Growth Areas

Australia is a suburban nation and will continue to be so as population growth rates soar. Five million of us live in the fast-growing suburbs on the outskirts of our capital cities. We produce 13% of Australia’s jobs and 11% of GDP. Another 2.5 million people are expected to be living in fast-growing outer suburbs by 2031.

Member Councils of the National Growth Areas Alliance are united by shared
experiences of:

  • Population growth rates at double the national average
  • Inadequate infrastructure to cope with the increased demand
  • Long-term lack of Federal government investment in roads, public transport and essential services.

What do we mean by ‘outer suburbs’?

Probably not what you’re thinking. Places you may consider ‘country towns’ are these days operating as outer suburbs. They are located beyond established transport routes, and they need more jobs, services, schools and hospitals than the local area is providing.

  • It’s 84km from the Sydney GPO to the new suburb of Wilton in the Shire of Wollondilly.
  • 65km from Melbourne GPO to new estates on the edge of Pakenham in Cardinia Shire Councils.
  • In Perth’s north, the major growth area of Yanchep is 55km from the city.
  • The town of Gawler in Adelaide’s north, once a country town is now an outer suburb, 50km from the CBD.
  • Brassall, on the outskirts of Ipswich in south east Queensland now functions as an outer suburb area of Brisbane, nearly 50km away.
Key Facts and Figures on Australia's Growth Areas
Population size (2016)

4.6 million

1 in 5 Australian’s called the fast growing outer suburbs home

Population growth (2011-16)


Almost double the annual average growth rate of Australia (1.6%)



18.7% of Australia’s workforce. UP from 14% in 2006

Fast-Growing outer suburbs on the outskirts of our capital cities
1 2 3 4 5 6
Community Profile on Growth Areas

The National Growth Areas Alliance Community Profile provides demographic analysis for the Region and its suburbs based on results from the 2016, 2011, 2006, 2001, 1996 and 1991 Censuses of Population and Housing. The profile is updated with population estimates when the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) releases new figures.