarie-Hastings (A) (860) and Port Stephens (C) (800) both located on the NSW north coast. Bellingen (A) and the adjacent LGA of Nambucca (A), both on the mid-north coast, experienced the smallest population growth (increasing by 60 and 80 people respectively).

Located on the NSW south coast, Shoalhaven (C) and the neighbouring LGA of Kiama (A) both had the fastest population growth at 1.3%. The next fastest population growth occurred in the northern coastal LGAs of Greater Taree (C), Port Stephens (C) and Newcastle (C), all increasing by 1.2%.

Inland Population Change

At June 2011, around 17% of the NSW population (1.24 million people) lived in inland LGAs (outside Sydney SD). The combined population growth of these inland LGAs was 10,100 people (0.8%) between June 2010 and June 2011.

More than two-thirds of inland LGAs in NSW recorded population growth in 2010-11. Maitland (C) (up 1,500 people) and Cessnock (C) (990), both in the Hunter region, experienced the largest population increases of all inland LGAs. Other inland LGAs with large population increases included the regional centres of Tamworth Regional (A) (810) in northern NSW, Orange (C) (800) in the central west, and Wagga Wagga (C) (520) in the Riverina.

Nine of the ten fastest growing LGAs outside the Sydney SD were in inland NSW, led by Maitland (2.1%) in the Hunter region and Orange (C) (2.0%) in central western NSW. The next fastest growing inland LGAs were Gloucester (A) and Cessnock (C) also in the Hunter region and Yass Valley (A) on the border of the Australian Capital Territory (all 1.9%).

All population decreases in NSW continued to occur in inland LGAs during 2010-11, and almost nine in ten inland LGAs had growth rates below the NSW rate of 1.1%. The largest decline in NSW was in the western LGA of Wellington (A) (down 140 people), which coincides with a decrease in the prisoner population in this area. The second largest population decline in NSW was in the far west mining city of Broken Hill (C) (down 80 people). During 2010-11, more than four out of five inland LGAs in NSW experiencing a decline in population were in agricultural areas recovering from drought in the Murray and Murrumbidgee SDs, and in north-western NSW.


The population density of NSW at June 2011 was 9.1 people per square kilometre (sq km), the third highest of all states and territories. The population density of Sydney SD was 380 people per sq km, equal to that for all Australian capital cities combined.

Six of the ten most densely populated SLAs in Australia at 30 June 2011 were in Sydney SD, with the highest population density recorded in Sydney (C) - East (8,900 people per sq km), which incorporates the inner-city suburbs of Surry Hills, Darlinghurst and Potts Point. Sydney (C) - West (8,000) also in the inner-city and Waverley (A) (7,600) which contains the beach-side suburbs of Bondi and Bronte, also had population densities amongst the highest in the country.

In 2010-11, the largest increases in population density in NSW occurred in the inner-city SLA of Sydney (C) - Inner (up 200 people per sq km) and Canada Bay (A) - Concord (150) in the inner west. These were followed by the SLAs of Sydney (C) - South (containing the suburbs of Redfern, Waterloo and Alexandria), and Sydney (C) - East (both up 120).

At 30 June 2011, SLAs with the lowest population densities within Sydney SD were the outer areas of Wollondilly (A) (18 people per sq km), Hawkesbury (C) (23) and Blue Mountains (C) (55). Combined, these three SLAs comprise 56% of the total Sydney SD area and include several national parks, nature reserves and state conservation areas.

Diagram: POPULATION DENSITY BY SLA, Sydney SD—June 2011


The centre of population for NSW at June 2011 was near the banks of the Hawkesbury River in the LGA of The Hills Shire (A). Between June 2006 and June 2011, the centre moved approximately 1.3 kilometres south-east. This reflects strong population growth in Sydney and along the NSW coast.

At June 2011, the centre of population of Sydney SD was just north of Parramatta River, in the suburb of Ermington.


For a full list of LGA populations, see the Downloads tab.