Geographically, Sydney is fringed by the Tasman Sea to the east, the Blue Mountains to the west, the Hawkesbury River to the north and the Woronora Plateau to the south. The Parramatta, Georges and Cooks Rivers are some of the major tributaries that flow to the coastline of Sydney.
Metropolitan Sydney is classified as Greater Sydney - Capital City Statistical Area by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). The area extends from Wyong and Gosford in the north to the Royal National Park in the south and follows the coastline in between. Towards the west, the region includes the Blue Mountains, Wollondilly and Hawkesbury. The area covers 12,367.7 square kilometres and is made up of 38 Local Government Areas (LGA) within the Sydney region and five LGAs in the Sydney Surrounds (Wyong, Gosford, Blue Mountains, Wollondilly and Hawkesbury).
These councils contain more than 300 suburbs which are largely linked by a complex transport network including heavy and light rail services, public and private bus services, ferry services, taxis and a road and cycle network.
During the 2011 Census, the total population of Greater Sydney was 4,391,674. This population was made up of 49.2% males and 50.8% females, with 1.2% of the total population being Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. The total population increased by 9.9% between the 2001 Census and 2011 Census.
The 2011 Estimated Resident Population for Greater Sydney is 4,605,992. Based on a total site area of 12,367.7428.4 square kilometres, the current population density of the Sydney Metropolitan Area is 372.4 persons per square kilometre.
The median age of the population is 36. In the 2011 Census, 19.2% of the population were children aged between 0-14 years, and 23.5% were persons aged 55 years and over.
Sydney’s multicultural make-up is evident in the statistics relating to the country of birth for residents living in Sydney metropolitan area. Of the total population, 40.1% were born overseas. The 5 most common countries of birth, other than Australia, were England with 3.5% of the population, China with 3.4%, India with 2% New Zealand with 1.9% and , Vietnam with 1.6%. Within the same area, 62.2% of the population speak only English at home. The most common languages other than English spoken at home were: Arabic (4.1%), Cantonese (3.0%), Mandarin (3.0%), Vietnamese (1.9%) and Greek (1.8%).
The weekly income of residents within metropolitan Sydney is slightly higher than the weekly income for all Australian residents. In Sydney, the median weekly individual income for persons aged 15 years and over was $619, compared with $577 in Australia. The median weekly household income was $1,447, compared with $1,234 in Australia while the median weekly family income was $1,683, compared with $1,481 in Australia.
During the 2011 Census there were 1,521,398 occupied private dwellings counted in Sydney: 60.9% were separate houses, 12.8% were semi-detached, row or terrace houses or townhouses, 25.8% were flats, units or apartments and 0.5% were other dwellings. Of those occupied private dwellings 73.1% were family households, 22.6% were lone person households and 4.3% were group households.
How we work
Sydney is the financial and business services hub of Australia. It also has a concentration of jobs within the multimedia and communications industries, tourism and hospitality and cultural industries.
During the 2011 Census the total labour force for the metropolitan Sydney was 1.87 million. The labour force represents nearly 19.2% of the total national labour force. A total of 67.3% was employed on a full-time basis, 28.1% was employed on a part-time basis, and 3.5% was employed but away from work at the time of the Census.
The most common occupation for persons within metropolitan Sydney was professionals with 27.2% of the range of occupations. Clerical and administrative workers made up 17.1% of all employed persons, while managers accounted for 14.1%, followed by technicians and trades workers with 10.1%.
The most common industry of employment for those usually residing within metropolitan Sydney was school education, accounting for 4.3% of all industries. The second largest industry of employment was cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services (4.1%), followed by hospitals (3.4%), legal and accounting services (3.0%) and depository financial intermediation (2.6%).