Growing Economy
  • Last updated:
  • 15 Nov 2017

Strong Economic Foundations

The Sunshine Coast economy is one of the largest regional economies in Queensland, with a current Gross Regional Product of more than A$17 billion (2015-2016, AEC Group). The economy is predicted to grow in a strong and sustainable pattern over the next 20 years to reach A$33 billion in 2033, accompanied by an increase in high-value employment, export and household income. 

The average annual economic growth of the Sunshine Coast from 2002-2015 (4.09% per annum) compared with other major global economies (International Monetary Fund, October 2015) demonstrates the region's economic strength and resilience. Economic growth on the Sunshine Coast surpassed the Australian average annual growth rate by 1.05% per annum over this period. 

The Sunshine Coast is the tenth largest 'significant urban area' in Australia by population (.id, 2016). The region experienced a 9.3% growth in population over a five-year period (2010-2015), which was higher than the national growth rate of 8.0% over the same period (ABS, 2016). The region is forecast to have the second highest growth rate in population for Queensland regions outside the greater Brisbane area between 2011 and 2036 (Queensland Government Population Projections, 2015).

The region's current population of 298,000 (ABS 2016 Census) is projected to grow to 500,000 by 2041, providing an ever-expanding local workforce to meet the needs of new business and industry as new investment takes place (.id, 2015).

The Sunshine Coast's industry base has broadened over the past decade, with growth in new industries such as education, healthcare and professional services. 

The region's top five industry sectors contributing to Gross Regional Product are health care and social assistance, construction, financial and insurance services, retail, and education and training (2015-16, AEC Group).

 In particular, the health care, finance and insurance services sectors have been key drivers of economic growth since 2006-07.

For the nearly 33,000 businesses on the Sunshine Coast, commercial confidence remains high. Regional businesses continue to reflect a consistent, positive business performance sentiment. The 2017-18 financial year is shaping up to be rewarding. ‚Äč(Boardroom Business Survey, November 2016).


Regional Economic Strategy

A clear economic blueprint for the Sunshine Coast over the next 20 years has been developed by the Sunshine Coast Council and leading business, industry and university representatives.

Sunshine Coast - The Natural Advantage: Regional Economic Development Strategy 2013-2033 is designed to drive economic growth and sets four goals for the region over 20 years. The strategy's goals are supported by an initial five-year implementation plan focused on outcome-based actions, to provide the foundations to generate sustained regional economic growth and associated investment returns.

For more information contact the Head of Investment Attraction on +61 407 753 645 or email