The Top 20 Urban Areas- Michael Matusik

The map below shows the top 20 urban areas by total resident population.

The locations are based around what the ABS calls ‘significant urban areas’,  so they sometimes do not match other geographic definitions.

For example, the map shows 297,000 people living on the Sunshine Coast.  Based on the actual Sunshine Coast Regional Council boundary, 330,000 (or thereabouts) live there on a permanent basis.

The actual population numbers are based on our calculations & are projections as at mid-2014.  The growth rates are for the 2012/13 financial year.

See my comments below:

My comments

  • Just under 23.5 million people live in Australia.
  • Four out of five Australians live in the country’s 20 largest cities or towns.
  • Sydney comes in first with 4.8 million residents.  The 2oth largest urban place is Mackay with 86,000 permanent residents.
  • The largest non-capital city is the Gold Coast with 615,000 permanent residents.
  • Many areas across Australia swell in terms of population at certain times.  For example, on a working week, many more people live in Mackay & Townsville (due to work) than the official figures suggest.  Ditto goes for the Gold & Sunshine Coasts, as tourist numbers significantly increase demand & especially on the weekends & during school holidays.
  • It always amazes me when some of our contemporaries want to dismiss a place like the Gold Coast as a serious place to invest or do business.
  • Demographics shape everything.  Numbers count.

Michael Matusik will be presenting at the National Property and Economic Update seminar in Brisbane on 29th March. Click here now for full details and to reserve your seat.



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Michael Matusik


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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