3218.0 - Regional Population Growth, Australia, 2009-10 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 31/03/2011   
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31 March 2011
Embargo: 11.30 am (Canberra time)

Population growth in most capital cities slows

After climbing steadily since 2003-04, the rate of population growth in Australian capital cities slowed in 2009-10, according to estimates released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Overall, the growth rate of Australian capital cities dropped from 2.2% in 2008-09 to 1.8% in 2009-10. This slowdown occurred in all capital cities except Adelaide, Canberra and Hobart, where growth rates remained stable and among the highest they have been in years.

Darwin's growth slowed the most (down from 3.2% in 2008-09 to 2.1%), followed by Perth (from 3.2% to 2.3%).

Much of the country's strongest population growth continued to be concentrated in capital cities. The combined population of Australian capital cities increased by 257,800 people and accounted for over two-thirds of Australia's population growth.

The largest growth occurred in Melbourne, which increased by 79,000 people to reach the population milestone of 4 million. Sydney increased by 75,600 people, Brisbane by 39,000 and Perth by 37,500.

Growth in outer suburbs

The outer suburbs of capital cities were again areas of rapid population growth. The four fastest-growing Local Government Areas (LGAs) in Australia were on the outer-suburban fringes of Melbourne: Wyndham (up 8.8%), Melton (7.1%), Cardinia (6.7%) and Whittlesea (6.1%).

Wyndham also experienced the largest growth in Victoria (increasing by 12,600 people). Other LGAs on the outskirts of capital cities that had large growth include Blacktown in Sydney (up 8,300 people), Wanneroo in Perth (6,000) and Ipswich in Brisbane (5,800).

State and territory growth

New South Wales

  • Sydney reached 4.58 million people, an increase of 75,600 (1.7%), and continued to be the most populated capital city in Australia.
  • In 2009-10, nine of the ten fastest-growing LGAs in New South Wales were within Sydney, including Canada Bay (3.7%) in the inner west, Parramatta (3.0%) in central western Sydney and Camden (2.9%) in the outer south-west.

  • Melbourne's growth of 79,000 people was the largest of all Australian capital cities in 2009-10.
  • The LGA of Wyndham, located on the western suburban fringe of Melbourne, experienced the largest and fastest growth (12,600 people or 8.8%) of all Victorian LGAs.

  • The three most populous LGAs in Australia, Brisbane, Gold Coast and Moreton Bay, recorded three of the four largest increases in population in 2009-10. Brisbane increased by 14,800 people, the Gold Coast by 12,900, and Moreton Bay by 11,100.
  • Outside of south-east Queensland, the LGA of Townsville reported the largest growth in the year to June 2010, with an increase of 4,000 people (2.2%).

South Australia
  • Playford, in the northern suburbs of Adelaide, and Alexandrina on the Fleurieu Peninsula, were the fastest-growing LGAs in the state, both increasing by 3.0%.
  • During 2009-10, the LGAs with the largest population growth in the state were Onkaparinga in Adelaide's southern suburbs and Salisbury in the north, which both increased by 2,400 people.

Western Australia
  • Strong population growth continued in the outer suburban fringes.
  • Together, just five LGAs (Wanneroo, Rockingham, Stirling, Swan and Armadale) accounted for more than one-third of the growth across the state in the year to June 2010.

  • Tasmania's population grew by 4,400 people in 2009-10 to 507,600.
  • Latrobe (up 4.2%) in the north and Brighton (3.5%) were the fastest-growing LGAs. The LGAs with the largest growth were Clarence (up 800), Kingborough (710) and Brighton (550), all within commuting distance of Hobart.

Northern Territory
  • Litchfield and Palmerston were the fastest-growing LGAs in the Northern Territory increasing by 2.9% and 2.6% respectively.
  • Outside of Darwin, the fastest-growing LGAs were Victoria-Daly (2.2%), East Arnhem (1.8%) and Roper Gulf (1.8%).

Australian Capital Territory
  • In 2009-10, population growth was largest in northern suburban Canberra, especially in Franklin (870 people), Macgregor (800), Forde (380) and Harrison (380).
  • For the third year in a row, the combined population of the north (185,000 people) was greater than the south (173,500).

For further information see Regional Population Growth, Australia, 2009-10 (cat. no. 3218.0).

Media notes:
1) Unless otherwise stated, capital cities mentioned in this release are defined as Statistical Divisions.
2) When reporting ABS data you must attribute the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or the ABS) as the source.