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Regional population

Statistics about the population and components of change (births, deaths, migration) for Australia's capital cities and regions

Reference period
2019-20 financial year

Key statistics

  • People living in the capitals increased by 245,300 (1.4%).
  • Capital city growth comprised overseas migration (162,800), natural increase (112,700) and internal migration (-30,200).
  • Melbourne had the largest growth (80,100 people), Brisbane had the highest growth rate (1.9%).
  • Regional Australia grew by 86,200 (1.1%).

Any reference to population refers to Estimated Resident Population (ERP).

Any reference to capital city refers to Greater Capital City Statistical Area (GCCSA), and any reference to area refers to Statistical Area Level 2 (SA2). 

Statistics in this release are impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Capital cities

Population change

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 ERP at 30 June 20202019-20 (no.)2019-20 (%)
Sydney5,367,20657,1071.1
Melbourne5,159,21180,0881.6
Brisbane2,560,72046,9141.9
Adelaide1,376,60116,1271.2
Perth2,125,11437,5591.8
Hobart238,8342,6101.1
Darwin147,231-184-0.1
Canberra431,3805,0951.2
Total capital cities17,406,297245,3161.4

 

Components of population change

Population change at the regional level has three main components: natural increase, overseas migration and internal migration. 

  • Net overseas migration was the major contributor to population change in Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, Adelaide and Hobart. 
  • Natural increase was the largest contributor to population change in Brisbane and Canberra.
  • Net internal migration loss was largest in Sydney, followed by Melbourne, Adelaide and Darwin. 
     
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Regions

The areas with the largest growth were:

  • Riverstone - Marsden Park (up by 8,900 people) in Sydney's outer north-west 
  • Cranbourne East (6,300) in Melbourne's outer south-east 
  • Cobbitty - Leppington (4,900) in Sydney's outer south-west
     

The areas with the highest growth rates were:  

  • Mickleham - Yuroke (up by 33%) in Melbourne's outer north 
  • Rockbank - Mount Cottrell (29%) in Melbourne's outer west
  • Riverstone - Marsden Park (28%)
     

Outside of the capital cities: 

  • Pimpama (up by 2,700 people) on Queensland's Gold Coast had the largest growth
  • Pimpama also had the highest growth rate (14%)
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Areas with the largest growth
SA2SA4ERP at 30 June 20202019-20 (no.)
Riverstone - Marsden ParkSydney - Blacktown40,7138,856
Cranbourne EastMelbourne - South East55,5106,292
Cobbitty - LeppingtonSydney - South West37,0434,897
Rouse Hill - Beaumont HillsSydney - Baulkham Hills and Hawkesbury36,0784,403
Mickleham - YurokeMelbourne - North West14,9213,688
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Areas with the highest growth rates
SA2(a)SA4ERP at 30 June 20202019-20 (%)
Mickleham - YurokeMelbourne - North West14,92132.8
Rockbank - Mount CottrellMelbourne - West11,37929.1
Riverstone - Marsden ParkSydney - Blacktown40,71327.8
WollertMelbourne - North East19,35420.3
RipleyIpswich9,75920.3
  1. Excludes SA2s with less than 1,000 people at June 2019.

 

Centre of population

Australia's centre of population: 

  • was 50 kilometres east of the small service town of Ivanhoe in western New South Wales, reflecting the concentration of population in south-east Australia 
  • moved less than 500 metres south-west in 2019-20, reflecting marginally stronger growth to the south and west
     

    Map showing Australia's Centre of Population, June 2019 and June 2020

    Map showing Australia's Centre of Population, June 2019 and June 2020

    Map showing Australia's Centre of Population, June 2019 and June 2020

    This is an image that shows the location of Australia’s centre of population on a map of Australia. The area of the centre of population is zoomed in to an SA2 level, showing the locations of the centre of population as at 30 June 2019 and 30 June 2020. These locations are situated in NSW, Far West SA2, north of Hay SA2.

    Population density

    Australia's population density at June 2020 was 3.3 people per square kilometre (sq km). 

    The most densely populated areas were: 

    • inner-city Melbourne (22,400 people per sq km)
    • Potts Point - Woolloomooloo (16,700) and Pyrmont - Ultimo (16,500), both in inner Sydney

    Population grid

    Population density can also be explored at a finer level by breaking Australia up into 1 km² grid cells.

    Grid cells can be grouped into population density classes, ranging from no population to very high.

    • Sydney had the largest combined area in the high and very high density classes (193 km²), followed by Melbourne (77 km²) and Brisbane (15 km²).  
    • Perth and Canberra (both 1 km²) were the only other capital cities to have areas in the high or very high density classes.
       
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    Total area (km²) in population density classes by capital city
     No populationVery lowLowMediumHighVery High
     (0)*(Less than 500)*(500-2000)*(2000-5000)*(5000-8000)*(More than 8000)*
    Sydney6,6363,88780084813558
    Melbourne2,0055,8969521,0746017
    Brisbane5,0119,612784428141
    Adelaide1922,36839629400
    Perth2,4902,79871740910
    Hobart4731,0891141800
    Darwin2,160941531800
    Canberra1,7783242015610

    * people per square kilometre

    New South Wales

    Population change

    Greater Sydney increased by 57,100 people (1.1%), the rest of the state increased by 23,000 (0.8%). 

    The areas with the largest growth were:

    • Riverstone - Marsden Park (up by 8,900 people) in Sydney's outer north-west
    • Cobbitty - Leppington (4,900) in Sydney's outer south-west 
    • Rouse Hill - Beaumont Hills (4,400), also in Sydney's north-west
       

    The areas with the highest growth rates were: 

    • Riverstone - Marsden Park (28%)
    • Cobbitty - Leppington (15%)
    • Rouse Hill - Beaumont Hills (14%)
       

    Components of population change

    • Riverstone - Marsden Park had the largest natural increase (960 people) and the largest net internal migration gain (7,800 people).
    • Parramatta - Rosehill, to the west of Sydney's city centre, had the largest net overseas migration gain (1,800 people).
       

    Centre of population

    The centre for New South Wales:

    • was near the Hawkesbury River at June 2020, in the suburb of Sackville North
    • moved 260 metres south-east over 2019-20, reflecting strong growth in Sydney and along the NSW coast
       

    The centre for Sydney: 

    • was in the Parramatta River at June 2020, close to the suburb of Ermington 
    • moved 90 metres west over 2019-20, led by strong population growth in the outer north-western and south-western suburbs 

    Population density

        The areas with the highest density at June 2020 all surrounded Sydney's central business district: 

        • Potts Point - Woolloomooloo (16,700 people per sq km)
        • Pyrmont - Ultimo (16,500) 
        • Darlinghurst (15,300)

        Victoria

        Population change

        Greater Melbourne increased by 80,100 people (1.6%), the rest of the state increased by 19,700 (1.3%). 

        The areas with the largest growth were:

        • Cranbourne East (up by 6,300 people) in Melbourne's outer south-east
        • Mickleham - Yuroke (3,700) and Wollert (3,300), both in Melbourne's outer north
           

        The areas with the highest growth rates were: 

        • Mickleham - Yuroke (33%)
        • Rockbank - Mount Cottrell (29%) in Melbourne's outer west
        • Wollert (20%)
           

        Components of population change

        • Cranbourne East had the largest natural increase (1,100 people) and the largest net internal migration gain (4,800 people).
        • Inner-city Melbourne had the largest net overseas migration gain (1,800 people).
           

        Centre of population

        The centre for Victoria:

        • was in the suburb of Coburg North at June 2020, north of Melbourne’s central business district
        • moved 140 metres south over 2019-20, towards Melbourne's central business district
           

        The centre for Melbourne: 

        • was in the suburb of Malvern at June 2020, near the Monash Freeway
        • moved 100 metres west over 2019-20, reflecting strong growth in Melbourne's outer west

        Population density

            The areas with the highest density at June 2020 were: 

            • inner-city Melbourne (22,400 people per sq km)
            • the nearby inner suburbs of Carlton (14,100) and South Yarra - East (10,100)

            Queensland

            Population change

            Greater Brisbane increased by 46,900 people (1.9%), the rest of the state increased by 35,400 (1.4%). 

            The areas with the largest growth were:

            • Pimpama (up by 2,700 people) on the Gold Coast
            • Caloundra - West (2,200) on the Sunshine Coast
            • Springfield Lakes (2,000), a suburb of Ipswich
               

            The areas with the highest growth rates were: 

            • Ripley (20%), a suburb of Ipswich
            • Pallara - Willawong (16%) in Brisbane's south
            • Pimpama (14%) 
               

            Components of population change

            • Jimboomba on Brisbane's southern fringe had the largest natural increase (510 people).
            • Pimpama had the largest net internal migration gain (2,100 people).
            • Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast had the largest net overseas migration gain (860 people).
               

            Centre of population

            The centre for Queensland:

            • was in the rural suburb of Booubyjan at June 2020, 95 kilometres south-west of Maryborough
            • moved 1.7 kilometres south-east over 2019-20, reflecting strong population growth in South East Queensland
               

            The centre for Brisbane: 

            • was in the suburb of Highgate Hill at June 2020, to the south-west of Brisbane's central business district
            • moved 40 metres south-west over 2019-20, indicating higher growth in Brisbane's outer south-west

            Population density

                The areas with the highest density at June 2020 were all inner Brisbane suburbs: 

                • Kangaroo Point (7,700 people per sq km)
                • Fortitude Valley (7,600)
                • West End (7,100)

                South Australia

                Population change

                Greater Adelaide increased by 16,100 people (1.2%), the rest of the state increased by 1,600 (0.4%).

                The areas with the largest growth were:

                • Munno Para West - Angle Vale (up by 970 people) on the northern outskirts of Adelaide
                • Mount Barker (950 people) in the Adelaide Hills
                • inner-city Adelaide (650)
                   

                The areas with the highest growth rates were: 

                • Munno Para West - Angle Vale (6.6%)
                • Mount Barker (4.9%)
                • Lewiston - Two Wells (4.6%) in Adelaide's outer north
                   

                Components of population change

                • Munno Para West - Angle Vale had the largest natural increase (250 people).
                • Mount Barker had the largest net internal migration gain (720 people).
                • Inner-city Adelaide had the largest net overseas migration gain (710 people).
                   

                Centre of population

                The centre for South Australia:

                • was in the new suburb of Lightsview at June 2020, in Adelaide's inner north-east
                • moved 190 metres south over 2019-20, towards Adelaide's central business district
                   

                The centre for Adelaide: 

                • was on the banks of the River Torrens at June 2020, north of Botanic Park in the suburb of Adelaide
                • moved less than 10 metres over 2019-20, reflecting similar overall growth in the northern and southern suburbs

                ​​​​​​​Population density

                The areas with the highest density at June 2020 were: 

                • Unley - Parkside (3,000 people per sq km) and Prospect (2,800), which both surround Adelaide's central business district
                • Glenelg (2,900), a coastal suburb in Adelaide's south-west

                Western Australia

                Population change

                Greater Perth increased by 37,600 people (1.8%), the rest of the state increased by 2,700 (0.5%). 

                The areas with the largest growth were:

                • Ellenbrook (up by 2,400 people) in Perth's outer north-east
                • Perth City (2,200)
                • Baldivis (1,900) in Perth's outer south-west
                   

                The areas with the highest growth rates were:

                • Alkimos - Eglinton (10%) in Perth's outer north-west
                • Hazelmere - Guildford (7.4%) in Perth's north-east
                • North Coogee (7.1%) in Perth's south-west
                   

                Components of population change

                • Ellenbrook had the largest natural increase (690 people) and the largest net internal migration gain (1,300 people).
                • Perth City had the largest net overseas migration gain (1,400 people).
                   

                Centre of population

                The centre for Western Australia:

                • was in the Avon Valley National Park at June 2020, 28 kilometres west of the town of Toodyay
                • moved 670 metres south-west over 2019-20, towards Perth’s central business district
                   

                The centre for Perth: 

                • was in the suburb of Como at June 2020, near the banks of the Swan River
                • moved 30 metres south over 2019-20, reflecting slightly stronger growth to the south of the city

                Population density

                  The areas with the highest density at June 2020 were: 

                  • Perth City, and Scarborough in Perth's north-western suburbs (both 3,500 people per sq km)
                  • Tuart Hill - Joondanna (3,400) in Perth's inner north

                  Tasmania

                  Population change

                  Greater Hobart increased by 2,600 people (1.1%), the rest of the state increased by 3,600 (1.2%).

                  The areas with the largest growth were:

                  • Newnham - Mayfield (up by 290 people) in Launceston
                  • Sorell - Richmond (280) in Hobart's north-east
                  • Rokeby (270) on the eastern shore of the Derwent River
                     

                  The areas with the highest growth rates were: 

                  • Rokeby (up by 4.0%)
                  • Brighton - Pontville on Hobart's northern fringe (3.5%)
                  • Triabunna - Bicheno on Tasmania's east coast and Risdon Vale in Hobart's north-eastern suburbs (both 3.2%)
                     

                    Components of population change

                    • Bridgewater - Gagebrook in Hobart's north had the largest natural increase (110 people).
                    • Sorell - Richmond had the largest net internal migration gain (210 people).
                    • Sandy Bay, to the south of Hobart's central business district, had the largest net overseas migration gain (380 people).
                       

                    Centre of population

                        The centre for Tasmania:

                        • was near the banks of Woods Lake at June 2020, in the state's Central Highlands
                        • moved 120 metres south-east over 2019-20, reflecting more growth in the state's south-east
                           

                        The centre for Hobart: 

                        • was just south of the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens at June 2020, in the suburb of Queens Domain
                        • moved 50 metres north-east over 2019-20, reflecting stronger growth in the city's north-east

                        Population density

                          The areas with the highest density at June 2020 were all close to Hobart's central business district: 

                          • West Moonah (2,300 people per sq km)
                          • Moonah and Sandy Bay (both 1,900)

                          Northern Territory

                          Population change

                          Greater Darwin declined by 180 people (-0.1%), the rest of the territory increased by 180 (0.2%).

                          The areas with the largest growth were:

                          • Palmerston – South (up by 830 people)
                          • Lyons (290) on the northern fringe of Darwin
                          • Rosebery - Bellamack (60) on the southern outskirts of Palmerston
                             

                          The areas with the highest growth rates were: 

                          • Palmerston - South (15%)
                          • Lyons (4.5%)
                          • Tennant Creek (1.4%) in the centre of the territory
                             

                          Components of population change

                          • Palmerston - South had the largest natural increase (150 people) and the largest net internal migration gain (680 people).
                          • Darwin City had the largest net overseas migration gain (30 people).
                             

                          Centre of population

                          The centre for the Northern Territory:

                          • was 42 kilometres south-west of the town of Katherine at June 2020
                          • moved 510 metres south-east and away from Greater Darwin over 2019-20, due to population decline in the capital
                             

                          The centre for Darwin: 

                          • was in the suburb of Wishart at June 2020, south of the Stuart Highway
                          • moved 110 metres south-east over 2019-20, towards the fast-growing Palmerston area

                          Population density

                          The areas with the highest density at June 2020 were: 

                          • Stuart Park (2,700 people per sq km) and Parap (2,600), both inner suburbs of Darwin
                          • Nightcliff and Wagaman in Darwin's northern suburbs (both with 2,600)

                          Australian Capital Territory

                          Population change

                          The number of people living in the Australian Capital Territory increased by 5,100 (1.2%). 

                          The areas with the largest growth were all new suburbs on Canberra's northern outskirts:

                          • Throsby and Moncrieff (both up by 550 people)
                          • Taylor (520) 
                             

                          The areas with the highest growth rates were: 

                          • Moncrieff (14%)
                          • Coombs (12%) on Canberra's western outskirts
                          • Phillip (8.6%) in Woden Valley
                             

                          Components of population change

                          • Ngunnawal in Canberra's north had the largest natural increase (190 people).
                          • Throsby had the largest net internal migration gain (520 people).
                          • Belconnen, north-west of Canberra's city centre, had the largest net overseas migration gain (90 people).
                             

                          Centre of population

                          The centre for the Australian Capital Territory:

                          • was located in Lake Burley Griffin at June 2020, north of the suburb of Yarralumla
                          • moved 60 metres north in 2019-20, reflecting population growth in the northern suburbs of Canberra

                          Population density

                            The areas with the highest density at June 2020 were: 

                            • Braddon (4,600 people per sq km) in the inner north
                            • Kingston (4,300) on the south-eastern banks of Lake Burley Griffin
                            • inner-city Civic (3,400)

                            Data downloads - data cubes

                            Population estimates by Statistical Area Level 2, 2019 to 2020

                            Population estimates by Local Government Area, 2019 to 2020

                            Population estimates by selected Non-ABS Structures, 2010 to 2020

                            Includes population estimates for Significant Urban Areas, Remoteness Areas and electoral divisions

                            Data downloads - GeoPackages

                            Population estimates by Statistical Area Level 2, 2001 to 2020, in GeoPackage

                            Population estimates by Local Government Area, 2001 to 2020, in GeoPackage

                            Data downloads - population grid files

                            Australian population grid 2020 in ESRI Grid format

                            Australian population grid 2020 in GeoTIFF format

                            Australian population grid 2020 in JPG format

                            Previous catalogue number

                            This release previously used catalogue number 3218.0.
                             

                            History of changes

                            13/04/2021 - As advertised in this publication on 31 March 2021, this additional release contains interactive maps of population change 2019-20 and the population grid 2020.