ABS boundary change hits Launceston population

Launceston has dropped from 18 to 21 on Australias's 50 largest cities list.

The list, published on the blog.id website, lists the top 50 significant urban areas in Australia in terms of population as of June 2013.

Sydney tops the list with a population of 4,373,433, closely followed by Melbourne with 4,181,021, Brisbane 2,143,121 and Perth 1,901,582.

Of all the major capital cities, Perth had the highest five-year growth figure of 16.5 per cent, followed by Brisbane (11.2%) and the Gold Coast-Tweed Heads (11.2%), and Melbourne on 10.4 per cent.

West Australian regional city Ellenbrook had the highest five-year growth rate in the country with 54.5 per cent, followed by Melton in Victora on 31.6 per cent, with Busselton, also in WA, third on 20.9 per cent 

The Tasmanian capital, Hobart, was 12th overall on the list with 206,560 and a five-year growth figure of 4.2 per cent.

Launceston was ranked 21st with a population of 86,188 and a five-year growth rate of 2.5 per cent, behind Victorian centres Ballarat (18th, 96,940, 10.3%), Bendigo (19th, 90,280, 8.4%) and Albury-Wodonga in NSW/Victoria on 86,274 with 5.8 per cent growth.

With a population of about a quarter that of South Australia, Tasmania had three cities in the list - Hobart, Launceston and Devonport - due to having a more dispersed population.

The website published a top 33 cities list in April 2012, and listed Launceston in 18th position with a population of 106,655.

The list's author noted that population figures were more malleable than many people thought, and all figures were dependant on where boundaries were drawn.

"The ABS (Australian Bureau of Statistics) have come up with new boundaries, called 'Significant Urban Areas', so this article has used these, and ranks the centres by these new boundaries," the author noted.

The author also said that on current trends, Melbourne should overtake Sydney as the largest city in the country within approximately 25 years.

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