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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State summary

Population change in Sydney

Population change in the remainder of NSW

Population density

Centre of population

Local government area populations


At June 2010, the estimated resident population of New South Wales (NSW) reached 7.23 million people, representing around one-third of Australia's population. NSW experienced the largest population growth of all Australian states and territories with an increase of 105,400 people since June 2009. The state's growth rate of 1.5% in 2009-10, was slightly higher than its average annual growth rate of 1.4% for the five years to June 2010. However, the NSW growth rate in 2009-10 was lower than the national figure of 1.7%. NSW had the third slowest growth rate behind South Australia and Tasmania.

SLA POPULATION CHANGE, New South Wales - 2009-10
Diagram: SLA POPULATION CHANGE, New South Wales—2009-10


In the year to June 2010, the population of Sydney SD increased by 75,600 people to reach 4.58 million, the largest capital city population in Australia. Sydney SD represented 63% of the total state population and had the highest annual growth rate (1.7%) of any SD in NSW. However, Sydney SD had the third slowest growth rate of all capital cities in Australia, after Adelaide and Hobart.

The ten LGAs with the largest growth in NSW in 2009-10 were all within Sydney SD. Blacktown (C) in Sydney's west recorded the largest increase (8,300 people), followed by the neighbouring LGA of Parramatta (C) (5,100). Large population growth also occurred in Sydney (C) (4,500), The Hills Shire (A) and Liverpool (C) (both 3,400). All 43 LGAs in Sydney SD increased in population, although Hunter's Hill (A) in lower northern Sydney, and Burwood (A) in the inner west both grew by less than 200 people.

In 2009-10, the five fastest-growing LGAs in NSW were all within Sydney SD. These included Canada Bay (A) (3.7%), Parramatta (C) (3.0%) and Auburn (C) (2.8%), all located along the Parramatta River in inner western and central western Sydney. Camden (A) (2.9%) in the outer south-west and Blacktown (C) (2.8%) in western Sydney also recorded fast population growth.


ERP at 30 June
Population Change


Blacktown (C)
307 800
8 300
Parramatta (C)
172 300
5 100
Sydney (C)
182 200
4 500
The Hills Shire (A)
179 700
3 400
Liverpool (C)
185 500
3 400


Canada Bay (A)
78 700
2 800
Parramatta (C)
172 300
5 100
Camden (A)
56 800
1 600
Auburn (C)
78 600
2 200
Blacktown (C)
307 800
8 300


At June 2010, the population in the remainder of NSW beyond Sydney was 2.66 million people (37% of the NSW population), an increase of 29,800 people since June 2009. The Hunter SD, on the coast north of Sydney, continued to experience the largest population increase of all SDs in the remainder of NSW (up 8,000 people). The next largest increases were recorded for the coastal SDs of Illawarra (up 5,400) and Mid-North Coast (4,000), and South Eastern SD (3,300) which borders the Australian Capital Territory (ACT).

In 2009-10, South Eastern SD also recorded the fastest growth rate (1.5%), followed by Illawarra and Mid-North Coast (both 1.3%)

The Far West was the only SD in NSW to experience a population decline in 2009-10, losing nearly 130 people. In addition, the inland SDs of Murray, North Western, and Murrumbidgee all recorded annual growth rates below 1.0%.

Coastal Change

At June 2010, around 20% of the NSW population (1.42 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 16,500 people (1.2%) between June 2009 and June 2010.

More than one-third of coastal LGAs had population increases of over 1,100 people for the 12 months ending June 2010. Wollongong (C) in the Illawarra region had the largest population (203,500 people) and the largest growth (up 2,300 people). The next largest population growth was recorded in Lake Macquarie (C) (1,800), Newcastle (C) (1,500) in the Hunter region, and Port Macquarie-Hastings (A) (1,300) on the mid-north coast. Bellingen (A) and Kempsey (A) on the mid-north coast experienced both the smallest population growth (increasing by 100 and 140 respectively) and the slowest growth (0.7% and 0.5% respectively).

All 21 NSW coastal LGAs continued to experience population increases in 2009-10, with three LGAs exceeding the state figure of 1.5% growth. Located on the NSW north coast, Port Stephens (A), Coffs Harbour (C) and Port Macquarie-Hastings (A) had the fastest population growth, all increasing by 1.7%.

Inland Population Change

At June 2010, around 17% of the NSW population (1.23 million people) lived in inland LGAs (outside Sydney SD). Combined, the population of these inland LGAs grew by 13,300 people (1.1%) between June 2009 and June 2010.

The majority of inland LGAs in NSW recorded population growth in 2009-10. Maitland (C) in the Hunter region continued to experience the largest population increase of all inland LGAs (up 1,200 people). Other inland LGAs with large population increases included Tamworth Regional (A) (1,000) in northern NSW, Cessnock (C) (920) in the Hunter region and Queanbeyan (C) (810) on the ACT border.

In 2009-10, almost one-sixth of NSW inland LGAs had growth rates above the state figure of 1.5%. The fastest-growing inland LGAs in NSW were Yass Valley (A) (2.8%), Palerang (A) (2.2%) and Queanbeyan (C) (2.0%). These areas all share borders with the ACT, where people may commute for work.

All population decreases in NSW continued to occur in inland LGAs during 2009-10. The largest decline in Australia was recorded for the NSW mining town of Broken Hill (C) (down 120 people) in the far west. Over half of all inland LGAs in NSW experiencing a decline in population were located near the Murray River on the NSW/Victorian border. Continued drought during most of 2009-10, particularly in Murray SD, and changes in the mining and agriculture sectors may have contributed to these declines.


The population density of NSW at June 2010 was 9.0 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, slightly higher than that for all Australian capital cities combined (370).

Six of the ten most densely populated SLAs in Australia at 30 June 2010 were located in Sydney SD, with the highest population density recorded in inner-city Sydney (C) - East (8,800 people per sq km). Sydney (C) - West (7,900) also in the inner-city and Waverley (A) (7,500) which contains the eastern beach-side suburbs of Bondi and Bronte, also had population densities amongst the highest in the country.

In 2009-10, the largest increases in population density in NSW occurred in the inner-city SLA of Sydney (C) - South and Canada Bay (A) - Concord in the inner west (both up 190 people per sq km). These were followed by the SLAs of Sydney (C) - West (up 170) and Parramatta (C) - South (up 150).

At 30 June 2010, SLAs with the lowest population densities within Sydney SD were the outer western areas of Wollondilly (A) (17 people per sq km), Hawkesbury (C) (23) and Blue Mountains (C) (54). These three SLAs combined comprise 56% of the total Sydney SD area and include several national parks, nature reserves and state conservation areas.

Diagram: POPULATION DENSITY, Sydney SD—June 2010


The centre of population for NSW at June 2010 was near the Hawkesbury River in the LGA of The Hills Shire (A). Between June 2005 and June 2010, the centre moved approximately 1.2 kilometres east. This reflects strong population growth along the NSW coast.

At June 2010, the centre of population of Sydney SD was in the suburb of Ermington, just north of the Parramatta River.


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