This report is third in a series of annual Australian Government publications bringing together current data to show how our major cities are evolving and to strengthen the knowledge base on which urban policy can be developed. The purpose of State of Australian Cities 2012 is to inform policy and investment decisions that affect our major cities, to explore trends and to educate the wider community about the factors that are shaping our cities and the lives of those living in them. This year’s report draws on data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) 2011 Census of Population and Housing. For the 2011 Census, ABS developed new geographical categories, changing the basis for data collection from collection districts to mesh blocks, which are areas containing between 30 and 60 dwellings. The Statistical Divisions used for capital cities in earlier State of Australian Cities reports have been replaced by a new measure: the ‘Greater Capital City Statistical Area’.