City of South PerthPopulation forecast
census-message-logo

This forecast has been updated with 2016 Census dwelling counts and the 2016 Estimated Resident Population. More information can be found here.

Skip to content

City of South Perth

Drivers of population change

Development history

The City of South Perth is an established, predominantly residential Local Government Area in Western Australia located about 3 kilometres south of the Perth CBD. While the area is primarily residential in nature, there is a large commercial area found along the Canning Highway as well and substantial parkland areas throughout the city. Major features of the City include the Canning River, the Swan River, Perth Zoo, Royal Perth Golf Club, South Perth Hospital, Como Beach, George Burnett Park, Milyu Nature Reserve, Neil McDougall Park and Sir James Mitchell Park.

While urban development in the City dates from 1829, there was comparatively little residential development in the City until 1880s, were settlements appeared along the foreshore, closest to Perth. Land was used mainly for farming, particularly food production and dairy farming. Gradual growth took place from the late 1800s to the early 1900s, aided by the discovery of gold in Coolgardie and Kalgoorlie, and the arrival of Chinese market gardeners. Some growth took place in the interwar period, with the population growing from about 3,000 in 1921 to 9,000 in 1933. Significant development occurred in the post-war years, when dairies and market gardens were replaced by houses and parklands. The most substantial residential growth took place in the 1950s and 1960s, aided by improvements in access, the construction of roads and bridges, and the influence of the War Service and State Housing Commissions. During the 1960s and 1970s many older houses were removed and replaced by high-rise residential flats, apartments and commercial buildings. In the 1980s the population increased slightly, from 32,000 in 1981 to 34,000 in 1991. The population continued to increase from 1991, reaching over 40,000 in 2011. Most of this growth was in the 2001-2011 period, and has been mainly from urban infill (units, flats and townhouses).

Migration patterns

The primary housing market role played by the City of South Perth has moved historically from the provision of family style housing to a high-demand 'lifestyle migrant' area attracting professionals, young people, and students. Within the City, different areas have taken on different functions and roles within this housing market. The older northern suburbs of the LGA such as South Perth and Como which were originally the domain of large family homes, have seen more apartments and other high density developments. The more southern suburbs of Manning & Salter Point, were by contrast established slightly later and are currently pitched to a different market - the dwelling stock in these areas includes larger houses and lots, with broader and more consistently designed residential areas, and (with the exception of public uses and parks) less mixing of land uses. It is assumed that the migration flows of younger professionals into higher density residential areas within the City will continue into the future.

Historical migration flows, City of South Perth, 2006-2011
Historical migration flows, City of South Perth, 2006-2011
'Overseas' refers to arrivals only.

Population and household forecasts, 2016 to 2041, prepared by .id the population experts, September 2017.

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 only, based on answers to the census question “where did the person usually live 5-years ago.

Housing role and function

Reflecting the City's development history, the dwelling stock in South Perth includes older 'heritage' homes through to contemporary apartment style housing. The City has a significant portion of private rentals (38% of all dwellings), and traditionally, tends to attract large numbers of young people, especially in the northern suburbs. While South Perth and Como strongly attract young adults; some suburbs have evolved to provide different roles within the housing market. Kensington, Manning, Salter Point and Waterford have a much higher proportion of family households due to larger dwelling stock, while Karawara and Waterford attract a higher proportion of younger adults/students due to their proximity to Curtain University.

Housing supply

With the high demand for dwellings across the City, there are significant differences in the supply of residential property within the City which will have a major influence in structuring different population and household futures over the next five to twenty years. The major source of additional dwellings and households in the City of South Perth is through larger redevelopment sites, including the reuse of prominent industrial and commercial sites. The identified supply of such sites means that this trend is expected to continue to be an important influence on South Perth's housing market. The South Perth Station Precinct (South Perth), Canning Bridge Structure Plan area (Como) and Canning Highway Corridor (Como, Kensington & South Perth), are major renewal projects, that collectively are anticipated to absorb two thirds of all expected residential growth within the City in the next 30 years. Similarly, albeit at much lower levels, some medium and higher density development is expected to continue to be important in Waterford, Manning, Salter Point and Karawara across the forecast period.

Other resources



v18.02.07-1.0.0