Find a Council

Similar Councils

On Councils in Focus you can compare your council to similar councils and to all councils across the State.

Similar councils 

The comparison to similar councils on the site is based on five groups of similar councils.

These groups have been based on the ‘Australian Classification of Local Government (ACLG) framework. The Commonwealth department responsible for Local Government determines a range of ‘council types’ to enable all councils across Australia to be consistently compared.

Each year, the South Australian Local Government Grants Commission analyses data about all councils in South Australia, to determine which ‘council type’ in the ACLG framework should be assigned to each council.  This analysis is based on information from the Australian Bureau of Statistics on each council’s—

  • population
  • population density
  • the proportion of the population that is classified as urban for the council.

On this basis, South Australian councils are given over 20 different ACLG classifications. However, to enable easier comparison with ‘similar councils’, Councils in Focus has simplified ACLG classifications into similar council groups—

  1. Metropolitan — councils that have an ACLG classification of urban, including capital city and metropolitan developed
  2. Metropolitan Fringe — councils that are classified as a developing council on the margin of a developed or regional urban centre
  3. Regional Town/City — councils that are an urban centre in a regional area
  4. Large Rural — rural councils that have populations greater than 5,000 people
  5. Rural — rural councils that have fewer than 5,000 people.

The ‘Similar Councils’ groups provide a useful indication of your council’s functions and performance with other councils. However, it is important to note that there are differences between councils within each category.

If you have any questions about why your council’s data may look different to the data of other councils in these reports, particularly to other similar councils, please contact your council to discuss further.

As ACLG classifications can change over time, the data shown for each council compares it to the ‘similar council’ group that the council is in each year.  For example, if a council was classified as ‘metropolitan fringe’ from 2015-16 to 2017-18, the ‘similar council’ comparison is the ‘metropolitan fringe’ group for these years. If this council changes to ‘metropolitan’ for the 2017-18 to 2019-20 years, the similar council group for these years also changes to ‘metropolitan’.

Similar Council groupings

The 2020 similar council groupings are shown below. These groupings will be reviewed regularly in future years to make sure that councils are grouped with similar councils as far as possible.


  • The Corporation of the City of Adelaide
  • City of Burnside
  • Corporation of the City of Campbelltown
  • City of Charles Sturt
  • Town of Gawler
  • City of Holdfast Bay
  • Corporation of the City of Marion
  • City of Mitcham
  • Corporation of the City of Norwood Payneham and St Peters
  • City of Port Adelaide Enfield
  • City of Prospect
  • City of Salisbury
  • City of Tea Tree Gully
  • Corporation of the City of Unley
  • Corporation of the Town of Walkerville
  • City of West Torrens.

Metropolitan Fringe

  • Adelaide Hills Council
  • Alexandrina Council
  • The Barossa Council
  • City of Onkaparinga
  • City of Playford.

Regional Town/City

  • District Council of Coober Pedy
  • Mount Barker District Council
  • City of Mount Gambier
  • Rural City of Murray Bridge
  • Corporation of the City of Port Augusta
  • City of Port Lincoln
  • Municipal Council of Roxby Downs
  • City of Victor Harbor
  • Corporation of the City of Whyalla.

Large Rural

  • Adelaide Plains Council
  • Berri Barmera Council
  • Clare and Gilbert Valleys Council
  • Coorong District Council
  • Copper Coast Council
  • District Council of Grant
  • Kangaroo Island Council
  • Light Regional Council
  • District Council of Lower Eyre Peninsula
  • District Council of Loxton Waikerie
  • Mid Murray Council
  • Naracoorte Lucindale Council
  • Port Pirie Regional Council
  • Renmark Paringa Council
  • Tatiara District Council
  • Wakefield Regional Council
  • Wattle Range Council
  • District Council of Yankalilla
  • Yorke Peninsula Council.


  • Barunga West Council
  • District Council of Ceduna
  • District Council of Cleve
  • District Council of Elliston
  • The Flinders Ranges Council
  • District Council of Franklin Harbour
  • Regional Council of Goyder
  • District Council of Karoonda East Murray
  • District Council of Kimba
  • Kingston District Council
  • District Council of Mount Remarkable
  • Northern Areas Council
  • District Council of Orroroo Carrieton
  • District Council of Peterborough
  • District Council of Robe
  • Southern Mallee District Council
  • District Council of Streaky Bay
  • District Council of Tumby Bay
  • Wudinna District Council.

Search or use your location to find a council