Population and employment

The Gold Coast has grown beyond its origins as a collection of coastal villages that has long defined its relaxed lifestyle. We are a rapidly transforming city that competes strongly in national and international business arenas.


The Gold Coast is identified by the National Cities Performance Framework, that measures the health of Australia’s largest cities, as the best performer nationally, with an annual employment growth rate of 3.9 per cent.

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Overall, the Gold Coast is one of the most desirable places in the world to live ranked on political, social, economic, environmental, personal safety, and health factors.

In recent years, we have seen an average 14,700 people migrate annually to our city and our current population of more than 600,000 is expected to reach one million by 2041.

While those over the age of 60 account for 22 per cent of our population, by far the largest age demographic is those under 50 (66 per cent), giving us a youthful city profile.

The Gold Coast’s $38 billion-plus economy has traditionally relied on tourism and construction. Over many years our tech-savvy city has embraced knowledge-based industries including health, information and communications technology, advanced manufacturing, education and professional services.

This has led to healthcare and social assistance becoming our largest sector for employment, filling 43,951 local jobs and generating $3.5 billion for the local economy.

Our appeal as Australia’s premier tourist destination supports 33,767 jobs in accommodation, food and beverage while the retail sector employs 33,692 people, almost the same as construction 33,520 jobs.

More than 28 per cent of us were born overseas, adding to our multicultural demographic which is underpinned by our appeal to overseas students who study through one of our more than 200 international and domestic education providers, including three world-class universities – Griffith University, Bond University and Southern Cross University. Many of these students will stay on, further enriching our city’s skillset and cultural diversity.

Explore the City’s population and economic profiling data tools.