Adelaide - North, 

SA4 Region South Australia

Adelaide - North is forecast to grow from 461,302 to 607,486 by 2046. An increase of 146,184 people throughout the forecast period. As the growth engine of Greater Adelaide, Adelaide - North is forecast to account for nearly half of Greater Adelaide's population growth by 2046

Version 5.1.0 Published 22nd February 2023

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Key Findings

The population of Adelaide - North in 2021 was 461,302. The population is forecast to grow by 146,184 persons to reach a population of 607,486 in 2046. This accounts for 39% of South Australia's population growth over the next 25 years.

  • The number of dwellings in Adelaide - North is forecast to grow from 182,768 in 2021 to 249,804 in 2046, an additional 67,037 dwellings.
  • Adelaide - North's population growth is dominated by 3 SA2s; Munno Para West - Angle Vale, Virginia - Waterloo Corner, and Gawler - South. Collectively, these SA2s contribute 69% of Adelaide - North's population growth over the forecast period, accounting for nearly 46% of Greater Adelaide's total population growth over the next 25 years. That's a lot
  • Munno Para West - Angle Vale SA2 is forecast to grow 45,541 persons, the largest share of population growth within the region (31%) by 2046. Contributing to such strong population growth is the additional 18,328 dwellings forecast to be complete by 2046, the largest share of any SA2, and accounting for 27% of Adelaide - North's dwelling growth over the forecast period.
  • 8 SA2s are forecast to decline slightly in population over the 25-year forecast period, the largest of which being Mawson Lakes - Globe Derby Park (-4%), Redwood Park, (-2.8) and Salisbury - North (-2.2%).
  • Virginia - Waterloo Corner is the fastest growing SA2 in both dwellings built and population growth, dominated by its flagship Riverlea Estate. However, our forecasters have sequenced Dry Creek - North to begin development in the early 2030's, attributed to land re-zoning on the salt pans, becoming the fastest growing SA2 once it begins.
  • In comparison to Greater Adelaide, Adelaide - North has a diversity of household types, catering mostly for young families in growing suburbs. Northgate - Oakden - Gilles Plains SA2 is the figurehead of this diversity, characterised by showing the most dynamic age structure over the forecast period.
  • Although Adelaide - North is forecast to grow more than any other South Australian SA4, it has operated at a net loss in intrastate migration over the last 5 years, losing its largest proportion of emigrants to Barossa - York - Mid NorthAdelaide - Central and Hills, and South Australia - South East  SA4s. 

Read on below for charts, maps and tables sharing the forecast results at SA2 geography. 


Geography and the role and function of place

Adelaide North SA4 is comprised of 33 SA2s ranging from mature, satellite cities like Elizabeth SA2 an historic employment hub attracting early migrant communities in the 50s. To Riverlea Park, a new suburb spearheaded by its very own 12,000 dwelling estate, attracting young and growing families as well as new migrants within Virginia - Waterloo Corner SA2.

The SA4 is serviced by the Gawler Central passenger railway line and the Adelaide - Port Augusta freight railway line. The Central and North East regions are serviced by the Gawler Line, whereas the South and South East quadrant is serviced by the O-Bahn busway. The west is not serviced by public transport and instead relies on the North - South Motorway to access the CBD.

Adelaide – North has a younger population compared to Greater Adelaide as a whole. Given its nature of urban growth, young families looking for a cheaper first home tend to relocate to areas with greater housing supply like Adelaide - North. Although no SA2 in Adelaide - North is considered 'inner-city', the SA4 still boasts a large university-age service group attributed to the University of South Australia in Mawson Lakes - Globe Derby Park SA2.

Adelaide - North is the growth engine of Adelaide, and South Australia as a whole. Playing a similar function to the historic Southern growth expansion, Adelaide - North boasts an expanding housing supply, without the topographic constraints. Consisting mostly of large estates, the expansion into Northern Adelaide will require adequate staging processes to ensure infrastructure keeps up with demand.


Adelaide - North, within the South Australian context

Our forecasts reflect how the future population of a place is affected by both localised and bigger-picture factors - what we refer to as 'bottom-up' and 'top-down' influences.

When undertaking small area forecasts, we first have to understand the macro drivers of change. Below are some key insights from our 'top-down' forecasts published in January 2023 that set the context for each region, or SA4, and the role it plays within the state.  

This video provides a short summary of the process.


National and State population forecast

A new census cycle means new 2021 ‘Tops-Down’ national to state to SA4 forecasts based on up-to-date macro-level population and economic assumptions. For more information on our ‘Tops-Down’ forecast assumptions and results, read our National and State Population Forecast Review.

SAFi Review

Adelaide North in the South Australian context




Adelaide - North is forecast to grow by 146,184 persons by 2046 

Australia is set to grow by 6 million persons by 2046, with South Australia's population growth accounting for around 6% of the Australian total. South Australia's population is expected to grow by 374,527 persons by 2046. Of this growth, 46% is attributed to Adelaide - North, the lion's share of growth among the 4 Greater Adelaide SA4s

Adelaide - North has a relatively young population compared to Greater Adelaide and is forecast to maintain such age structure. 35-49 year olds will receive the largest proportion of growth among the age groupings, with the the remaining majority trickling towards the older age brackets.

Although Adelaide - North is experiencing rapid population and dwelling growth, over the last 5 years it has operated at a net loss in intrastate migration. The largest contributors to Adelaide - North's interstate immigration were Adelaide - West SA4, South Australia - Outback SA4, and Darwin (NT) SA4, whereas the largest magnets for emigration were Barossa - Yorke - Mid North SA4, Adelaide - Central and Hills SA4, and South Australia - South East SA4.



.id Small Area forecasts for Adelaide - North

Paired with a top-down view of the region, our bottom-up approach is able to forecast population and dwelling growth down to SA2 and sub SA2 levels. These granular forecasts provide a view of growth that factors in what is happening on the ground to give you the most accurate population forecasts in Australia.

"Land supply is not directly an issue for macro forecasts (national, states and territories), whereas when you undertake forecasting at the regional and particularly at the local level, it becomes largely about land and dwelling supply”. John O’Leary .id demographer.




A comprehensive and balanced view of future development 

Our forecasts incorporate research into local land use and future development from a range of public and proprietary sources.

urban.com.au Nearmap Cordell PlanSA OpenLot.com.au LocationSA Map Viewer Development-ready Callpoint spatial Realestate.com.au th urban devleoper renewalsa-logo-main-2018

Adelaide North - The local detail

While others grow tall, Adelaide continues to sprawl

Adelaide - North has become South Australia's fastest urban sprawl front taking the baton from Adelaide - South SA4, given northern Adelaide does not share the same topographical constraints. However, as development rapidly expands north, there is a critical need for public and social infrastructure to keep up at the same rate.

Munno Para West - Angle Vale SA2 is forecast to carry Northern Adelaide's growth front over the forecast period, contributing 45,541 persons and 18,328 dwellings in the next 25 years. Notable developments include: The Entrance, Miravale, St Andrews Estate, Brookmont Estate, Playford Alive, Almond Grove, and Riverbanks Living.

Virginia - Waterloo Corner SA2 is also forecast to experience rapid growth in both population and dwellings, spearheaded by Riverlea Estate, a master planned suburb comprising of 12,000 private dwellings in its very own suburb, 'Riverlea Park'. Riverlea began construction is early 2022, and is expected to maintain growth throughout the entire forecast period.

The suburb of Concordia is home to the third largest growth front in Adelaide - North SA4 in the form of the rezoning of 616 ha of land for future development. Residing in Gawler - South SA2, the development is forecast to commence in the late 2020's, with consistent growth in the resulting years. Concordia is expected to supply up to 10,000 private dwellings to the LGA of Barossa, prompting a discussion to alter LGA boundaries between Gawler, Light and Barossa LGAs.

The controversial development of Dry Creek - North SA2's salt pan has also been sequenced for development by our forecasters given a recent decision to begin planning works. Although forecast to supply up to 10,000 private dwellings, the development has been forecast to commence in the 2030s.

Very limited high density zoning exists in Adelaide - North SA4, hence the lack of activity centre development. The largest activity centre identified by our forecasters is in Enfield - Blair Athol SA2, contributing close to 4% to Adelaide - North's total population growth to 2046. As the most populated SA2 in 2021, the majority of forecast growth is attributed to redevelopments and infill.

8 SA2s are forecast to decline slightly in population throughout the forecast period, the largest of which being Mawson Lakes - Globe Derby Park SA2, Redwood Park SA2, and Greenwith SA2, expected to lose 569, 462, and 385 persons respectively.





Development Hotspots

Over the forecast period, Adelaide - North is expected to grow from 182,768 to 250,012 dwellings, an additional 67,244 dwellings by 2046.

Of the 446 development sites identified, over 88% are greenfield, zoned growth areas, or potential redevelopment sites, mirroring aims of growth and urban sprawl among local and state governments.

Our forecasters have identified 25 development sites with capacities upwards of 1,000 dwellings, with each site sequenced to begin within the forecast period. The largest of which being Riverlea Estate in Virginia - Waterloo Corner SA2

Munno Para - Angle Vale SA2 stands head and shoulders over any other Greater Adelaide SA2 in terms of both population and dwelling growth over the forecast period, accounting for nearly 7% of South Australia's total dwelling growth over the next 25 years.

Over 56% of identified dwelling supply was used throughout the forecast period, however, sequencing that development is the challenge for our forecasters. Munno Para West - Angle Vale Sa2, Virginia - Waterloo Corner SA2, and Gawler - South SA2 are forecast to maintain dwelling growth to 2046, while Northgate - Northfield SA2 and Davoren Park SA2  are forecast to grow strongly in the short-term, and then ease as dwelling supply dries up.

Areas of note 

  • Riverlea Estate in Virginia - Waterloo Corner SA2, has begun construction and is expected to experience consistent dwelling growth throughout the forecast period. With a total capacity of 12,000 dwellings, it will be one of Adelaide - North's largest growth fronts over the next 25 years.
  • The majority of population and dwelling growth is situated within Playford LGA, with Munno Para West - Angle Vale SA2 contributing the majority of this growth. With over 45,500 more people forecast to reside in the SA2 by 2046, there is a critical need for infrastructure to keep up with such rapid development.
  • Gawler LGA is currently in the process of a boundary reform considering the substantial development fronts bordering the Northern end of the LGA, the most significant of which being Concordia GA. Located in Gawler - South SA2, Concordia is expected to begin development within the forecast period, supplying upwards of 10,000 dwellings.
  • Closer to the CBD, Enfield - Blair Enthol SA2, Northgate - Oakden - Gilles Plains SA2, Hope Valley - Modbury SA2, and St Agnes - Ridgehaven SA2 have all been identified to experience some level of activity centre development throughout the forecast period. The largest proportion of zoned high density area within the SA4 is Enfield - Blair Enthol SA2.
  • Northgate - Oakden - Gilles Plains SA2 is forecast to contribute both high density and greenfield dwelling growth over the 25-year forecast period, spearheaded by Lightsview Estate and Oakden Rise Estate.
  • After decades of discussion, the Dry Creek salt pans have been approved for development after a rezoning to a future development area. The development is expected to supply up to 12,000 dwellings with our forecasters sequencing this development to start in the early 2030s.

This detail can be explored further within our Residential Development Forecasts.

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Commentary and analysis from our specialist forecasters.

Johnny Barnard

Johnny Barnard

Principal forecaster
Liza Ivanova

Liza Ivanova

Population forecaster
Richard Thornton

Richard Thornton

Population forecaster

Chris Jones

Population forecaster
Oliver Bowering

Oliver Bowering

Population forecaster

John O'Leary

Forecast modelling

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Public resources for local areas

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Your questions answered

Do you have a question about our forecasts, our assumptions or about the Adelaide - North SA4 Region? You can submit a question to our team by emailing locationdecisions@id.com.au

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