3218.0 - Regional Population Growth, Australia and New Zealand, 2003-04  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 23/03/2005   
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March 23, 2005
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)
South- East QLD has Highest Population Growth in 2003-04
Media Note: These annual regional population figures are as at June 2004. Tomorrow, September quarter 2004 state and territory population estimates will be released in Australian Demographic Statistics, September Quarter 2004 (cat. no. 3101.0). Media are alerted to the two different time periods to avoid confusion in upcoming reporting.

South-East Queensland had the highest population growth in Australia during 2003-04, according to regional population figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

The cities of Brisbane and Gold Coast grew by 17,600 and 13,200 people respectively, the two largest increases in population of all Local Government Areas (LGAs) in Australia.

Brisbane and Moreton Statistical Divisions (SD) together increased by 61,900 people, equating to an average increase of just under 1,200 people per week.

In comparison, the resident population of Melbourne (SD) increased by an average 860 people per week (44,800 people in 2003-04), Sydney SD increased by 640 people per week (33,500 people), and Perth SD increased by 500 people per week (26,100 people).

Outer suburban areas of capital cities continued to record large increases. In Melbourne, Casey increased by 8,700 people and Wyndham by 8,400 people, while in Sydney, Blacktown increased by 5,500 people and Baulkham Hills by 3,500 people. The largest population increase in Western Australia during 2003-04 occurred in the Perth LGA of Wanneroo (6,700 people).

A number of inner city areas experienced large growth in 2003-04. The LGA of the city of Sydney increased by 5,100 people while the city of Melbourne increased by 3,700 people. The city of Perth recorded the highest rate of growth of all LGAs in Australia, up 12.1% (1,100 people).

Many coastal areas also recorded strong growth. In New South Wales the LGAs of Tweed and Hastings increased by 1,700 and 1,300 people respectively, while in Queensland Cairns increased by 2,800 people and Hervey Bay increased by 2,600 people. Mandurah, to the south of Perth in Western Australia, increased by 4,300 people.

Inland regional centres such as Maitland (up 1,000 people) in New South Wales, Albury-Wodonga (up 1,600 people) on the New South Wales/Victorian border, Greater Bendigo and Ballarat (up 1,700 and 1,300 people respectively) in Victoria, and Toowoomba (up 1,400 people) in Queensland, all continued to gain population.

Further information is in Regional Population Growth, Australia and New Zealand, 2003-04 (cat. no. 3218.0).


  • Sydney population 4,232,100, an increase of 33,500 people (0.8%).
  • Largest population increases in the LGAs of Blacktown (5,500 people), Sydney (5,100 people) and Baulkham Hills (3,500 people).
  • Continued growth in most coastal areas, with Tweed recording the largest and fastest increase (1,700 people, or 2.2%) of NSW coastal LGAs.
  • Largest increases in inland NSW occurred in Maitland and Greater Queanbeyan.

  • Melbourne population 3,600,100, an increase of 44,800 people (1.3%).
  • Largest growth in Victoria occurred in the Melbourne suburban fringe LGAs of Casey (8,700 people), Wyndham (8,400 people) and Melton (5,900 people).
  • Growth was recorded in the regional centres of Greater Geelong (2,800 people), Greater Bendigo (1,700 people) and Ballarat (1,300 people).
  • Growth in both Bass Coast and Surf Coast slowed in 2003-04.

  • Brisbane population 1,774,900, an increase of 39,700 people (2.3%).
  • Brisbane's growth rate (2.3%) was the highest of all capital cities.
  • Largest growth was in the LGAs of Brisbane (17,600 people), Gold Coast (13,200 people), Caboolture (5,500 people) and Pine Rivers (5,300 people).
  • Coastal LGAs such as Cairns (2,800 people), Hervey Bay (2,600 people), Townsville (2,000 people) and Thuringowa (1,500 people) increased.

  • Adelaide population 1,124,300, an increase of 5,200 people (0.5%).
  • Largest increases in the Adelaide LGAs of Salisbury (2,100 people) and Onkaparinga (660 people), and Outer Adelaide LGA of Alexandrina (710 people).

  • Perth population 1,457,600, an increase of 26,100 people (1.8%).
  • Large increases in outer metropolitan LGAs of Wanneroo (6,700 people) and Rockingham (3,200 people).
  • The city of Perth was the fastest growing LGA in Australia (12.1%, or 1,100 people).
  • Mandurah, south of Perth, also experienced significant growth (4,300 people).

  • Greater Hobart population up 2,200 people (1.1%) to reach the 200,000 mark (202,100 people) for the first time.
  • Launceston recorded the largest increase (670 people) of Tasmanian LGAs, followed by Kingborough (630 people).

  • Darwin population 109,500, an increase of 1,400 people (1.3%).
  • The Darwin suburb of Stuart Park recorded the largest increase in population (470 people).

  • Population of 324,000, an increase of 660 people (0.2%).
  • Growth continued on the suburban outskirts of Canberra, with Gungahlin-Hall Statistical Sub-Division Balance up 1,300 people, Dunlop up 730 people and Amaroo up 630 people.
  • The inner northern suburb of Turner increased by 550 people.