ACT News


Population growth: Wherever they roam, most Canberrans now call the north side home

Canberra's booming northern suburbs have continued to lead the capital's population growth, with more than half of residents now calling the north side home.

More than 6000 new residents helped the area's population surge to 207,000 in June last year, new estimates from the Australian Bureau of Statistics have revealed.

That equates to more than 54 per cent of Canberrans.

Families who flocked to new suburbs in Canberra's north have helped the ACT's population centre shift 1.5 kilometres north, close to the Royal Canberra Golf Course at Yarralumla, in the past decade.

Figures show the north was home to the five suburbs which experienced the biggest population gains in 2012-13.

Those were Bonner, Casey, Harrison and Crace, all of which fall in the Gunghalin region.


It was also home to the suburbs which had seen the fastest rates of growth.

An extra 4300 new residents in the area accounted for 67 per cent of total growth for the ACT.

North Canberra, which gained 1100 people, and Belconnen, which added 740 people, saw the next biggest increases. That's compared with more modest gains on the southern side of Lake Burley Griffin, where a much smaller rise of 230 people increased the region's population to 174,500 in the same period.

As the northern suburbs dominated the city's population growth, the southern region of Tuggeranong lost 710 people.

Canberra's overall population grew by 1.7 per cent in the year to June 2013, or 6300 people, which was slightly lower than the 1.8 per cent average for Australian capital cities.

The city's population hit 381,500 mid-last year.

Click or touch on an icon to see how populations have changed in these suburbs. Increases are in red, and decreases in green. Source: ABS

Most of the suburbs which saw small population drops were in the Belconnen and Tuggeranong areas.

The biggest drops were in well-established suburbs including Kambah in the south, and Ainslie and Latham in the north.

Commuter suburbs outside of the ACT also welcomed more residents.

The Queanbeyan region grew by 540 people and the Goulburn-Yass region's population increased by 850.

The largest increases in population density in Canberra were also seen in the new, northern suburbs of Bonner, Crace, Casey and Forde.

A spokesman for ACT Chief Minister Katy Gallagher said recent population growth in the territory had been higher than earlier years.

‘‘Annual average growth in the period 2009 to 2013 was around 50 per cent higher than for 2004 to 2008.

‘‘The population growth rate in the ACT in 2013 was 1.7 per cent, which was above the ACT’s ten year average growth rate of 1.5 per cent.’’

The north side had grown at a rate of 2.9 per cent in the past decade, compared to a rate of 0.2 per cent on the south side.

‘‘The growth on the north side is due in part to the ACT’s new suburbs and new developments in existing suburbs,’’ the spokesman said.

He said the ACT Government would continue to push projects such as the University of Canberra Public Hospital, Capital Metro and City to the Lake to meet the capital’s growing needs.

Australia's capital cities packed in more than three times as many new residents as the rest of the country in the year to June 2013, ABS figures revealed.

Most of of that growth was in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane.

ABS director of demography Denise Carlton said two in three Australians lived in a capital city in 2013, a slight increase since 1973.

That would equate to 28 million people living in the country's capital cities in 2053.