The District of Canberra Central is one of the original eighteen districts of the Australian Capital Territory used in land administration. The district is subdivided into divisions (suburbs), sections and blocks. The district of Canberra Central lies entirely within the bounds of the city of Canberra, the capital city of Australia.
The traditional custodians of the district are the indigenous people of the Ngunawal tribe.
Following the transfer of land from the Government of New South Wales to the Commonwealth Government in 1911, the district was established in 1966 by the Commonwealth via the gazettal of the Districts Ordinance 1966 No. 5 (Cth) which, after the enactment of the Australian Capital Territory (Self-Government) Act 1988 (Cth), became the Districts Act 1966 No. 5 (ACT). This Act was subsequently repealed by the ACT Government and the district is now administered subject to the Districts Act 2002 (ACT).
The district of Central Canberra is a set of contiguous residential suburbs consolidated around Lake Burley Griffin, together with a town centre located at Canberra City (also known as Civic), and a range of commercial suburbs, some of which form parts of the Parliamentary Triangle and contain many of Canberra's national monuments and institutions. The district is often known as two separate parts, being the Inner North and Inner South. While some of the other districts in the Australian Capital Territory and within the city of Canberra are well known (e.g. Belconnen, Gungahlin, Tuggeranong, Weston Creek, Woden Valley) Canberra Central would less often be thought of as a district outside of its administrative use: more often as the Inner North and Inner South. The district of Canberra Central is mentioned in various ACT legislation.
Canberra Central is bounded on the north by the Gungahlin district, the east by the Majura district, the south-east by the Jerrabombera district (as distinct from the suburb of Jerrabomberra that lies within the Queanbeyan local government area within New South Wales), the south by the district of the Woden Valley, the south-west by the Weston Creek district, and the west and north-west by the Belconnen district.
The district includes the inner north divisions (suburbs) of Acton, Ainslie, Braddon, Campbell, City, Dickson, Downer, Hackett, Lyneham, O'Connor, Reid, Russell, Turner and Watson (except for the very north end near the Australian Heritage Village which is in the Majura district). Part of the nature park to the east and south of Mount Majura is also in the district. It also includes Black Mountain and the land south of Lady Denman Drive around Yarramundi Reach, near Lake Burley Griffin.
The district includes the inner south divisions (suburbs) of Barton, Capital Hill, Deakin, Forrest, Fyshwick, Griffith, Kingston, Narrabundah, Parkes, Red Hill (except for the Federal Golf Course which is in Woden Valley district), and Yarralumla.
At the 2011 census, there were 72,184 people in the Canberra Central district, of these an equal percentage were male and female. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people made up 1.2 per cent of the population, which was lower than the national and territory averages. The median age of people in the Canberra Central district was 35 years, which was marginally lower than the national median of 37 years. Children aged 0–14 years made up 13.6 per cent of the population and people aged 65 years and over made up 12.9 per cent of the population. Of people in the area aged 15 years and over, 38.9 per cent were married and 9.8 per cent were either divorced or separated.
Population growth in the Canberra Central district between the 2001 census and the 2006 census was 3.5 per cent; and in the subsequent five years to the 2011 census, the population grew by 9.7 per cent. When compared with total population growth of Australia for the same periods, being 5.78 per cent and 8.32 per cent respectively, population growth in Canberra Central district was close to the national average. The median weekly income for residents within the Canberra Central district was significantly higher than the national average, and slightly higher than the territory average.
At the 2011 census, the proportion of residents in the Canberra Central district who stated their ancestry as Australian or Anglo-Saxon exceeded 47 per cent of all residents (national average was 65.2 per cent). In excess of 22 per cent of all residents in the Canberra Central district nominated a religious affiliation with Christianity at the 2011 census, which was significantly lower than the national average of 50.2 per cent. Meanwhile, as at the census date, compared to the national average, households in the Canberra Central district had an average proportion (20.4 per cent) where two or more languages are spoken (national average was 20.4 per cent); and a marginally lower proportion (76.2 per cent) where English only was spoken at home (national average was 76.8 per cent).