The Future of Sydney Report

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Sydney is changing. It is growing, densifying and expanding. This McCrindle Research study surveyed 1,007 Sydneysiders in August of 2015 on their attitudes and sentiments towards the future of Sydney with regards to current population size and growth, infrastructure, planning, the house price boom and challenges moving forward.

Demographic Snapshot

Sydney is Australia’s largest city, and home to more than 1 in 5 Australians. More people live in Sydney than in the whole country of New Zealand, and its population is larger than the whole of Australia was a century ago. In addition to being Australia’s largest city, it is also the most culturally diverse with 2 in 5 Sydneysiders born overseas. While European settlement of Australia began in Sydney, the city now has connections closer to the region with 6 of the top 10 countries of birth of Sydneysiders born overseas being located in Asia.

63% of the current New South Wales population is living in Sydney, compared to 48% of Queensland’s population that lives in Brisbane. Western Sydney is growing faster than the rest of Sydney currently, and the total population of the areas that comprise greater western Sydney (2.3 million) is larger than the nations of Fiji, Luxemburg, Iceland, Vanuatu, Samoa, Tonga, Greenland, Lichtenstein and Nauru combined! By 2030, the population of Greater Western Sydney will be larger than the rest of Sydney, at almost 3 million.

Sydney’s Size

Sydney is Australia’s largest city and was the first to hit 2 million, which it reached in 1959, followed by Melbourne in 1975, Brisbane in 2008 and Perth in 2014.

Based on current growth trends, Sydney will reach a population of 8 million in 2055, the same year that Australia’s 5th largest city Adelaide reaches a population of 2 million. In fact Sydney adds 1,400 people every 6 days which is more than the entire state of Tasmania adds in a year.

While Sydney will hit the 5 million milestone in the next year and 8 million in 2025, more than a third of Sydneysiders (37%) currently think that Sydney’s population is 3 million or less. Only one third of Sydneysiders (35%) correctly identify Sydney’s population as being close to 5 million.

Sydney’s Infrastructure

More than 4 in 5 Sydneysiders believe that the public transport, roads, hospitals and infrastructure is not keeping up with the population growth, with almost half (47%) saying it is nowhere near keeping up. Just 1 in 5 (18%) say that the infrastructure development is keeping up with the population growth.

Sydney’s House Price Boom

While Sydneysiders experience higher wages than the Australian average, the wage growth has not been keeping up with the house price growth. Four decades ago the average Sydney house price was 5 times the average annual full time earnings. Two decades later, house prices had outstripped earnings to be 6 times annual wages. Such has been the house price boom that today the average Sydney house price is more than 13 times the average annual full time earnings of $77,000.

Sydneysiders don’t believe the current house price growth is being driven by first home buyers or owner occupiers, but rather by investors. 2 in 5 (41%) Sydneysiders say that Australian property investors are driving the current house price boom, while 81% say that it is overseas property investors that are key to the price increases.

Sydney’s Challenges

Clearly Sydney is an expensive place to live, and when Sydneysiders were asked what the greatest challenges of Sydney are, the top 2 responses were the cost of living (73%) and the cost of housing (59%). The third biggest challenge is the traffic and commute times (52%) followed by job / employment challenges (29%) and the pace and stress of life (29%).

These challenges for Sydneysiders are such that more than two thirds of local residents (66%) have considered moving out Sydney, with a quarter of all Sydneysiders (23%) saying they have seriously considered it.

The latest demographic data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics quantifies this by showing that Melbourne is now Australia’s fastest growing city, exceeding Sydney’s growth by more than 10,000 people per annum, and while Victoria and Queensland have consistently been experiencing net interstate migration gains for the last decades, New South Wales has over the same period been losing more people to other states than it has been gaining from other states.

Of the Eastern States, Victoria had a net interstate gain of 9,336 last year, Queensland’s gain was 5,598, while New South Wales over the same period had a net loss of 5,572.

From Sea Change and Tree Change to City Change

When Sydneysiders are considering exiting Sydney, a quarter of them are looking at a sea change or tree change within New South Wales, with another 1 in 20 (5%) considering moving to a rural or regional area interstate. However, more than half of all the would-be leavers (53%) are happy with city living, just not the Sydney life and are looking for another city interstate (32%) or in New South Wales (21%).

Sydney’s Sentiment

Sydney residents are not convinced about the direction in which their lifestyle is headed. Less than 1 in 5 (16%) say that Sydney is better than it was 5 years ago and will be even better in 5 years’ time. Overall, Sydney residents are pessimistic about the current realities and future forecasts. Almost two thirds (64%) say that Sydney is worse than it as 5 year ago, with an even larger percentage (66%) believing that it will be worse in 5 years’ time. In fact half of all Sydneysiders (50%) say that Sydney is worse than 5 years ago and will be even worse in 5 years’ time.


RESEARCH IN THE MEDIA

Watch Mark McCrindle on Channel 7 News speak about the research:

Welcome to our blog...

We have a passion for research that tells a story, that can be presented visually, that brings about change and improves organisations. And we hope these resources help you know the times.

Our Social Media Sites

Facebook | McCrindle Research Social Media YouTube | McCrindle Research Social Media Twitter | McCrindle Research Social Media Flickr | McCrindle Research Social Media Pinterest | McCrindle Research Social Media Google Plus | McCrindle Research Social Media LinkedIn | McCrindle Research Social Media Mark McCrindle Slideshare


Last 150 Articles


Tags

survey design toys university degree retirement Mark McCrindle property TAS high density sydneycity entrepreneurial Wellington shifts millionth townhouses 2015 sydney metro innovation marrickville culture city teachers parents mateship workplace culture households salary Bathburst participants ABS mobile home ownership household visual hello fresh aged care communication Christmas presents housing growth unaffordable high school generational trends REIV National Conference 24 million equip year 12 weekly earnings the hills 2012 communicate mccrindle public speaker entrepreneurs of today DESTEL identity authenticity market research average sydneysider work social shifts story purpose Hills Shire Council kate middleton twentyseventeen Australian schools aged care puzzle suburban living income Northern beaches Event graphs neutral bay holiday socialites gender language tableau Sydney keynote speaker Myth pyrmont litter group session group award winner urban living index study victoria blaxland norwest bus curiosity ashley fell social enquiry pharmacy analysis overcast teleworking weather storytelling 2016 census VIC The ABC of XYZ shbc interactive manly future of shopping brand experience middle class education sector google priorities cash consumerism 10 years thought leadership alpha Valentine’s Day rent dessert Australia Day 2017 Australians engage Royals gold coast vegemite google for education business index suburb sydneysiders future-proof stats cloudy days research services names sector public speaking church happiness schools demographics Australian Communities Trends 1994 case study teacher economy report royal baby commuters trades professional business performance trends analyst travelling baby boomers Adelaide The Daily Edition office space data visualisation menai sydneysider society insights spend proactive cost of living rise of local technology responsive resource ACT property market survey youth christian investing belief social impact Real Estate Institute of Victoria sydney speaker shopping work-life 1975 rising house prices vegetarian Sydney Hills Business Chamber optus trend business forecast Skilling 40 million christmas education research goal wealth and income tv buildings mccrindle in the media the australian dream affordability 2014 leadership workshop cancelling event pharmacies social community event Tuesday Trends etiquette New South Wales brisbane parenting poker master 2013 generation Z office newspaper school students financial dreams resilience transport outsourcing property price poor logan jobs of the future growing population change meetings snapshot English woolworths click eliane miles australian social research Deaths staying in data Macquarie University 2016 ultimo social commentary shopping centre rain PSI wealth distribution moreton bay social media new office couple apartments focus group sydney hills sunny days non profit experience breakfast clothing employment post rationalism list friends princess charlotte hornsby car Queensland ease of travel rich New Zeland land of the middle class Education Future Forum TDE narcissism visualisation internship facts System's Architect contiki online shopping daily commute FPA forecasting JOMO paying to work not for profit researcher EFF potts point learner university domestic mother's day Population Clock educhat professional services Charlotte tuesday Channel Seven population growth slideshare Australian Dream travel Queensland: QLD learn James Ward student young people future proof statistics safe education qualitative research mythbusters local community South Australia children motivate child care faux-ciliser mythbusting men urban ACF 2016 Generation Y Australian Census micro apartments renter of the future lifestyle ipswich builders Tasmania skills mover and shaker dreaming marriage in the media state huffington post public holiday media activity faith wealth megatrends recap baby darwin cartodb organisational culture leader trends NBRS Res Vis world Australian Trends Assistant Store Manager social commentator social issues collaboration the hills shire eliane future of education australians staying home more Western Australia baby names report consumer professional speaker data analyst internships trend tuesday easter goals product social research society trends education future Geoff Brailey world youth day emerging technologies greatness 1968 annual income hopes "know the times" forum mentor global Christmas lunch national wealth balance events Wagga Wagga baby names australia report Netflix states infographic SRE omnibus lalor park FOMO debt learning cultural diversity Northern Territory school Work place living ageing population charity summer low density high density apartments national private wealth Engineering Manager video population map education future report affordable 2020 quote entertainment baby name predictions office opening relevant presentations train demography Financial Planning Association demographic transformations trends of 2016 DIY media commentary schools students owning a home wedding geomapping financial independence communities moderators guide Duchess of Cambridge customer engagement renting royal family social researcher environmental scanning going out future proofing in depth interviews holidays youth unemployment Research Executive millenials finance tattoos Do It Yourself winter blues typical australian VET sector seasons long weekend investment media release Christchurch meals 1980 home baby name trends results Australian Home spirituality digital NT sunburnt country apartment divorce define average Australian optus my business awards intern women NBRS Architecture Canberra residents government global generations Crime Rates easy rider staff training personal growth dare to dream home owner australian communities forum suburbs 2016 census results mortgage sector wide mining boom the average aussie sustainable shopper's pick criminal impact social researchers Australian communities millennials WA year 7 hobart optimistic housing marketing leadership work mates social life tips coffee fears sydney event the changing face of thrive social lives careers village infographic wall micro Vocational education Love presentation career SA Australia Day crows nest cold panel mccrindle research water house collaborative VET faux-cilising financial future Australian Bureau of Statistics life Kiwi socialising February 16 Gen Y brands anzac Births wealth and income distribution keynote speaker acf15 repayments community speakers networking father's day Channel 7 teaching SMSF families Financial Planning Week aussie culture Australian Families sports CBD urban living new york times gen alpha conferences Tuesday Trend earn CPI investor global financial crisis learning styles ACF tea insight ideas australian communities trends report financial demographic trends social change census results grave decision workforce Northern Beaches commute ferry Social Trend social trends NEETs Melbourne Christmas season brand ashley mckenzie hills shire Aussies winter politics christianity organisations medicine Wodonga budget workplace SMART demographic Northern Beaches Christian School emerging generations dream sentiments small business ethnography research data real 24,000,000 personalities bureau emerging trends supply and demand Kirsten Brewer earnings Merry Christmas conference presentation tertiary education wolloomooloo faux-cilise New Zealand Generation X debate friendship professional development generations high density living bondi rental stress 2017 know the times stay home not-for-profit news internet young australians focus groups wellbeing healthy future conference perth average aussie environment Real Estate demographer increasing densification deloitte trends of 2017 population milestone community engagement capital city earning changing face of sydney publication January 26th house price rise wage #censusfail baby names marriages NSW Andrew Duffin australia communications plans energy Financial Planning Association of Australia wages generation alpha cica school satisfaction daily telegraph teach Scouts Gen X research follow McCrindle Speakers challenge relational population Aussie educated census fail crime media royal research visualisation baby name volunteers religion sun Word Up urban taskforce cooking employers nfp online award workshop research report local communities selfie conference speaker research pack house prices students Territory monarchy offenders keynote ageing social analysis divorce rate cost housing affordability entrepreneur cars food futurist mccrindle tea house price 23 million event area national crime rates HSC census 2016 generation culturally diverse fresh Hornsby Shire Council Caregiver cancelling plans Australian demographics rule keeper Sydney baby boom cancel plans future of work royal influence innovative census financial fears family GPO program jobs housing trends unemployment waverton Australian Population grandparents REIV Conference prince george future sector wide study growth gen z economic local World Water Day housing market capital cities celebration IT Specialists

Archive