3218.0 - Regional Population Growth, Australia and New Zealand, 2002-03  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 12/03/2004   
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March 12, 2004
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)
Population up in Capital City fringes and the coast
Media Note: More recent quarterly state and territory population figures will be released next Thursday, 18 March 2004 in Australian Demographic Statistics, September Quarter 2003 (cat. no. 3101). The annual regional population information presented below is at June 2003. Media are alerted to the two different time periods to avoid confusion in upcoming reporting of population figures.

The outer areas of capital cities and coastal Australia experienced the highest population growth in 2002-03, according to regional population figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The outer Melbourne suburban Local Government Area (LGA) of Melton recorded Australia's highest annual growth rate during 2002–03 of 11.8% (6,900 people). Other large growth areas within Melbourne occurred in the fringe LGAs of Casey and Wyndham (up 10,900 and 7,300 people respectively). In Sydney, the outer LGAs of Baulkham Hills and Blacktown also experienced large growth (up 4,100 and 3,400 people).

Behind Brisbane City (up 20,800 people), the City of Gold Coast in Queensland recorded the second largest increase in population of all LGAs (up 16,100 people). In New South Wales, the largest increases in coastal population occurred in Tweed (up 2,100 people), Hastings (up 1,400 people) and Port Stephens (up 1,300 people).

While in Victoria, Bass Coast (up 960 people) and Surf Coast (up 550 people) had the largest gains. Western Australia also experienced continuing strong growth with the coastal regions of Mandurah (up 3,600 people), and Busselton (up 700 people) increasing.

The inland regional centres of NSW LGAs Maitland and Queanbeyan (up 1,200 and 1,100 people respectively), the statistical district of Albury-Wodonga (up 1,200 people) on the New South Wales/Victorian border, and the Victorian LGAs of Greater Bendigo and Ballarat (up 1,500 and 1,400 people respectively) all continued to gain population.

The largest decline in population occurred in the Sydney LGA of Canterbury, which decreased by 1,100 people, followed by Whitehorse and Monash, both in Melbourne (down 800 and 600 people respectively), Waverley and Marrickville both in Sydney (each down 500 people).

Many of Australia's inner city areas experienced high levels of growth. The LGA of Melbourne recorded an annual growth rate of 7.9%, while the LGAs of Perth and Sydney increased by 7.2% and 5.9% respectively.

Further information is in Regional Population Growth, Australia and New Zealand, 2002-03 (cat. no. 3218.0).


  • Population of 19.9 million, up 240,500 people.

  • Population of 6,686,600.
  • Sydney population 4,201,500, up 34,500 people.
  • Largest population increases in the LGAs of Sydney (up 4,500 people), Baulkham Hills (up 4,100 people), and Blacktown (up 3,400).
  • Populations of all coastal areas increased.
  • Regional centres including Maitland, Queanbeyan and Albury grew.

  • Population of 4,917,400.
  • Melbourne population 3,559,700, up 46,600 people.
  • Largest growth was in the Melbourne suburban fringe LGAs of Casey (up 10,900 people), Wyndham (up 7,300 people) and Melton (up 6,900 people).
  • Melton recorded highest growth rate of all local government areas in Australia, up 11.8%.
  • Growth was recorded in regional centres of Geelong (up 2,500 people), Bendigo (up 1,500 people) and Ballarat (up 1,400 people).

  • Population of 3,796,800.
  • Brisbane population 1,733,200, up 42,700 people.
  • Brisbane's growth rate was 2.5% in 2002-03, highest of all capital cities.
  • Largest growth was in the LGAs of Brisbane (up 20,800 people), Gold Coast (up 16,100 people), Pine Rivers (up 6,200 people) and Maroochy (up 4,900 people).

  • Population of 1,527,400.
  • Adelaide population 1,119,900, up 6,200 people.
  • Largest increases in Adelaide LGAs of Salisbury (up 1,400 people) and Onkaparinga (up 900 people).

  • Population of 1,952,300.
  • Perth population 1,433,200, up 21,600 people.
  • Large increases in outer metropolitan LGAs of Wanneroo (up 5,500 people), Rockingham (up 2,600 people), and Gosnells and Swan (both up 2,300 people).
  • There was also significant growth in the LGA of Mandurah (up 3,600 people).

  • Population of 477,100.
  • Hobart population 199,900, up 2,000 people.
  • The LGA of Launceston recorded the largest population increase (up 760 people), followed by Kingborough (up 620 people) and Hobart (up 590 people).

  • Population of 198,400.
  • Darwin population 107,900, up 170 people.
  • Darwin suburbs of Stuart Park and Palmerston Balance recorded the largest increases in population, up 330 people and 250 people respectively.

  • Population of 322,900.
  • Gungahlin-Hall area in the north-west of the ACT was the main growth area, up 1,800 people with Amaroo increasing by 730 people, Gungahlin-Hall Statistical Sub-Division Balance (up 600 people) and Nicolls (up 500 people).