The 50 Largest Cities and Towns in Australia, by Population

The 50 Largest Cities and Towns in Australia, by Population

By GLENN – THE CENSUS EXPERT

Perennially among the most popular blogs at .id are simple population counts. Each year we get an update on where populations are moving, which areas are growing and which are declining. The most popular of all has proved to be the “Top 50 cities” blogs. And here is the June 2019 update of this. Note that Covid-19 is expected to have large impacts on future population growth, predominantly due to subdued overseas migration. These figures, of course, pre-date this. The populations should be pretty good estimates, but the growth rates in the next couple of years are likely to be lower.

Australia’s Top 50 Cities, June 30th, 2019 (Source: ABS 3218.0, Regional Population Growth, 2018-19)

2019 pop. 5 year change 1 year change
Rank Significant Urban Area no. No. % No. %
1 Sydney  4,914,343 451,913 10.1% 83,963 1.7%
2 Melbourne  4,893,870 575,598 13.3% 107,894 2.3%
3 Brisbane  2,430,180 225,819 10.2% 51,480 2.2%
4 Perth  2,045,479 104,555 5.4% 26,252 1.3%
5 Adelaide  1,340,794 57,070 4.4% 13,753 1.0%
6 Gold Coast – Tweed Heads  693,671 74,744 12.1% 14,863 2.2%
7 Newcastle – Maitland  491,474 24,023 5.1% 5,298 1.1%
8 Canberra – Queanbeyan  462,136 36,246 8.5% 5,201 1.1%
9 Sunshine Coast  341,069 38,140 12.6% 7,724 2.3%
10 Central Coast  335,470 13,160 4.1% 2,190 0.7%
11 Wollongong  306,034 17,186 5.9% 3,602 1.2%
12 Geelong  275,794 34,368 14.2% 7,503 2.8%
13 Hobart  216,682 13,490 6.6% 3,094 1.4%
14 Townsville  181,668 5,906 3.4% 899 0.5%
15 Cairns  153,951 7,622 5.2% 1,282 0.8%
16 Toowoomba  138,223 6,856 5.2% 1,404 1.0%
17 Darwin  133,331 5,607 4.4% -1,056 -0.8%
18 Ballarat  107,652 9,527 9.7% 2,180 2.1%
19 Bendigo  100,991 8,534 9.2% 1,869 1.9%
20 Albury – Wodonga  94,837 6,855 7.8% 1,296 1.4%
21 Launceston  88,178 2,655 3.1% 823 0.9%
22 Mackay  80,264 -1,190 -1.5% 135 0.2%
23 Rockhampton  79,081 -15 0.0% 506 0.6%
24 Bunbury  74,591 1,941 2.7% 243 0.3%
25 Coffs Harbour  72,541 3,961 5.8% 787 1.1%
26 Melton  72,177 15,661 27.7% 3,411 5.0%
27 Bundaberg  71,309 1,088 1.5% 407 0.6%
28 Wagga Wagga  56,675 1,698 3.1% 298 0.5%
29 Hervey Bay  55,345 3,416 6.6% 681 1.2%
30 Mildura – Wentworth  52,176 1,980 3.9% 280 0.5%
31 Shepparton – Mooroopna  52,104 2,472 5.0% 471 0.9%
32 Port Macquarie  48,723 3,496 7.7% 793 1.7%
33 Gladstone – Tannum Sands  45,631 216 0.5% 516 1.1%
34 Tamworth  43,188 1,916 4.6% 366 0.9%
35 Traralgon – Morwell  42,249 1,250 3.0% 266 0.6%
36 Orange  40,804 1,763 4.5% 366 0.9%
37 Bowral – Mittagong  40,411 3,045 8.1% 559 1.4%
38 Busselton  39,618 3,773 10.5% 703 1.8%
39 Warragul – Drouin  39,217 6,012 18.1% 1,292 3.4%
40 Dubbo  38,767 2,444 6.7% 429 1.1%
41 Nowra – Bomaderry  37,838 2,162 6.1% 463 1.2%
42 Geraldton  37,255 -1,537 -4.0% -385 -1.0%
43 Bathurst  37,191 2,310 6.6% 429 1.2%
44 Warrnambool  35,523 1,439 4.2% 306 0.9%
45 Albany  34,367 812 2.4% 168 0.5%
46 Devonport  30,629 668 2.2% 335 1.1%
47 Mount Gambier  29,767 589 2.0% 127 0.4%
48 Kalgoorlie – Boulder  29,326 -2,906 -9.0% -514 -1.7%
49 Lismore  28,576 -653 -2.2% -117 -0.4%
50 Nelson Bay  28,276 1,404 5.2% 247 0.9%

You got through the list!

 

A few things to point out:

  • As always, this list is based on “Significant Urban Areas”, which is based on an aggregate of SA2s, which contain the continuous urban extent of a city without major gaps. This differs from “Greater Capital Cities” which are used as benchmarks in most of the .id sites, and at the ABS. The latter are defined as broader labour market regions and extend further into rural districts within commuting distance of the capitals.

 

  • For this reason, Sydney, though it still (just) tops the list, is only about 20,000 larger than Melbourne (#2). This definition of Sydney EXCLUDES the Central Coast (#10 on this list), while the Greater Capital City region INCLUDES it. There are outlying areas excluded from Melbourne as well, such as Melton (#26), but these are smaller. So, by this definition, Melbourne could overtake Sydney as Australia’s largest city by next year!

 

  • Both Sydney and Melbourne are likely to have their population growth significantly affected by the current border closures due to Covid-19, however, so this may have to wait a little longer. Both cities gain a large amount of population growth from overseas migration, which is currently non-existent.

 

  • Some of the definitions generally are a little odd. Some nearby towns have been grouped together, while others are excluded. For instance, Traralgon and Morwell in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley are considered one Significant Urban Area, but nearby Moe is separate (#76). But these have been consistent for about 10 years now.

 

  • If you can’t see your place on this list, it’s either outside the top 50, or part of a larger urban area. Eg. the most common question about these lists in the past has been “What about Logan/Ipswich/Redland?”. All those places are included as a part of the contiguous urban area of Brisbane (#3). I’m tipping the Gold Coast to become part of Brisbane by this definition within a few years as well – there is already very little gap there. Or maybe Brisbane will become part of the Gold Coast…
  • Only 4 of the 50 largest urban centres have had population declines in the last year. 46 have had growth. Declining areas are Darwin, Geraldton, Lismore and Kalgoorlie.
  • New South Wales has the greatest number of cities in the list, with 18 all or partly inside NSW (this includes ones like Gold Coast-Tweed and Mildura-Wentworth, where the major part is outside NSW.

Since the last top 50 was done 2 years ago:

  • There are no changes in the composition of the top 50 – the same cities are in there as two years before, and only those minor changes to the order as above. Burnie-Wynyard, Tasmania just misses out at #51.
  • The top 10 is unchanged in composition, but Sunshine Coast and Central Coast have swapped places, with Sunshine Coast moving up to #9 and dropping Central Coast to #10.
  • All other changes in rankings are in the bottom half of the list – Melton (26) overtaking Bundaberg (27), Geraldton has fallen 4 places to #43, overtaken by Dubbo (40), Warragul-Drouin (39) and Nowra (41). Kalgoorlie-Boulder slips behind Devonport and Mount Gambier to #46.

These new Estimated Resident Populations are now represented on profile.id, for Local Government Areas and suburbs/towns. Make sure you’re using the “Population estimates” rather than the Census figures if you need to quote an up-to-date population number. We can also work with you in strategic planning to help understand the impacts of current population trends on your current policies, particularly around youth, ageing, multicultural and population engagement strategies.


Original Source: https://blog.id.com.au/2020/population/population-trends/the-50-largest-cities-and-towns-in-australia-by-population-2020-update/

Related News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

ANR Meme Report

with Nadine Roberts

Episode 002

ANR Daily News

View all news

Receive Daily News from our independent media partners