CBD and Harbour

CBD and Harbour

Local area for business

The small residential population is dispersed throughout the areas in apartment buildings and heritage terraces.


CBD and Harbour is the prosperous hub for office-based employment and activities, and is the thriving retail heart of Sydney underpinned by workers, tourists and residents in a constant core of activity.

Yet despite an intense level of development the area still retains many of Australia’s most historic sites and buildings, including museums, theatres and galleries, as well as world-class parklands.


CBD and Harbour has a small resident population living mostly in apartments buildings, many of which are highly-paid professional workers.

Population (2018)*9,464
Median Weekly Household Income (2016)**$2,333
Median Age (2016)**36

*Estimate based on projections by .id
**2016 ABS Census of Population and Housing


Being the commercial centre of Sydney, CBD and Harbour has a significant presence of professional and financial services firms, which tend to be larger in size.

Retail businesses also have a significant presence due to the area’s status as one of Sydney’s pre-eminent shopping destinations.

Employing Businesses

Employing Businesses (2017)


Top 3 Industries by Number of Employing Businesses

Professional & Business Services (23.8%)
Finance & Financial Services (16.9%) 
Retail & Personal Services (13.2%)

Proportion of Employing Businesses with less than 20 Employees


Source: Floor Space and Employment Survey 2017 - City of Sydney


CBD and Harbour has the largest concentration of workers in the City of Sydney. This is dominated by white collar office workers in the finance and professional service industries, befitting Sydney’s status as a regional financial hub.

Workers (2017) 274,100
Top 3 Sectors by Number of Workers Finance & Financial Services (36.9%) Professional & Business Services (25.1%) ICT (5.9%)

Source: Floor Space and Employment Survey 2017 - City of Sydney

Visitors and customers

Due to the presence of office workers, tourists and shoppers, visitation to CBD and Harbour is consistently high throughout the day and at different times of the week. The village contains one of the highest proportions of visitor accommodation in the local area, meaning tourists are a significant contributor to the economy.

Hotel Rooms (2017) 9,636 (47.3% of city total)
Serviced Apartments (2017) 1,550 (26.7% of city total)
Backpacker Beds (2017) 1,009 (13.1% of city total)

Source: Floor Space and Employment Survey 2012 – City of Sydney

Future Outlook

Continued development in CBD and Harbour will underpin future growth in the resident population and workforce. Significant infrastructure projects will also improve accessibility and drive further visitation through new attractions.

Forecast Average Growth
Average annual change
Residents* 4%
Workers** 1.7%

*Source: id Forecast
**Source: City-based estimates

Your village contacts
City of Sydney
Business Precinct Coordinator
CBD Sydney Chamber of Commerce
Executive Officer: Peter May
  • Level 23, 45 Clarence Street
    Sydney NSW 2000
  • 02 9350 8103
  • 0437 872 052
  • Email
Walsh Bay Arts and Commerce
Chair: Kim Mahaffy
  • Shop 1, 18 Hickson Rd,
    Walsh Bay NSW 2000


This information has been compiled from various sources. The publisher and contributors accept no responsibility for any injury, loss or damage arising from the use, error or omissions therein. While all care is taken to ensure a high degree of accuracy, users are invited to notify the City of Sydney of any discrepancies. No part of this information, including maps or data, may be reproduced without written permission.

Last updated: Friday, 14 February 2020