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The City of Onkaparinga is located in the outer southern suburbs of Adelaide. European settlement dates from 1838, with the first township established in 1840 at Willunga. The Noarlunga township (now Old Noarlunga) was established in the same year, serving as a commercial centre for the region until the 1980s. Land was used mainly for grazing and farming, particularly wheat growing. Growth took place in the late 1800s, with subsequent towns such as Reynella and McLaren Vale developed around the wine industry. Land was also used for horticulture, orchards and quarrying, with the area remaining largely rural until significant development in the post-war years, spurred by the outward spread of Adelaide’s growth.
Rapid development took place between the 1950s and 1970s, particularly in areas around Christies Beach, Christie Downs. The Noarlunga commercial and community centre was developed in the 1970s to cater for the rapidly expanding residential area. The extension of the railway line from Hallett Cove at the same time provided the area with metropolitan rail services. Residential growth spread to the foothill areas of O’Halloran Hill, Happy Valley, Flagstaff Hill and Woodcroft in the 1980s and early 1990s. Growth has continued from the early 1990s, although at a slower rate, with the population rising from about 127,000 in 1991 to over 156,000 in 2011, and 169,000 in 2016. Much of the growth in the 1990s was in the suburbs of Aberfoyle Park, Seaford, Seaford Rise and Woodcroft. Growth between 2001 and 2011 continued in the suburbs of Seaford and Seaford Rise, but was also significant in the suburb of Aldinga Beach.
The City is also producing a significant amount of future housing demand from within its own boundaries. Many of the older areas of the City, particularly in the north have older children leaving home and looking to establish new households, often in the new growth areas of Onkaparinga.
Note: The migration flows depicted above are historical and do not represent future or forecast migration flows or subsequent council boundary changes. The arrows represent migration flows to the area as a whole and do not indicate an origin or destination for any specific localities within the area. Overseas flow shows overseas arrivals based on answers to the census question "where did the person usually live 5-years ago" and .id estimates of international out-migration.
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