3218.0 - Regional Population Growth, Australia, 2011-12 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 30/04/2013   
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State summary

Population change in Greater Sydney

Population change in the remainder of NSW

Population density

Centre of population


At June 2012, the estimated resident population of New South Wales (NSW) was 7.29 million people. Between 2011 and 2012, the NSW population increased by 78,900 people (or 1.1%). This was the third largest growth of all states and territories, behind Victoria and Queensland.

SA2 POPULATION CHANGE, New South Wales - 2011-12
Diagram: SA2 POPULATION CHANGE, New South Wales—2011-12


At June 2012, just under two-thirds of NSW's population (4.67 million people) resided in Greater Sydney. Population growth in Greater Sydney accounted for 78% of the state's total growth in the year to 2012.

The largest growth in Greater Sydney in 2011-12 was in the SA4 of Sydney - Parramatta, which grew by 9,400 people. Sydney - Inner South West and Sydney - City and Inner South also showed high growth, adding 6,900 and 5,400 people respectively. Central Coast's population grew by 2,500 people over the same period.

Growth in Greater Sydney

From June 2011 to June 2012, nine of the ten SA2s with the largest population increases in NSW were within Greater Sydney. The largest increase was in Parklea - Kellyville Ridge, in the north-west growth corridor, which grew by 2,300 people to 25,400. Large growth also occurred in Concord West - North Strathfield (up 1,100 people), Homebush Bay - Silverwater (1,100) and Auburn (800), all located in and around Sydney Olympic Park. Inner-city growth was also apparent in Sydney - Haymarket - The Rocks (up 900 people) and Waterloo - Beaconsfield (800). The largest growth on the Central Coast was in Warnervale - Wadalba, which grew by 390 people.

Greater Sydney also contained eight out of the ten fastest-growing SA2s in NSW. Parklea - Kellyville Ridge was the fastest-growing, at 10%, followed by Cobbitty - Leppington (9.6%) in Sydney's south-west, Homebush Bay - Silverwater (9.0%), Concord West - North Strathfield (5.8%), and Arncliffe - Bardwell Valley (4.6%) in the inner south-west.


ERP at 30 June
Population Change


Parklea - Kellyville Ridge
25 400
2 300
Concord West - North Strathfield
20 200
1 100
Homebush Bay - Silverwater
13 100
1 100
Sydney - Haymarket - The Rocks
25 900
Maitland - West
19 700


Parklea - Kellyville Ridge
25 400
2 300
Cobbitty - Leppington
7 200
Homebush Bay - Silverwater
13 100
1 100
Concord West - North Strathfield
20 200
1 100
Arncliffe - Bardwell Valley
16 300

Population decline in Greater Sydney

A small number of SA2s in Greater Sydney declined in population between June 2011 and June 2012. The largest losses were in Holsworthy - Wattle Grove (down 280 people) in the south-west, St Clair (down 200) in the outer west, and Claymore - Eagle Vale - Raby (down 180) in the outer south-west.


At June 2012, just over one-third of NSW residents lived outside Greater Sydney. The population in the remainder of NSW increased by 17,600 people in the year to 2012, to reach 2.62 million.

The Hunter Valley (exc Newcastle) SA4 had the largest and fastest population increase in the remainder of NSW (up 4,500 people or 1.8%) in 2011-12. The next largest increase was in adjacent Newcastle and Lake Macquarie (up 3,100 people), followed by Central West (2,100) and Capital Region (1,600). The only SA4 to decline was Coffs Harbour - Grafton on the mid-north coast, down 90 people.

Newcastle and Wollongong

The SA4s immediately north and south of Greater Sydney, Newcastle and Lake Macquarie, and Illawarra, had strong growth in the year to June 2012.

In Newcastle and Lake Macquarie, the largest and fastest growth between 2011 and 2012 was in the SA2 of Edgeworth - Cameron Park (up 400 people or 3.4%). Adjacent Glendale - Cardiff - Hillsborough in the north-west of Lake Macquarie also grew by 400 people, followed by inner-city Newcastle - Cooks Hill (300). The largest decline was in West Wallsend - Barnsley - Killingworth (down 40 people).

In Illawarra, the largest and fastest growth occurred in Shellharbour - Flinders (up 320 people or 2.3%) in the south. The next largest increases were in inner-city Wollongong (up 280 people) and Woonona - Bulli - Russell Vale (220) in the north. The largest population loss was in Unanderra - Mount Kembla (down 40 people).

Coastal and hinterland change

Outside of Greater Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong, the largest growth in coastal and coastal hinterland areas in the 12 months to June 2012 was in the Maitland - West SA2 in the Lower Hunter Valley (up 810 people), followed by nearby Maitland - East (440) and Cessnock (300). Port Macquarie - East (up 260 people) had the largest growth on the mid-north coast while St Georges Basin - Erowal Bay (140) had the largest growth on the south coast.

The north coast SA2s of Urunga and Evans Head had the largest population losses for this period (down 90 and 70 people respectively).

Inland change

Population growth in inland NSW was predominantly in regional centres. The largest growth between June 2011 and June 2012 was in the SA2 of Orange - North (up 410 people) while the fastest growth was in Mudgee (up 3.1%). Large growth was also recorded in Goulburn and Bathurst (both up 280 people) followed by Tamworth - East (270), Muswellbrook (260) and Orange (260). The largest declines were in Lavington (down 140 people) near Albury, Wagga Wagga - West (down 90) and Broken Hill (down 60).

Of the remaining mainly rural SA2s, large growth was recorded near the Australian Capital Territory, in the Hunter Valley and in the Central West. The largest rural growth was in Yass Region (up 290 people) followed by Scone Region (190), Orange Region (190), Mudgee Region - West (170) and Queanbeyan Region (150). These areas generally surround established urban centres and/or contain substantial mining developments. Just over one-third of predominantly rural SA2s reported population losses. The largest losses were in Bathurst Region (down 130 people), followed by Coonabarabran (down 100) in north-west NSW, and Narrandera (down 60) in the Riverina.


The population density of NSW at June 2012 was 9.1 people per square kilometre (sq km). In Greater Sydney, the population density was 380 people per sq km.

Eight of the ten most densely populated SA2s in Australia were in Greater Sydney, with the top four located around the Sydney central business district. The highest population densities were in inner-city Pyrmont - Ultimo (13,900 people per sq km), Potts Point - Woolloomooloo (13,600), Darlinghurst (13,200) and Surry Hills (13,100), and reflect inner-city urban consolidation. The largest increases in population densities in NSW between 2011 and 2012 were in Darlinghurst (up 370 people per sq km), Pyrmont - Ultimo (360) and Surry Hills (310).

In the remainder of NSW, the highest population densities were recorded in the Newcastle SA2s of Newcastle - Cooks Hill (2,800 people per sq km) and Waratah - North Lambton (2,400), as well as Wollongong (2,700). In the remainder of NSW, 31 SA2s had population densities of less than one person per sq km, with eight of these located in the state's Far West and Orana region.

POPULATION DENSITY BY SA2, Greater Sydney - June 2012
Diagram: POPULATION DENSITY BY SA2, Greater Sydney—June 2012


The centre of population for NSW at June 2012 was near the banks of the Hawkesbury River near Lower Portland.

At June 2012, the centre of population of Greater Sydney was just north of the Parramatta River, in the suburb of Ermington.