We’re not experts on our own cities, but we can’t resist explaining Sydney – and the Australia we want to live in.

Interprovincial travel

Population

Largest population: 22 million

Worst populated cities in Australia: Melbourne

Sydney – certainly the capital of Australia – runs along the equator. It enjoys very little distinction between the poles, so it makes sense that the majority of its population is located within this wide circular network.

Population in ’70s

Largest population: 21 million

Worst populated cities in Australia: Darwin

What sets Sydney apart is its chaotic geography. Fewer than five cities in Australia possess a GDP greater than that of Sydney and half of them have populations greater than 25 million.

Population boom

Population boom – China. Photo: Getty Images

Another explanation is that Sydney’s population boom has had quite a temporary effect on the country’s growth rate over the last 20 years, and is the final piece in the puzzle for the beleaguered Australian economy.

Sydney lies at the crossroads of two economic forces: population and mining. The former is a necessary juncture between the two, as the nation tries to find both an appropriate balance between mining and population, and find a path back to economic stability.

State and country

State population in ’80s

Now it’s a low-carbon, low-power economy, having driven decades of balanced growth while protecting the environment in a way that even Australia’s geo-political enemies find positive.

New Zealand

State population in ’80s

Now it’s a high-tech economy, populated by the people who work for global tech corporations like Facebook and Google.

Sydney’s inhabitants live in apartments with waterlines and wi-fi access, or in factory-sized small-scale homes where they’re prepared to store their necessities and have a place to call home even if they only work 2km away from their workplaces.

Population in ’20s

New Zealand

Population in ’20s

Now it’s a high-tech economy, populated by the people who work for global tech corporations like Facebook and Google.

In Australia, Aussies do more than most of their buying and trading. The nation produces around half of Australia’s exports, and for some time has been a major force in global business. Australia’s 1.5 million Australians work in multinationals like McDonald’s, banks, and accounting firms, while local residents live and work in malls, factories, and the public sector.

Population growth

Sydney’s urban population had been on a steady growth trajectory through the 1990s and 2000s, but in the past decade urbanisation accelerated in New Zealand.

According to Yahoo!