Sydney and Perth home to Australia's most advantaged communities, census shows

By David Donaldson

March 27, 2018

Ku-ring-gai on Sydney’s upper north shore is Australia’s most advantaged local government area, followed by Mosman and Woollahra, according to 2016 census data released today.

At the other end of the scale, the small, majority-Indigenous communities of Cherbourg in Queensland and West Daly and Belyuen in the Northern Territory are the country’s most disadvantaged places, according to the Bureau of Statistics.

Whereas the top ten most advantaged LGAs in Australia are all in Sydney and Perth, Australia’s most disadvantaged areas are all in Queensland and the Northern Territory.

The ABS’ Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas, which ranks areas in Australia according to relative socio-economic advantage and disadvantage, can help governments, communities and businesses determine areas needing additional funding and improved services, identify potential business opportunities, and research the relationship between health and education outcomes and the socio-economic conditions of an area.

The latest data has found that more than 30% of people born in China, South Africa and Malaysia live in advantaged areas, while fewer than 10% reside in disadvantaged areas. Meanwhile, 40% of Vietnamese-born live in disadvantaged areas and only 11% live in advantaged areas.

People of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander origin are more likely to live in the most disadvantaged areas, with 48% living in the bottom fifth most disadvantaged LGAs, compared to 18% of non-Indigenous people. Overall, only 5.4% of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people live in areas of high relative advantage, compared with 22% of non-Indigenous people.

The ABS has also made interactive maps of advantage and disadvantage available for the first time.

Rank Local Government Area Usual Resident Population
1 Ku-ring-gai (NSW) 118,053
2 Mosman (NSW) 28,475
3 Woollahra (NSW) 54,240
4 Cottesloe (WA)  7,597
5 Peppermint Grove (WA) 1,636
6 Nedlands (WA) 21,121
7 North Sydney (NSW) 67,658
8 Lane Cove (NSW) 36,051
9 Cambridge (WA) 26,783
10 Hunters Hill (NSW) 13,999


Rank Local Government Area Usual Resident Population
1 Cherbourg (Qld) 1,269
2 West Daly (NT) 3,166
3 Belyuen (NT) 164
4 Woorabinda (Qld) 962
5 Central Desert (NT) 3,677
6 Aurukun (Qld) 1,269
7 Yarrabah (Qld) 2,559
8 Doomadgee (Qld) 1,405
9 Napranum (Qld) 957
10 Palm Island (Qld) 2,446
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