Is Perth the most remote city in the world?

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28 Responses

  1. Simone says:

    Mythbusting – love it!

    I have to admit, I’ve always thought it was a strange claim, and assumed it was related to remoteness due to the large size of the Australian land mass.

  2. Anthony says:

    Back in the days before Perth had a population exceeding 1 million, it used to be said that it was the most isolated/remote capital city. There was no mention of population. I remember hearing this back in the late ’70s or early ’80s.

  3. Perhaps says:

    Similar to Anthony’s point, perhaps it may have been before Auckland’s population reached a million. Hence the most remote city of over a million people would have been Perth till Auckland’s population reached that mark. However, since most people in Australia remembered that fact, no one bothered to update their info. Much like the tag line of Melbourne being the world’s ‘most livable city’. It’s oft repeated but not always reflected in recent surveys.

    • Good thinking – Perth’s population hit 1 million in the late 1970s, while Auckland didn’t get there until about 1993, so it could’ve been at that time. Would’ve been splitting hairs though (but then Auckland’s only slightly more remote than Perth anyway).

  4. Tony says:

    Interesting statistics.
    More can be made from this topic.
    For example, let’s see what major countries can be reached from the respective cities in question by air to further qualify the most remote city status.
    Perth can reach:
    Indonesia 3-4hours.
    Most large S.E. Asian cities within 6 hours.
    Africa 10-11 hours.
    The middle East 10-11hours.
    Most cities on the East coast of Australia within 4.5-5.5 hours.Shorter to Adelaide.

    When I look at this, and look at where you can reach from Auckland within these times, I have to say the Auckland would have to be far more remote than Perth.

    I would conclude that Peth is the most remote Australian city from other capital cities, but I don’t think the “most remote city” in the world is correct.

  5. IAN WALMSLEY says:

    Hang on Glenn, according to Wikipedia, Honolulu has a 2014 population of 350,000. Does that throw a spanner in the works? Where did you get the figure of 953,000?

    • The difference is between the City Limits population and the metropolitan area population. Most US Cities quote their municipal population rather than the greater urban area. The equivalent would be saying that the City of Sydney has a population of 205,000 rather than about 5 million.

      The Wikipedia entry here

      shows the population of the City and the combined urban area – combined urban area is 953,000.

  6. Brendan says:

    I’ve always known it to be the most isolated Capitol city in the world not just city so Perth is the most isolated Capitol city

  7. Dono says:

    The word I used to hear was “isolated” not “remote”. Though similar, isolated refers to more than just distance by sea, road or air, but also to connectedness to the world around it. Maybe Honolulu wins, but it’s more than just miles.

  8. Dono says:

    A quick follow up: Auckland doesn’t count because the capital city (though smaller) is Wellington nearby.

  9. Ryan says:

    If we reduce the population requirement to 100,000 though, Perth DOES become the most isolated city. Honolulu and Auckland have at least moderate sized nearby cities, Perth has nothing.

  10. George says:

    Ryan has a point – and only Glenn is focussed solely on numbers – must be a habit.

    Maybe now consider Perth has the highest % of Brits of any city outside of the UK.

  11. James Lamb says:

    Distance is a good criteria when considering parameters. In my mind though, in the era of air travel connectedness might be a larger factor. Looking at the number of passengers served:
    Perth airport: 13,691,611
    Auckland airport: 20,530,048
    Honolulu airport: 19,950,125
    Note: I’m not being as diligent – just picking the most recent number I could find. A more accurate indicator of remoteness might be the number of *international* passengers only.

  12. Gerald says:

    It’s the most isolated Capital City from another captial city in the world. Population has nothing to do with it… It’s “capital city”.

    So Wellington is near Auckland… Honolulu is near other capitals in the Pacific.

    Perths nearest capitals are Adelaide, Dilli, etc etc.

    • So by capital, you’re meaning state or regional capital presumably. Perth is the capital of Western Australia – If there is a criterion on this being the most remote CAPITAL city, I’d think that would usually apply to national capitals. If you use a state capital or regional administrative capital you could keep going down to smaller areas, where do you draw the line on what is actually a capital?

      Anyway, however, if you’re equating Perth to Honolulu, both being state capitals – OK – but I think you’ll find that the latter is further from other capitals in the Pacific than it looks. Just googling a few – it’s over 3,000km from Apia (Samoa), Pape’ete (French Polynesia), Tarawa (Kiribati), which are all greater than the Perth-Adelaide distance.

  13. Rob says:

    Learnt a bit about capital cities whilst working on a recent project. Funny how people gravitate to country capitals but care less about country state capitals. Maybe it’s different in Oz. In Europe we tend to look at places on a map in Europe for example and tick places off out lists ( Aussies do the same of course as a spell in Hammersmith London attested )

    In any case, having read this post I think I’ll revamp the project and add a 12000 mile option.

    I’d add a link but don’t want to look like a spammer!

  14. Andrew says:

    American just moved to Australia here – I had always heard that it was the most remote metropolis on the planet, defined by a massive city with more than a million residents (metropolis) without any other major city (more than 100,000) close by.

    Although that seems like an oddly specific number to “make” Perth hold the top spot, I had always understood it as such. Of all the cities with more than a million residents, there is no other city as far away from any other smaller, regional city as Perth – let alone another metropolis.

    • That’s an interesting and very specialised definition! If you set the numbers right I’m sure you could make it work! That would preclude Auckland as it has cities of more than 100k nearby in New Zealand, and Honolulu I don’t think is quite a million.

      The definition may not work for long for Perth though, as the Greater Bunbury area approaches 100,000 people.

      Thanks for your input!

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