Is the Sunshine Coast Growing? An Expert's Perspective

The Sunshine Coast is a rapidly growing urban area with a total of 1,633 square kilometers (630.5 square miles). It is the third most populated place in Queensland, with a population of more than 370,000 people. According to the census, 48.3 percent of people living on the Sunshine Coast are men, while 51.7% are women. However, the Sunshine Coast Council and the State Government base their planning on outdated data from the Queensland Bureau of Statistics that underestimate the future population by 10 percent.

This could lead to a serious supply of housing on the coast, affecting everyone's lifestyle and habitability. A housing market report predicts that the population of the Sunshine Coast could increase by 60,000 people, equivalent to an additional city the size of Aura and larger than Noosa. The report also states that the desire for coastal lifestyle and opportunities is expected to trigger an extreme growth trajectory until 2041 “like no other region in Australia”. This is due to a combination of factors such as millennials moving to the area, local residents choosing not to leave the coast and former residents returning to live here.

In order to serve this rapidly growing population, which has land limitations due to mountains and flood-prone areas, 3,500 new units need to be built each year (townhouses, apartments, duplexes, secondary housing). However, the coast is currently struggling to deliver a third of that amount. If we analyze the last eight years of the population of the Sunshine Coast, the growth rate is very constant and solid, ranging from 1.21% to 2.24%, adding between 4,198 and 7,240 people each year to the total population. The main occupations of people living on the Sunshine Coast are professionals (19.1%), technicians and trade workers (16.1%), office and administration workers (12.7%), community and personal services workers (12.2%) and managers (11.9%).Direct Collective's chief operating officer Mal Cayley urges all coastal residents to “come together to fully understand the problem and work for a sustainable future” in order to ensure that everyone can enjoy a high quality of life on the Sunshine Coast.

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