The RDA Sunshine Coast Region Estimated Resident Population for 2019 is 384,301, with a population density of 1.22 persons per hectare.

Located in south-east Queensland, about 100 kilometres north of the Brisbane CBD, the RDA Sunshine Coast Region’s Gross Regional Product is estimated at $20.37 billion, which represents 5.79% of the state’s GSP (Gross State Product).

Key Statistics

(NIER) – National Institute of Economic and Industry Research
(GSP) – Gross State Product


$20.37 billion

NIEIR 2019

Local jobs


NIEIR 2019



ABS ERP 2019

Largest industry

Health Care and Social Assistance

NIEIR 2019

Local businesses


ABS 2019

Employed Residents


NIEIR 2019

The Sunshine Coast is a region that is undergoing significant transformation. It was initially inhabited by the Kabi Kabi (Gubbi Gubbi) people, an Indigenous group made up of several smaller tribes inhabiting the region from Elimbah Creek in the south to Cooloola National Park in the north.

Following European settlement, the region has experienced two phases of development. During the first phase the area was characterised as an agricultural-based economy with supporting services. In the 1960s the region began its second phase, moving towards tourism, property development and personal service industries.

Since the late 1990s the region has been transitioning into a third phase of development, characterised by rapid diversification that builds on the existing strengths of the tourism industry. The Sunshine Coast is moving toward an era of broader economic potential, greater employment opportunities and an enhanced 21st century lifestyle.

Key features of the region include:

  • A regional economy offering a relaxed lifestyle
  • Close proximity to a major capital city – Brisbane
  • More than 200km of coastline
  • The fastest internet connection to Asia via the International Broadband Submarine Cable
  • Domestic and now international passenger and freight connections to and from the newly opened Sunshine Coast Airport international runway
  • Access to Australia’s newest $1.8Billion Sunshine Coast University Hospital, including medical University placements
  • Major tourist attraction centres along the coastal region and in the hinterland
  • A number of key National Parks and protected areas
  • Glass House Mountains – heritage-listed volcanic peaks rich in Aboriginal history.

The RDA Sunshine Coast offers a range of support services to connect business and community groups with government funding.

You will find current funding opportunities aligned with our strategic priorities regularly featured here.

Links to a broader range of government grant and funding opportunities can be explored through our search tools click here. To find out more about our grants and funding assistance click here. and our grants and funding opportunities click here.