City by numbers

Lake Macquarie is located on the east coast of Australia, strategically located midway on the eastern seaboard between Melbourne and Brisbane, offering an ideal location for people and businesses.


  • 90 minutes to Sydney on the M1
  • 10 minutes to Newcastle
  • 25 minutes to the Port of Newcastle
  • 35 minutes to Hunter Valley wine country
  • 40 minutes to Newcastle Airport (international gateway)


  • More than 219,000 people call Lake Macquarie home, making our city the third largest regional city in NSW by population
  • Our population grew by 2655 in the year ending 30 June 2023 at a growth rate of 1.2 per cent
  • Population is expected to grow by 39,000 people by 2041, creating demand for 12,000 new dwellings


  • City area of 648-square-kilometres
  • Lake Macquarie is about twice the size of Sydney Harbour and one of Australia's largest saltwater lakes, with a circumference of 174km
  • 32km of coastline to the city's east with four patrolled beaches
  • Thirteen forests make up the Watagan Mountains in the City's west


  • Economic activity generated by the Lake Macquarie economy is $26.5 billion, which is over 21 per cent of the Hunter economy
  • The total value added by our economy is estimated at $12.5 billion
  • Rental, hiring and real estate services, mining, health care and social assistance are the biggest contributors to the city's economy
  • There are 14,081 active businesses in Lake Macquarie, with more than 6500 new businesses started in the last four years
  • More than $1.6 billion worth of development applications were approved in the city in 2021-2022
  • 1.3 million international and domestic tourists visit Lake Macquarie each year
  • The city is home to Avondale University, offering tertiary education opportunities


  • 73,233 people work in Lake Macquarie, with retail trade, construction and education and training the largest employers
  • The city's total workforce in 2021 was 102,029
  • Lake Macquarie's unemployment rate was 3.66 per cent in December 2022

Further Information

Looking to delve deeper into the statistics of Lake Macquarie? Check out the Lake Macquarie REMPLAN Community page.