A new report has found just 221 locations across the nation generated about half of Australia’s economic growth in 2013.

Most of Australia’s economic output in 2013 was generated in locations with a combined area roughly the size of Tasmania, new modelling has found.

The PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) research, which gives an “on-the-ground economic view” from 2214 locations across the nation, also found just 221 areas generated 51 per cent of the country’s economic output.

“We have always known economic growth in Australia is uneven but until now we haven’t been able to see just how disproportionate it is,” PwC partner and economist Jeremy Thorpe said in a report.

In the 2012/13 financial year, the Australian economy grew by 2.6 per cent, but PwC’s Geospatial Economic Model (GEM) shows it shrank in about one-third of locations.

The top 10 locations for economic output in 2013 were responsible for 18.4 per cent of gross domestic product and employed 12.1 per cent of the population.

The top 10 list comprised the Sydney, Melbourne and Perth city centres, followed by Roebourne, Ashburton and East Pilbara. The last three are on resource-rich deposits in Western Australia.

The other four are the Brisbane and Adelaide city centres, North Sydney and Macquarie Park in Sydney’s northwest.

Mr Thorpe said while it was no surprise that city centres and resource-rich areas were key to the economy, it was surprising just how important they had become since 2000/01.

He said it was vital for government and business to understand which were the largest- and strongest-performing locations to be able to make informed capital investment, policy and social decisions as the resource investment boom started to taper.

“It’s also an opportunity to revise investment in locations that are struggling for growth and redirect it to locations with potential that would benefit from more nurturing,” he said.