City of LauncestonEconomic profile
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City of Launceston

About the area

Name origin

Launceston is named after the Cornish township where Governor Philip King was born.

Location and boundaries

The Launceston City Council area is located in northern Tasmania, about 200 kilometres north of the Hobart CBD. The Launceston City Council area is bounded by the George Town and Dorset Council areas in the north, the Break O'Day Council area in the east, the Northern Midlands and Meander Valley Council areas in the south, and the West Tamar Council area and the Tamar River in the west.

Included areas

The Launceston City Council area includes the suburbs, townships and localities of Bangor, Blessington (part), Burns Creek, Dilston, East Launceston, Golconda (part), Invermay, Karoola, Kings Meadows, Lalla, Launceston, Lebrina, Lilydale (part), Lower Turners Marsh (part), Mayfield, Mount Direction (part), Mowbray, Myrtle Bank, Newnham, Newstead, North Lilydale (part), Norwood, Nunamara, Patersonia, Pipers Brook (part), Pipers River (part), Prospect, Punchbowl, Ravenswood, Relbia (part), Retreat (part), Rocherlea, South Launceston, Springfield (part), St Leonards, Summerhill, Swan Bay, Targa, Tayene (part), Trevallyn (part), Tunnel, Turners Marsh, Underwood, Upper Blessington (part), Waverley, West Launceston, White Hills (part), Windermere, Wyena (part) and Youngtown.

Land use

The Launceston City Council area features both urban and rural areas, with the urban areas located in the west, and the rural areas in north, east and south-east. The urban areas include residential, industrial and commercial land use. Rural land is used largely for agriculture (particularly sheep grazing and apple growing) and forestry, with some viticulture. Tourism is also an important industry. The City encompasses a total land area of about 1,400 square kilometres.


The Launceston City Council area is served by the Bass, East Tamar, Midland, Tasman and West Tamar Highways.

Settlement history

European settlement dates from 1806, when settlers, soldiers and convicts moved upstream from Port Dalrymple. A military town was set up, with land initially used for wheat farming, then sheep grazing for wool. Population was minimal until the 1820s, with Launceston developing as a commercial, industrial and service hub for Tasmania, becoming an export centre for the mainly pastoral industry. By 1827 the population had reached about 2,000, rising to more than 10,000 by 1861. Rapid growth took place during the late 1800s, largely due to the mining boom in the 1870s and 1880s. By 1888 the population had grown to about 17,000. Growth continued during the early 1900s. Expansion took place during the post-war years, with growth spreading outwards from the central city. The population grew to about 63,000 by 1976, with little growth during the 1980s. The population declined slightly during the 1990s, falling from under 64,000 in 1991 to about 60,000 in 2001. The population then increased slightly, rising to about 64,000 in 2011.

Indigenous background

The original inhabitants of the Launceston area were the Palawa Aboriginal people.

Regional labour force

The City of Launceston labour force region is defined by an area in which a significant percentage of workers travelled into the City of Launceston to work at the 2011 Census. Details of this calculation and a list of areas included can be found in the data notes.