Property investors should ask: Where do we all live?

Back in 186 when I started in this game there were 15.6 million living in down under. 

A time of shoulder pads, mullets, Pacman, Rubik’s Cube and ‘We are the world’.  15563628_l

I even had thickish long hair and, for mine, the music sucked much of the time.

Anyway, fast forward to today and some 24.6 million people live in Australia.

That’s a big increase – some 56% or 8.8 million people or about 295,000 new residents per annum.

This increase over the past 30 years is the equivalent of adding today’s NSW Central Coast (Gosford, Wyong and Woy Woy) to the nation’s total head count every year.

Over the last five years, the population increase has been closer to 400,000 each year.

That’s the size of Canberra!

Below are three tables.

All are based on ABS Census data.

  •  The first shows the top 20 urban areas in Australia in 1986.  Some 66% of us lived in these top 20 areas.
  •  Table two shows the top 20 urban areas in 2016.  Seven out of ten of us live in these places today.  Our population is concentrating.  Also note the change in rankings since 1986.
  • The third table shows the total change in population over the past 30 years.  Some areas like the Gold and Sunshine Coasts have seen massive growth (as a percentage) over this period.  It is a real challenge to manage such growth well.Table 1: 1986 Top 20 urban areas in Australia

Rank

Urban area

Population

1

Sydney

2,989,070

2

Melbourne

2,645,484

3

Brisbane

1,037,815

4

Adelaide

917,000

5

Table 2: 2016 Top 20 urban areas in Australia

Rank

Urban area

Population

1

Sydney

4,398,491

2

Melbourne

4,238,692

3

Brisbane

2,065,799

4

Perth

1,866,522

5

Adelaide

1,166,426

6

Gold Coast

573,445

7

Canberra

399,522

8

Newcastle

319,757

9

Central Coast

304,921

10

Wollongong

261,044

11

Sunshine Coast

259,584

12

Hobart

177,908

13

Townsville

171,971

14

Cairns

163,967

15

Geelong

155,855

16

Darwin

132,735

17

Toowoomba

100,738

18

Ballarat

92,720

19

Bendigo

91,570

20

Maitland

77,138

Table 3: Population growth over last 30 years

Urban area

Number

% increase

Sunshine Coast

190,019

273%

Gold Coast

410,113

251%

Cairns

109,105

199%

Perth

970,812

108%

Brisbane

1,027,984

99%

Central Coast

142,252

87%

Darwin

59,798

82%

Townsville

75,741

79%

Maitland

32,823

74%

Canberra

152,328

62%

Melbourne

1,593,208

60%

Sydney

1,409,421

47%

Ballarat

28,918

45%

Bendigo

27,768

44%

Toowoomba

29,376

41%

Hobart

50,802

40%

Adelaide

249,426

27%

Wollongong

54,241

26%

Newcastle

63,970

25%

Geelong

30,022

24%

In the next few days, I will do similar, but this time for jobs.  Until then, cheers.

PS. I do miss Pacman but not the hair (seriously) nor many of the 1980 tunes.

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Michael is director of independent property advisory Matusik Property Insights. He is independent, perceptive and to the point; has helped over 550 new residential developments come to fruition and writes his insightful Matusik Missive


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