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

population map social analysis socialising 1975 train leader proactive wedding qualitative research conference speaker wage suburb baby name predictions housing trends TDE NBRS summer logan Bathburst aged care group session Vocational education renting sydneysider career Hornsby Shire Council New Zealand home ownership news Canberra school students tuesday marrickville ultimo Australia Day 2017 teleworking cancelling event volunteering data care support father's day rent students PSI focus groups Wagga Wagga EFF Australian community trends eliane miles budget princess charlotte gen z norwest baby millennials follow Tuesday Trend supply and demand analysis video professional services Tasmania Australia street housing finance technology socialites NEETs optus chairty new york times meals mateship culturally diverse financial independence jobs australian communities trends report organisations future cooking priorities change mover and shaker charity social researcher university degree tv sector wide young people unemployment living Love goals public speaking faux-cilise VET emerging trends SMART society Australian Communities Trends January 26th Charlotte FPA hello fresh sunburnt country Engineering Manager mortgage customer communities society trends keynote speaker educated rise of local speaker belief aussie culture report deloitte census 2016 gen alpha community event suburbs experience huffington post ABS Generation X townhouses royal baby cold curiosity SA hopes debt learning styles owning a home NT trends analyst residents the hills results local community baby names report hornsby nfp employment child care energy Christmas presents teaching census demographic trends Australian Population Northern Beaches Christian School education future report the hills shire parents commute education sector mccrindle in the media non profit Australia Day mccrindle research consumer church cash ferry entrepreneurial skills year 7 40 million australian communities forum learner investor micro apartments anzac moreton bay infographic wall millenials Netflix student the great screenage faux-cilising financial future Research Director rain annual income social life unaffordable Social Trend shopping megatrends internship financial dreams sydney speaker the australian dream 2017 Real Estate Institute of Victoria sports housing affordability networking goal volunteering staff Australian communities bus sydney metro easter data demographer McCrindle Speakers royal influence ideas christmas thought leadership keynote politics rising house prices 1994 demographics tea census results internships 24 million demography typical australian responsive collaborative salary market research research services staying in darwin internet daily telegraph wealth and income distribution national private wealth communications potts point purpose Melbourne baby name hills shire wealth distribution relevant tableau equip Queensland hills cancel plans The Daily Edition VET sector easy rider gig economy mentor Kirsten Brewer urban living index Financial Planning Association not-for-profit money The ABC of XYZ relational grave decision Real Estate social enquiry 24,000,000 increasing densification work challenge FOMO census fail Northern Beaches 1980 sector schools students future-proof workplace culture average sydneysider daily commute baby names australia report rich sector wide study future of shopping financial planning fresh emerging technologies VIC omnibus Australian Families case study wealth and income learn conference award winner events presentations youth unemployment trends research data housing growth victoria group Northern Territory capital cities generation alpha optus my business awards families office opening religion wellbeing program event engage ashley fell Assistant Store Manager future of education choice workers global grandparents TAS online shopping social change Gen X REIV National Conference growing population GPO future proof Channel 7 professional speaker social research public holiday casual New South Wales not for profit resilience average Australian 2016 census results teachers ageing baby names motivate perth research report ipswich urban taskforce visual Christmas lunch cartodb Queensland: QLD Sydney divorce rate Financial Planning Association of Australia generation economy media commentary learning lalor park youth the average aussie real high school australian consumerism dreams Work place apartments publication divorce cars earning australian social research winter blues personalities Australian demographics mother's day local media cost of living brand experience snapshot Generation Y vegemite high density commuters in the media shbc work mates litter generation Z presentation crows nest trends of 2017 workshop ACF2017 urban living CBD overcast economic Christmas season property australians staying home more professional development Births school satisfaction car village rule keeper social researchers millionth school statistics social trends Do It Yourself business performance NBRS Architecture mccrindle tea growth trends of 2016 post rationalism System's Architect shopping centre Australians facts infographic TED holidays housing market thrive affordability entrepreneurs of today social commentary home owner celebration 2012 monarchy repayments gig entertainment population baby boomers national wealth census data cultural diversity #censusfail healthy future community sydneysiders story dreaming REIV Conference forecasting bondi outsourcing ease of travel shopper's pick marriages house year 12 house price authenticity plans women business index NFP event Australian Trends know the times cultural diveristy financial fears professional presenters 10 years poker master family Channel Seven intern language environment cost urban marriage DESTEL Aussies business brisbane christian hobart transport jobs of the future geomapping royal Skilling teacher builders australia entrepreneur HSC safe generational trends tertiary education names graphs mobile Kiwi training ACF SRE optimistic office space investment selfie parenting Word Up men media activity teach earnings wealth clothing employers ACF 2016 slideshare twentyseventeen tattoos greatness online changing face of sydney Population Clock future proofing demographic transformations culture house prices Caregiver CPI visualisation seasons mythbusters travel 2015 recap land of the middle class live the dream volunteers poor Deaths global financial crisis house price rise middle class sustainable income forum leadership workshop mythbusting Mark McCrindle organisational culture vegetarian impact food city cloudy days quote generations education study mining boom Financial Planning Week waverton list wolloomooloo offenders educhat ACF17 New Zeland weather population milestone social commentator dare to dream insights toys contiki cancelling plans February 16 23 million debate states social shifts brands dessert manly couple survey shifts high density apartments earn Valentine’s Day futurist micro Wellington marketing fears stats in depth interviews NSW government sunny days research visualisation google children SMSF World Water Day insight data analyst capital city population growth trades renter of the future speakers digital communication university holiday winter state personal growth aged care puzzle Duchess of Cambridge demographic meetings sydney event social lives interactive social media education future Andrew Duffin focus group christianity IT Specialists dream workforce criminal ashley mckenzie Australian Bureau of Statistics storytelling faith financial Adelaide sun leadership baby boom tips Aussie eliane blaxland data visualisation pharmacy trend tuesday gold coast weekly earnings ethnography travelling household product Macquarie University research Australian Home Western Australia Gen Y social impact Australian Census "know the times" happiness suburban living community engagement area bureau research pack forecast office kate middleton showreel trend moderators guide alpha Royals WA newspaper emerging generations high density living DIY participants affordable stay home water global generations investing google for education workplace rental stress communicate Territory future of work TEDx woolworths environmental scanning spend world youth day survey design neutral bay 2016 census long weekend going out sydney hills work-life English South Australia 2013 Hills Shire Council pyrmont Research Executive engagement Tuesday Trends JOMO prince george Education Future Forum menai royal family pharmacies click domestic retirement crime speakers pack acf15 Australian Dream volunteer researcher 2020 spirituality australian community trends report national crime rates define TED talk property market home etiquette media release innovative faux-ciliser Myth households professional Geoff Brailey schools James Ward local communities balance paying to work friends ACT narcissism friendship panel lifestyle infographics resource buildings 2014 property price the changing face of wages conferences baby name trends Sydney Hills Business Chamber social low density young australians gender screenage medicine conference presentation award sentiments apartment Australian schools careers mccrindle ageing population new office innovation public speaker Scouts Wodonga life Crime Rates education research Merry Christmas world identity average aussie 1968 small business social issues Northern beaches Event 2016 brand charities coffee sydneycity breakfast Res Vis Sydney keynote speaker cica collaboration Christchurch

Archive