At the outset of the 21st century, the overall structure of Australia's settlement pattern is judged to be relatively fixed. Australia is a relatively 'empty' continent, with approximately 0.2% of the land mass accommodating three-quarters of the population. We are a nation of coastal dwellers, with 85% of the population living within 50 kilometres of the coastline. We are a highly urbanised society with 87% of the population living in urban centres of 1000 or more people. There is a high metropolitan primacy, with the capital cities of the seven states and territories accommodating two-thirds of the total population. Within this spatial framework, however, there are a number of key shifts that are occurring.
Transitions: pathways towards sustainable urban development in Australia / Peter W. Newton (ed.),
Chapter 11, pp. 171-188