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City Facts & Figures

What happens in the capital City of Adelaide? How many people live, work, study in or visit the city? Do you want to know the answers to these questions? We undertake research on a wide range of topics to assist in understanding the complex dynamics of a modern city. 

Adelaide City Living Market Research

As a means of better understanding the key markets, demand drivers and barriers associated with city living, the Capital City Committee partnered with the City of Adelaide and Renewal SA to undertake market research into Adelaide city living. The research will underpin city residential growth strategy of Council and Government and is provided to industry to inform city housing and service development strategy.

 The market research was undertaken by Hudson Howells, a South Australian strategic management company, and comprised four surveys and seven focus groups. Surveys were conducted with the Adelaide metropolitan market, the interstate market (Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne), current residents of Adelaide city centre (excluding North Adelaide) and international students living in Greater Adelaide respectively. Overall, 2,200 surveys were completed. The seven focus groups were undertaken with residents of Greater Adelaide in key life stage brackets.

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Latest City User Profile Survey

Download: City User Profile Survey 2018

Scroll below for more information relating to City User Profile Surveys.

The City Growth Story

The City Growth Story brings together information on the drivers of City growth to date as well as the future prospects for growth. The City Growth Story takes a broad perspective of “City growth” in considering the drivers of change and the interrelationships between five dimensions of growth – social, physical, economic, cultural and environmental.

The City Growth Story is one source of information about the City that is being used to build the Adelaide 2040 Plan and Council’s next 4-year Strategic Plan.

Download: The City Growth Story 2018 (4 MB)

Download: The City Growth Story 2015

City of Adelaide Census of Land Use and Employment

The City of Adelaide Census of Land Use and Employment is a statistical snapshot of the City’s employment, industries, land use, parking, and venue capacities. The data gives a rich insight into the City economy. Data from the census is used by Council to inform decision making. Other organisations use the insights to supplement their research and understanding of the City and its role and contribution to the South Australian economy.

Download: City of Adelaide Census of Land Use and Employment Listen(4MB)

This Census is undertaken every 2 to 3 years.  The fieldwork for the latest census was done in April to June 2016.

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City Profile and Population

City User Profiles

The City User Profile Surveys have been conducted for a number of years. In 2014 we compiled a document highlighting the key insights from 10 years of CUP. Download here 

This research is important for profiling our city residents, workers, students and visitors - it tells us, who uses the city, how they use it and how their attitudes and behaviours are changing. The profiles are an important input to planning as they prepare us for future needs and help measure how successful our current city initiatives are. 

The latest wave of research was conducted in May 2015. You can view the CUP research for previous years via the fact sheets or reports below.

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Community Profiles

Community Profiles are designed to inform community groups, Council, investors, business, students and the general public. To achieve this, the Profiles are formatted to present the data in simple, clear tables and charts with concise factual commentary. The Community Profiles are based on the 2016 Census of Population and Housing published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. View the Council's 2016 Census Profile.

Population Forecasts

How many people live in Adelaide City? How many people are likely to be living in Adelaide City in 5, 10 or 20 years? Population forecasts are prepared to give an indication of future population outcomes. View the population forecast

Economic Profile

The City of Adelaide Economic Profile provides economic analysis for the City of Adelaide by combining 11 different datasets to build a cohesive story of a local economy, how it is changing and how it compares to other areas.

Results for the City of Adelaide include Gross Regional Product, local jobs, local businesses, employment, unemployment, population, building approvals, industry structure, journey to work and much more.

View the economic profile.


The items here were a bit out of date.  We are working on a new suite of demographic and economic infographics for the City of Adelaide using the latest data.

Below is a collection of infographics and smart insights, compiled by research officers at City of Adelaide for you to print and share!

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Public Spaces and Public Life

City of Adelaide - Public Spaces and Public Life 2011 Study

Internationally recognised urban quality consultant Gehl Architects was commissioned by City of Adelaide to conduct a Public Spaces and Public Life study for the City of Adelaide in 2011 as a contribution to 5000+, the Integrated Design Strategy for Inner Adelaide.

Public Spaces and Public Life 2011 provides a snapshot of the city and how it is used.  It begins with an analysis of the physical characteristics of Adelaide City’s public realm, followed by a survey of pedestrian movements and activities in key locations.  Based on these analyses, a series of recommendations are presented that range from broad principles to specific design proposals, all of which aim to enhance the activity, enjoyment and utility of the city’s public spaces.

Public Spaces and Public Life 2011 is a valuable tool for understanding Adelaide’s public realm and to help inform decision-making.  It makes it possible to see not only how the City has evolved since 2002, when Adelaide’s first Public Spaces and Public Life study was commissioned, but also how Adelaide compares to the other cities in Australia and around the world which have been analysed using the same methodology.  The broader recommendations offer insight on how Adelaide’s strategic directions relate to international best practice while the more detailed design propositions can provoke intelligent discussion and allow for fresh perspectives on the possibilities for our city.

Several projects have been developed in response to the ideas in Public Spaces and Public Life 2011, and they are currently taking shape in Chesser St and Pitt St.

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Adelaide Fine Grain Report

In 2012, City of Adelaide commissioned a report to provide a series of recommendations to effectively activate underutilised streets and spaces of the city centre, termed as the ‘fine grain’. The term fine grain describes the smaller streets and spaces of the city; the vital layer of lower cost, diverse and specialised activities and uses that encourage interest and attraction to places.

The Adelaide Fine Grain Report provides an understanding of the spatial and social conditions in Adelaide City and also looks at how other cities have identified and managed the process of activating their city centres to create places where people want to shop, eat, relax and socialise.

The report identifies that the fine grain of a city centre is connected to and affected by a multitude of other aspects of the life of the city, across scales and jurisdictions. An understanding is required of the large scale issues facing the city centre such as how and why do people come into the city, and what other metropolitan centres the city compares with. The small scale of the city also needs to be understood, such as how much it costs a business to rent a small shop in the city, and how new and unique businesses can be encouraged to start up.

The recommendations in the Adelaide Fine Grain Report provide a starting point to build on the existing strengths of the city centre and assist with further developing a layer of vibrant and authentic fine grain activities in the city.

The report was noted by Council in April 2013. Council will consider the findings and recommendations of the report in developing a successful fine grain layer for the city in partnership with the community and key stakeholders.

Download: Adelaide Fine Grain Report (12MB)

Survey and Focus Group Reports

Previous Census Reports

Previous CUP Research Fact Sheets and Reports

DOWNLOAD TO VIEW: City User Profile 2017 Summary Report

DOWNLOAD TO VIEW: City User Profile 2016 Summary Report

DOWNLOAD TO VIEWCity User Profile 2015 Summary Report

DOWNLOAD TO VIEW: City User Profile factsheet (2013-14) or City User Profile full report (2013-14)

DOWNLOAD TO VIEW: City User Profile factsheet (2012-13) or City User Profile full report (2012-13)

Downloadable Infographics and Smart Insights


This report has been broken up into parts for quicker download and access. You may also download the full report (75MB).

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