The evolution of Australian towns

5 May 2014

Drawing on census data, this report identifies the major trends in the size and distribution of Australia's towns over the twentieth century. It examines the processes of change and the long term technological and economic factors driving development.


This is a historical, economic analysis of change in Australian settlement patterns over a century. Towns have been subject to significant economic, social and technological changes since 1911. This report examines how Australia's town settlement patterns reacted to that change and examines the underlying factors and processes involved. It examines the interacting effects of geography, history, goods and services markets, industry, emenity and investment. The analysis reveals the important roles of competition, existing infrastructure, improved technology, longer life expectancy and increased wealth. It concludes that a stronger focus on amenity and services are likely potential success factors for modern towns.

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