Sydney’s population – a story of consolidation

Glenn - The Census Expert

Glenn is our resident Census expert. After ten years working at the ABS, Glenn's deep knowledge of the Census has been a crucial input in the development of our community profiles. These tools help everyday people uncover the rich and important stories about our communities that are often hidden deep in the Census data. Glenn is also our most prolific blogger - if you're reading this, you've just finished reading one of his blogs. Take a quick look at the front page of our blog and you'll no doubt find more of Glenn's latest work. As a client manager, Glenn travels the country giving sought-after briefings to councils and communities (these are also great opportunities for Glenn to tend to his rankings in Geolocation games such as Munzee and Geocaching).

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8 Responses

  1. Fiona says:

    I have to disagree with the comment “Of all Australian cities, Sydney is the only one that isn’t focused on a single core”. The Gold Coast is Australia’s sixth largest city, and also has no single core, instead is characterised by pockets of medium to high density – think Southport, Surfers, Broadbeach, Burleigh and Coolangatta.

  2. Greg says:

    There is no way that the Central Coast and Blue Mountains could be regarded as part of Sydney. Wyong Shire is the southern neighbour of Newcastle’s Lake Macquarie suburbs. The northern suburbs of Wyong are only 40km from Newcastle CBD but more than 100km from Sydney CBD. I just don’t accept that it is part of metropolitan Sydney even if it does have a sizable commuter population.

    I have to agree with the comment about Gold Coast. It is also very much a “city of cities” with a number of identifiably different town centres.

    Greater Newcastle also has a number of major town centres at Charlestown, Cessnock and Maitland. Those satellite cities are where much of the Newcastle region growth is taking place, rather than the traditional inner city.

  3. Alex says:

    Like Greg’s comment I wonder why the central coast and blue mountains are deemed by ABS to be part of the metro area? Can anyone shed light on how this is justified particularly as there are large swathes of parkland and bush between Sydney’s contiguous metro area and these centres? Seems a bit arbitrary and using the same arguments why not wrap Wollongong and Newcastle in for good measure too? Melbourne can have Geelong at the same time. I wonder about the ABS’ logic in this regard.

    • ryan says:

      in response to this, the reason for this may be because the central coast is essential a commuter area for sydney, or a satellite city. approximately 1/4 of the working population of the central coast commute to sydney, as opposed to newcastle which less than 5% of the working population commute to sydney. this is indicative of the fact that newcastle is a very self sufficient city, which is characteristically different to the central coast.
      Now I could be wrong but what I know from living in newcastle for 8 years and sydney for 22, aswell as some reading on metropolitan areas and satellite cities, this makes sense to me

  4. Hi Alex,

    There is probably a case for constructing an area that encompasses the urban Sydney-Newcastle-Wollongong area, which is primarily urban throughout, and would remove the arbitrary distinction of including the Central Coast in Sydney.

    Though the Blue Mountains likes to think of itself as rural, it’s not. In fact not only does a majority of the population commute “down the mountain” to work, but the centres along the Great Western Highway are contiguous with Sydney, and form part of the Sydney Urban Centre, which comprises contiguous collection districts at suburban densities.

    I agree that the Central Coast is more of a stretch, as there is a large body of water and national park in between. As a contiguous urban area it is separate, and is included only for labour force reasons.

  5. Patrick says:

    The Central Coast is only across the water from Palm Beach to Patonga, I can see why it is an extension of Sydney, as Cronulla is just as far from the CBD to the south, and the Blue Mountains to the west.
    It’s all roughly the same distance north, south and west.

  6. Royce Allenson says:

    Why is Wollongong regarded as a large centres in its own right, while the Central Coast is not? Yet their population is approx. 50,000 less.

    • My understanding is that the ABS define it somewhat by the labour force region. So a large number of people commute from the Central Coast to metropolitan Sydney, whereas Wollongong is more self-contained with only a minority commuting out. But you’d need to ask the ABS to elaborate.

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