Sydney is home to all four of the nation’s most densely populated areas, all surrounding the city’s central business district according to the latest figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

ABS Director of Demography, Bjorn Jarvis, said that the four locations with the highest population density in Australia were:

  • Pyrmont – Ultimo;
  • Potts Point – Woolloomooloo;
  • Darlinghurst; and
  •  Surry Hills.

 “Each of these areas has a population density of over 13,000 residents per square kilometre,” Mr Jarvis said. 

“Inner-city Melbourne had the next highest density, at 10,100 people per square kilometre.

“Inner Melbourne also had the country's largest increase in density in 2011-12, adding an extra 860 people per square kilometre over the year,” he said.

State by state breakdown is as follows:

New South Wales

Population growth in Sydney accounted for more than three-quarters of the state's total growth. Parklea - Kellyville Ridge, in Sydney's north-west growth corridor, had both the largest and fastest growth in the state (up 2,300 people or 10 per cent).


Melbourne had the largest growth of all capital cities in Australia, up 77,200 people. The areas with the largest population increases in the country were all on the outskirts of Melbourne. They were South Morang and Craigieburn - Mickleham in the north, and Point Cook and Tarneit in the west, which grew by a combined 16,500 people in just one year.


Growth in Brisbane (43,300 people) was almost matched by growth in the rest of the state (42,700). Outside of capital cities, the areas with the highest population densities in Australia were on Queensland's Gold Coast including Mermaid Beach - Broadbeach and Surfers Paradise (both 3,700 people per square kilometre).

South Australia

Davoren Park in Adelaide's north had the largest population growth in the state, up 710 people, while neighbouring Munno Para West - Angle Vale had the fastest growth, increasing by 8.3 per cent.

Western Australia

Perth was the fastest-growing of all capital cities, up 3.6 per cent. Forrestdale - Harrisdale - Piara Waters in Perth's south-east was the fastest growing area in the state, increasing by 24 per cent to reach 9,600 people.


Hobart grew by 680 people, while the remainder of Tasmania increased by just 140 people. The areas with the fastest growth were Latrobe (up 2.8 per cent) in the state's north, and Margate - Snug (2.7 per cent) in Hobart's south.

Northern Territory

The Darwin suburbs of Rosebery - Bellamack (up 10 per cent) and Lyons (6 per cent), were the fastest-growing areas in the NT. Rosebery - Bellamack also had the largest growth (up 380 people), followed by Katherine (260) in the Lower Top End.

Australian Capital Territory

The population of the northern regions increased by 7,500 people, while the south decreased by 630. The northern region of Gungahlin contributed the most to this growth, increasing by 5,100 people.