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How are Australia’s states and territories performing?

Each quarter, CommSec attempts to find out by analysing eight key indicators: economic growth; retail spending; equipment investment; unemployment; construction work done; population growth; housing finance and dwelling commencements.

Just as the Reserve Bank uses long-term averages to determine the level of “normal” interest rates; we have done the same with the economic indicators. For each state and territory, latest readings for the key indicators were compared with decade averages – that is, against the “normal” performance.

Now in its 11th year, the State of the States report also includes a section comparing annual growth rates for the eight key indicators across the states and territories as well as Australia as a whole. This enables another point of comparison – in terms of economic momentum.

State of the States

Brought to you by the CommSec Economics Team

For the first time since October 2009, Tasmania holds the mantle of the best performing economy in its own right. Three months ago Tasmania shared top spot with Victoria. The ACT remains in third spot from NSW but both economies have lost ground on the top two. Queensland is back in fifth spot from South Australia. Then follows Western Australia and the Northern Territory.

Last time Tasmania was on top of the performance rankings was October 2009. It replaces Victoria which held top position in the economic rankings for eight quarterly surveys. The ACT remains third and it has been in the top four economies for just over four years. NSW has been in the top four economies now for six years. Queensland is now in fifth spot, ahead of South AustraliaWestern Australia remains in seventh position, ahead of Northern Territory

State & Territory breakdown


1. Tasmania 

Strength: Relative Population Growth  

Weakness: Housing Finance


Insights into TAS

Tasmania is now in top spot on the economic performance rankings. Tasmania leads on four of the eight economic indicators.


2. Victoria

Strength: Relative Economic Growth 

Weakness: Equipment Investment 


Insights into VIC

Victoria is now second on the overall economic performance rankings. Victoria ranks first on two of the eight indicators.


3. ACT

Strength: Housing Finance

Weakness: Relative Population Growth 


Insights into ACT

The ACT is in third spot in the rankings. The ACT is top-ranked on two of the eight indicators.


4. New South Wales

Strength: Construction Work

Weakness: Relative Population Growth


Insights into NSW

NSW is in fourth position on the overall economic performance rankings. NSW is third on three of the eight indicators.


5. Queensland

Strength: Relative Unemployment

Weakness: Relative Economic Growth

Insights into QLD

Queensland is now in fifth position on the performance rankings. Queensland is ranked second on relative unemployment.


6. South Australia

Strength: Relative Population Growth

Weakness: Relative Economic Growth


Insights into SA

South Australia is now in sixth position on the performance rankings. South Australia is second-ranked on relative population growth.


7. Western Australia

Strength: Equipment Investment 

Weakness: Relative Unemployment


Insights into WA

Western Australia ranks second on business investment and relative economic growth.


8. Northern Territory 

Strength: Relative Economic Growth

Weakness: Relative Population Growth


Insights into NT

The Northern Territory is fifth-ranked on relative economic growth but lags all other states and territories on six of the eight indicators.

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