3218.0 - Regional Population Growth, Australia, 2004-05  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 23/02/2006   
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February 23, 2006
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)
Melbourne grows faster than Sydney in 2004-05

Melbourne's population grew faster than Sydney's during 2004-05 but Brisbane topped all capitals, according to regional population figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

During 2004-05, the population of Melbourne Statistical Division (SD) increased by 1.1%, or 41,300 people, while Sydney SD's population grew by 0.7% (29,800 people). Melbourne's population increase equates to an average of 790 people per week with Sydney recording an average increase of 570 people per week.

However, it is Brisbane SD which continues to have the highest growth rate of all of Australia's capital cities, its population increasing by 1.9% (33,300 people) over 2004-05.

The total population of South East Queensland, comprising Brisbane and the surrounding Moreton SD (which includes Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast), grew by 53,300 people during this period, or more than 1,000 people per week.

Outer suburban areas of capital cities continued to record large increases. In Melbourne, Wyndham increased by 7,900 people and Casey by 7,400 people, while in Sydney, Blacktown increased by 5,400 people and Baulkham Hills by 3,500 people. The largest population increase in Western Australia during 2004-05 was in the Perth Local Government Area (LGA) of Wanneroo (7,100 people).

A number of inner city areas also experienced large growth in 2004-05. The LGA of the city of Melbourne increased by 3,500 people while the city of Sydney increased by 2,400 people. The city of Perth recorded the highest rate of growth of all LGAs in Australia, up 13.1% (1,400 people).

Regional centres
Many coastal areas recorded strong growth. Mandurah and Busselton, both to the south of Perth, increased by 3,400 and 1,700 people respectively, while in Queensland, Cairns increased by 3,000 people and Caloundra increased by 2,800 people. Shoalhaven, on the south coast of New South Wales, increased by 2,000 people.

Inland regional centres such as Ballarat (up 1,800 people) and Greater Bendigo (up 1,500) in Victoria, Toowoomba (up 1,800) in Queensland, Maitland (up 1,700) in New South Wales and Albury-Wodonga (up 1,000) on the New South Wales/Victorian border, all continued to gain population.

Further information is in Regional Population Growth, Australia, 2004-05 (cat. no. 3218.0).


  • Sydney population 4,254,900, an increase of 29,800 people (0.7%).
  • Largest population increases in the outer-suburban LGAs of Blacktown (5,400 people), Baulkham Hills (3,500 people) and Liverpool (2,600).
  • Continued growth in most coastal areas, with Shoalhaven recording the largest increase (2,000) and Kempsey the fastest increase (2.4%) of NSW coastal LGAs.
  • Largest increases in inland NSW occurred in Maitland and Queanbeyan.
  • Melbourne population 3,634,200, an increase of 41,300 people (1.1%).
  • Largest growth occurred in the Melbourne suburban fringe LGAs of Wyndham (7,900 people), Casey (7,400 people) and Melton (4,900 people).
  • Wyndham (up 7.3%) overtakes Melton (up 6.9%) as the fastest growing LGA.
  • Regional growth in Greater Geelong (2,700 people), Ballarat (1,800 people) and Greater Bendigo (1,500 people).
  • Brisbane population 1,810,900, an increase of 33,300 people (1.9%). Brisbane's growth rate (1.9%) the highest of all capital cities.
  • Largest growth in the LGAs of Brisbane (13,300 people), Gold Coast (12,600 people), Ipswich (5,000 people) and Pine Rivers (4,800 people).
  • Coastal LGAs such as Maroochy (up 3,900 people), Cairns (3,000 people), Caloundra (2,800 people) and Townsville (2,700 people) increased.
  • Adelaide population 1,129,300, an increase of 6,100 people (0.5%).
  • Large increases in the Adelaide LGAs of Salisbury (2,100 people) and Onkaparinga (1,200 people), and the Outer Adelaide LGA of Mount Barker (620 people).
  • Continued growth in coastal LGAs of Alexandrina and Victor Harbor.
  • Perth population 1,477,800, an increase of 23,200 people (1.6%). The city of Perth was the fastest growing LGA in Australia (13.1% or 1,400 people).
  • Large increases in outer metropolitan LGAs of Wanneroo (7,100 people) and Rockingham (3,400 people).
  • Mandurah, south of Perth, also experienced significant growth (3,400 people).
  • Greater Hobart population up 1,500 people (0.7%).
  • Launceston recorded the largest increase (950 people) of Tasmanian LGAs, followed by Kingborough (560 people).
  • Darwin population 111,300, an increase of 1,900 people (1.7%).
  • Stuart Park continues to be Darwin's largest growing suburb (up 530 people).
  • Population of 324,800, an increase of 1,000 people (0.3%).
  • Growth continued in Gungahlin-Hall Statistical Subdivision Balance (780 people), and the inner suburbs of Turner (350 people) and Barton (310 people).