Metropolitan Sydney

Metropolitan Sydney


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 (Greater 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. Greater Sydney covers 12,367.7 square kilometres and is made up of 43 local councils.

These councils contain more than 650 suburbs that 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.

Metropolitan population

The June 2012 estimated resident population for Greater Sydney is 4,605,992. Based on a total site area of 12,367.7 square kilometres, the current population density of the Sydney metropolitan area is 372.4 persons per square kilometre.

According to the 2011 census, the usual resident population of Greater Sydney was 4,391,674, made up of 49.2% males and 50.8% females, with 1.2% of the population being Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The total population increased by 9.9% between 2001 and 2011.

The median age of the population is 36 years. In the 2011 census, 19.2% of the population were children aged between 0 to 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 Greater Sydney. Of the total population, 40.1% were born overseas. The top 5 countries for residentes born overseas were England (3.5%), China (3.4%), India (2%), New Zealand (1.9%) and Vietnam (1.6%). Within the same area, 62.2% of the population speaks 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 Greater Sydney, the median weekly individual income for persons aged 15 years and over was $619, compared with $577 across the nation. The median weekly household income in Greater Sydney was $1,447 compared with $1,234 nationally, while the median weekly family income was $1,683 compared with $1,481 across 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 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.

Metropolitan workforce

Sydney is the financial and business services hub of Australia. It also has a concentration of jobs within the multimedia and communications industries, tourism, hospitality and cultural industries.

During the 2011 census the total labour force for Greater Sydney was 1.87 million. The labour force represents nearly 19.2% of the total national workforce. A total of 67.3% were employed on a full-time basis, 28.1% were employed on a part-time basis, and 3.5% were employed but away from work at the time of the census.

The most common occupation for persons within Greater Sydney were professionals at 27.2%. Clerical and administrative workers made up 17.1% of all employed persons, while managers accounted for 14.1%, followed by technicians and trades workers at 10.1%.

The most common industry of employment for Greater Sydney residents was school education, accounting for 4.3% of all industries. The second largest industry of employment was cafés, restaurants and takeaway food services (4.1%), followed by hospitals (3.4%), legal and accounting services (3.0%) and depository financial intermediation (2.6%).

Greater Sydney grey legend   Greater Sydney

Inner Sydney purple legend   Inner Sydney

Last updated: Friday, 6 January 2017