1338.1 - NSW State and Regional Indicators, Dec 2010  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 31/01/2011  Final
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Data cubes with detailed statistics are available on the Downloads page.


Almost one in three Australians live in NSW. The total population for NSW grew to over 7.1 million in the 12 months ending 30 June 2009, a net increase of 119,500 persons or 1.7% - the largest annual increase since 1982. Natural increases accounted for 49,900 persons, with an additional increase of 89,500 persons from net overseas migration. There was a net loss of 19,800 persons to interstate migration, which is the smallest net loss since 2000-01.


The population of NSW had an average annual growth rate of 1.5% from June 2006 to June 2009 an increase of 318,300 persons. Sydney and Richmond-Tweed Statistical Divisions (SD) had the fastest growth over this period with both areas growing an average of 1.7% per year. The Far West of NSW is the only SD to see an average annual population decline (-0.3%) since 2006.

The population continues to age, with the number of persons aged 65 years and over increasing 2.8% from 30 June 2008 to 30 June 2009 compared to an increase of 1.5% for those under 65 years. At June 2009, a quarter of the population of NSW was aged over 55 years. The median age of all persons in NSW in 2009 remains unchanged from the previous year at 37.1 years.


Net overseas migration (NOM) is the biggest contributor to population growth in NSW, contributing 87,200 persons in 2007-08. NOM is the net gain of migrants arriving less emigrants departing. The largest contribution to NOM in 2007-08 was from people on temporary visas, who accounted for 68,400 persons of NOM in NSW. Of temporary visa holders, students contributed 42,200 persons to NOM over the same period, followed by visitors (11,600 persons), people on working holiday visas (10,300 persons) and business long stay (subclass 457) entrants (7,400 persons). Other large visa categories contributing to NOM in NSW were permanent visa holders (27,200 persons) and New Zealand citizens (6,400 persons) in 2007-08. There was a net loss of Australian citizens to NOM of 10,100 persons.




In 2008-09 the population in NSW decreased by 19,800 persons due to a net loss from interstate migration, down 9.6% on the previous year. Almost two-thirds of the net migration loss was due to people moving from NSW to Queensland (12,500 persons). Most arrivals to NSW from other States were from Queensland (36,600 persons) and Victoria (20,800 persons).

Considering interstate migration by age for NSW, persons aged 15-24 years experienced the largest net loss, followed by persons aged 0-14 years. People aged 25-34 years represented the largest number of arrivals to (21,400 persons) and departures from (25,400 persons) NSW. There was a very slight net gain of 100 residents to NSW from those aged 65-74 years.


There were 94,700 registered births in NSW in 2008, an increase of 5.8% since 2007. In the areas which recorded more than 1,000 births, the Statistical Sub-Division (SSD) of Central Western Sydney had the largest increase in births over the previous year (11%), followed by the Mid-North Coast SD with an increase of 10%. Over the period 2006-2008 the North Western SD had the highest total fertility rate in the state at 2.23 births per woman, compared to all other SDs in NSW.

Of all births in NSW in 2008, around one-third were to mothers aged between 30-34 years, with mothers aged 25-29 years accounting for one-quarter of all births.

Over the last two decades, fertility rates for mothers aged 30 years and over have increased, while the fertility rate for mothers aged under 30 years old decreased. The largest increases in rates were recorded for women aged 35-39 years (72.6 births per 1,000 women in 2008, compared to 32.6 births per 1,000 women in 1988) and women aged 30-34 years (126.5 births per 1,000 women in 2008, compared to 94.4 in 1988). The fertility rate for women aged 40-44 years has tripled over the same period (14.9 births per 1,000 women in 2008, compared to 4.9 in 1988), however births to women in this age group comprise only a small proportion (4%) of all births.



There were 48,800 deaths (24,800 males and 24,000 females) registered in NSW in 2008. Over the period 2006-2008 the Indirect Standardised Death Rate (ISDR) was 6.0 deaths per 1,000 standard population for NSW and 5.7 deaths per 1,000 standard population for Sydney SD. Within Sydney SD Central Northern Sydney and Lower Northern Sydney recorded the lowest ISDRs (both 5.0 deaths per 1,000 standard population) and Blacktown recorded the highest (6.6 deaths per 1,000 standard population). The highest ISDR in the State was recorded in the Far West SD (7.3 deaths per 1,000 standard population).

In 2008 the lowest age-specific death rates (ASDRs) in NSW were experienced by males and females aged 5-9 years and 10-14 years. ASDRs then begin to increase from around 15 years of age for both males and females. For all age groups to 85 years and over, ASDRs are higher for males than for females. Over the period 2006-2008 life expectancy at birth in NSW was 79.2 years for males and 83.9 years for females, up from 78.5 years for males and 83.3 years for females over the period 2003-2005.


The ABS produces 72 sets of projections based on different combinations of indicator assumptions, allowing various population scenarios to be investigated. From these, three main series are published: Series A, B and C. Series B largely reflects current trends in fertility, life expectancy at birth, net overseas migration and net interstate migration, whereas Series A and Series C are based on high and low assumptions for each of these variables respectively.

In 2006 the NSW population was 6.8 million, by 2036 this is projected to grow to between 8.6 million (Series C) and 9.7 million (Series A). In the same period, the population of Sydney is projected to rise from 4.3 million to between 5.8 million (Series C) and 6.2 million (Series A), and the Balance of NSW from 2.5 million to between 2.8 million (Series C) and 3.5 million (Series A).

PROJECTED POPULATION, Age and sex structure(a), NSW
Graph: PROJECTED POPULATION, Age and sex structure, NSW

Data cubes with detailed statistics are available on the Downloads page.


Australian Demographic Statistics (cat. no. 3101.0)

Australian Historical Population Statistics (cat. no. 3105.0.65.001)

Births, Australia (cat. no. 3301.0)

Census of Population and Housing

Deaths, Australia (cat. no. 3302.0)

Experimental Estimates of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians (cat. no. 3238.0.55.001)

Migration, Australia (cat. no. 3412.0)

Population by Age and Sex, Australian States and Territories (cat. no. 3201.0)

Population by Age and Sex, Regions of Australia (cat. no. 3235.0)

Population Projections, Australia, 2006–2101 (cat. no. 3222.0)

Regional Population Growth, Australia (cat. no. 3218.0)


Population Growth: Past, Present and Future Article, from Australian Social Trends (cat. no. 4102.0)

Map of NSW Statistical Divisions/Statistical Subdivisions (cat. no. 1216.0)