HealthStats NSW
HealthStats NSW
HealthStats NSW

  • + Key points: Population

    • The estimated residential population of NSW in 2015 was 7,617,230 which was just under one-third of Australia's population. The population of NSW in 2036 is projected to be approximately 9,925,350.

    • The NSW population continues to age. The median age, or the age for which half the population are older and half are younger, was 37.9 years in NSW in 2015. 

    • In 2015 the female population slightly outnumbered the male population (98.5 males per 100 females) and this gap is predicted to remain similar in 2036 (98.4 males per 100 females).

    • The proportion of females in the population increases with age. In 2015 females made up 50.4% of the total population but 53.5% of the NSW population aged 65 years or more, and 63.7% of the population aged 85 years or more.

    • The NSW population is predominantly urban. In 2015 approximately 74.5% of the NSW population lived in major cities, 19.1% lived in inner regional areas, and 6.3% in outer regional and remote areas. In 2036, 78.0% of the NSW population are predicted to be living in major cities, 17.1% in inner regional areas and 4.9% in outer regional or remote areas.

    • In 2015 approximately 3.0% of the total population in NSW were Aboriginal and were relatively younger overall than the non-Aboriginal population. Of the total Aboriginal population in 2015, 11.9% were aged 0-4 years, compared with 6.3% of the non-Aboriginal population and 0.2% were aged 85 years and over, compared with 2.2% of the non-Aboriginal population. 

  • + Background: Population


    Demography is the study of populations, especially with reference to size and density, fertility, mortality, growth, age and sex distribution, migration and vital statistics and the interaction of all these with social and economic conditions.

    Understanding population trends informs decision-making in planning, allocating and providing a wide variety of services, including population and community health, primary health, specialist and hospital services. 

    Age and sex as determinants of health

    Age and sex are important determinants of the health of individuals. Thus, the age and sex structure of a population has a strong effect on patterns of illness and use of health services.

    The age and sex structure will vary among different regions, for reasons such as young adults moving to cities for study or work and older people retiring to coastal areas.


    A dictionary of epidemiology. Fifth edition. Oxford reference.

    NSW Department of Planning and Environment. Demography.