Here’s a list of Australia’s 50 biggest cities

Here’s a list of Australia’s 50 largest cities.

Of course Sydney remains Australia’s largest city — but maybe not for long.

There are now just 200,000 people separating Melbourne from Sydney — 4.9 million compared to 5.1 million — and if current trends continue the Victorian capital is poised to become the largest city in Australia in eight years, according to new Australian Bureau of Statistics data.

property marketMelbourne grew by 2.7 per cent in one year, 2016-17, adding more than 125,000 people.

It is one of the 10 fastest growing developed cities in the world and at that pace it’s population will grow by more than 10 per cent in the next 4 years.

Sydney’s growth is still strong (2 per cent), but not as spectacular, adding than 100,000 residents for the first time in its history,

Our two big super cities combined house about 40% of the nation’s population.

The demographers at id.com.au have compiled their annual list form the ABS data and come up with the following list.

If you’re wondering how they chose the boundaries for our big cities, check out the notes at the end of the list.

Rank City (Significant Urban Area) 2017 Population 5-year growth 5 year growth %  1 year growth 1 year growth %
1 Sydney        4,741,874                433,750 10.1%              98,079 2.1%
2 Melbourne        4,677,157                557,346 13.5%            119,975 2.6%
3 Brisbane        2,326,656                203,040 9.6%              46,366 2.0%
4 Perth        2,004,696                141,620 7.6%              19,789 1.0%
5 Adelaide        1,315,346                  55,749 4.4%                9,535 0.7%
6 Gold Coast – Tweed Heads           663,321                  68,091 11.4%              16,338 2.5%
7 Newcastle – Maitland           481,183                  23,063 5.0%                4,529 1.0%
8 Canberra – Queanbeyan           447,457                  33,746 8.2%                6,914 1.6%
9 Central Coast           329,437                  12,254 3.9%                2,413 0.7%
10 Sunshine Coast           325,399                  36,616 12.7%                7,995 2.5%
11 Wollongong           299,203                  15,531 5.5%                3,534 1.2%
12 Geelong           260,138                  28,415 12.3%                6,869 2.7%
13 Hobart           208,324                    8,743 4.4%                2,227 1.1%
14 Townsville           180,346                    9,321 5.5%                1,486 0.8%
15 Cairns           151,925                    9,701 6.8%                1,884 1.3%
16 Toowoomba           135,631                    7,056 5.5%                1,594 1.2%
17 Darwin           132,708                  12,281 10.2%                   663 0.5%
18 Ballarat           103,481                    8,508 9.0%                1,893 1.9%
19 Bendigo             97,096                    8,148 9.2%                1,509 1.6%
20 Albury – Wodonga             91,923                    6,721 7.9%                1,347 1.5%
21 Launceston             86,788                       863 1.0%                   453 0.5%
22 Mackay             80,427 –                     238 -0.3% –                353 -0.4%
23 Rockhampton             78,871                    1,522 2.0%                     76 0.1%
24 Bunbury             74,478                    4,480 6.4%                   376 0.5%
25 Coffs Harbour             70,857                    3,599 5.4%                   723 1.0%
26 Bundaberg             70,578                       727 1.0%                   269 0.4%
27 Melton             65,423                  13,741 26.6%                3,306 5.3%
28 Wagga Wagga             56,181                    1,767 3.2%                   221 0.4%
29 Hervey Bay             53,492                    2,935 5.8%                   686 1.3%
30 Mildura – Wentworth             51,473                    2,410 4.9%                   475 0.9%
31 Shepparton – Mooroopna             51,142                    2,778 5.7%                   449 0.9%
32 Port Macquarie             46,948                    3,005 6.8%                   701 1.5%
33 Gladstone – Tannum Sands             44,984                    1,290 3.0% – 102 -0.2%
34 Tamworth             42,347                    1,852 4.6%                   369 0.9%
35 Traralgon – Morwell             41,626                       796 1.9%                   293 0.7%
36 Orange             40,079                    1,864 4.9%                   324 0.8%
37 Bowral – Mittagong             39,300                    2,714 7.4%                   538 1.4%
38 Busselton             38,289                    5,156 15.6%                   693 1.8%
39 Geraldton             37,931                       269 0.7% – 358 -0.9%
40 Dubbo             37,666   2,111 5.9%                   541 1.5%
41 Nowra – Bomaderry             37,027                    2,121 6.1%                   318 0.9%
42 Warragul – Drouin             36,538                    5,235 16.7%                1,185 3.4%
43 Bathurst             36,448                    2,343 6.9%                   435 1.2%
44 Warrnambool             34,912                    1,504 4.5%                   294 0.8%
45 Albany             34,151   1,628 5.0%                   236 0.7%
46 Kalgoorlie – Boulder             30,541 – 1,997 -6.1% – 141 -0.5%
47 Devonport             30,153 -73 -0.2%                     87 0.3%
48 Mount Gambier             29,472  871 3.0%                     15 0.1%
49 Lismore             28,764 – 560 -1.9% -215 -0.7%
50 Nelson Bay             27,606 1,269 4.8%                   246 0.9%

How did they chose the boundaries?

Where does Melbourne or Sydney stop and start?

Which boundaries did the demographers at id.com.au use? 

graphic-mel-new

They explain:

“…these figures are based on the “Significant Urban Area” geography. This is defined by the ABS as an aggregate of areas which roughly contain the continuous urban extent of a city without major gaps. It is different to the figures you might see elsewhere, which are based on “Greater Capital City Statistical Areas” (GCCSAs), and cover a wider labour market region where most people commute into the capitals to work.

For instance, the Sydney and Melbourne GCCSAs have 2017 populations of 5,131,326 and 4,850,740 respectively.

You can see the numbers below are a bit less than that, particularly for Sydney. That’s because non-contiguous urban areas are separated out in the Significant Urban Area classification. Australia_map

Sydney’s GCCSA population includes the Central Coast while the Significant Urban Area excludes it as it’s non-contiguous. The same goes for the centre of Melton on the outskirts of Melbourne. These are separate centres in this view of the world. This provides a better measure of true bounded urban areas, but neither version is “correct” or better than the other. It also enables capital city populations to be compared to regional centres in the list below, which don’t have a wider capital city area defined.”

Read more at id.com.au

You may also want to read:

HERE’S WHY MELBOURNE AND SYDNEY HAVE DECOUPLED FROM THE REST OF AUSTRALIA’S PROPERTY MARKETS

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Michael is a director of Metropole Property Strategists who help their clients grow, protect and pass on their wealth through independent, unbiased property advice and advocacy. He's once again been voted Australia's leading property investment adviser and his opinions are regularly featured in the media. Visit Metropole.com.au


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