Canberra Population 2017

Although Canberra is Australia's capital city, it is only the ninth largest city in the country. The latest census revealed that Canberra was home to 357,220 people in August 2011 – an increase of just over 10% in just five years.

No official data is available for the population of Canberra in 2012 – we'll update this page once it becomes available in March 2013.

Canberra is not in one of Australia's states – it is located at the northern end of the Australian Capital Territory, a small territory developed to ensure that Australia's capital was not located in one of Australia's five states, thus ensuring its neutrality.

Although official estimates are not yet available for the population of Canberra in 2012, an estimate of the population of the Australian Capital Territory in March 2012 is available. The Australian Bureau of Statistics has provided updated data for each of the states and territories in Australia, and has reported that it believes there were 373,100 people in the ACT at the end of the first quarter of 2012, and increase of 7,000 people in the year since March 2011.

The population of the ACT is slightly higher than the population of Canberra because, for historical reasons, the ACT also contains a few far flung Australian territories, such as Jervis Bay, Christmas Island and the Cocos Islands. There are also a couple of small towns in the main part of the ACT.

Demographics of Canberra

When it comes to demographics, Canberra is pretty similar to other major Australian cities in some respects, and very different in others.

71.4% of its residents were born in Australia, slightly higher than the national average of 70.3% – perhaps a reflection that Canberra is a Government town. The next largest nationality is English (3.7%) and Chinese (1.8%).

Canberra is, though, one of the few cities where the largest religious group is, in fact, the non-religious. 28.9% of Canberrans told census takers that they did not have a religion. This is slightly higher than the proportion of Catholics (26.1%) and twice the population of Anglicans (14.7%).

Incomes in Canberra are much higher than the national average. The average weekly wage for an Australian is $577, but in Canberra the average income is $917. Residents of Canberra are also much better educated than the average Australian. 4.5% of people living in Canberra have a postgraduate degree, compared with an average of 1.8% in the country as a whole. Again, this reflects Canberra's status as the capital of Australia.

Canberra Population in 2017 Source: Jason Tong

Canberra Population Data (Urban Area)

Year Population Growth Rate (%) Growth
1950 20,000 0.00% 0
1955 31,000 55.00% 11,000
1960 51,000 64.50% 20,000
1965 84,000 64.70% 33,000
1970 137,000 63.10% 53,000
1975 195,000 42.30% 58,000
1980 223,000 14.40% 28,000
1985 252,000 13.00% 29,000
1990 282,000 11.90% 30,000
1995 305,000 8.20% 23,000
2000 331,000 8.50% 26,000
2005 352,000 6.30% 21,000
2010 384,000 9.10% 32,000
2015 423,000 10.20% 39,000
2017 439,000 3.80% 16,000
2020 465,000 5.90% 26,000
2025 504,000 8.40% 39,000
2030 543,000 7.70% 39,000
Canberra Population Growth

Canberra's 2017 population is now estimated at 439,000. In 1950, the population of Canberra was 20,000. Canberra has grown by 16,000 in the last year, which represents a 3.80% change. These population estimates and projections come from the latest revision of the UN World Urbanization Prospects. These estimates represent the Urban agglomeration of Canberra, which typically includes Canberra's population in addition to adjacent suburban areas.