Macleay Street and Woolloomooloo

Macleay Street and Woolloomooloo

Local area profile for business

Macleay Street and Woolloomooloo village is one of the most densely populated urban areas in Australia.

Diverse architectural styles abound throughout the harbourfront suburbs speaking volumes about its colourful history.

A revitalised Macleay Street in Potts Point is now home to some of Sydney’s best cafés and restaurants, while the bright lights of the Kings Cross nightclub precinct continue to draw young revellers from across the city.

The village is home to a broad variety of residents, including a long-established Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community, high income professionals and public housing tenants.

The area is also a focal point for backpacker accommodation adding to the youthful and international image of the village.

View the visitor score card for the area.

The economic profile summaries below link to more detailed information.


Macleay Street and Woolloomooloo covers the suburbs of Potts Point, Woolloomooloo, Rushcutters Bay and Elizabeth Bay and the locality of Kings Cross.

These historic harbourside suburbs contain a mixture of architectural styles, including 19th century workers' cottages, historic Victorian mansions, Art Deco apartment buildings and modern apartment blocks.

The area, which is well known for its bohemian and creative environment, is well served by community facilities that serve the emerging arts scene.

What do residents like about their village?

“The café culture. Diversity of places to eat. The mix and diversity of people.”

“Aesthetically pleasing tree-lined streets and diverse architecture.”

Source: City of Sydney Resident Consultations


The village is one of the most densely populated urban areas in Sydney, and contains a diverse group of residents ranging from public housing tenants to white-collar professionals.

There is a very high proportion of single-person households in the village, and very few families.

Population (2018)*23,984
Median Weekly Household Income (2016)**$1,859
Median Age (2016)**35
Lone-Person Households**54.5%

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


Businesses in the village have a strong focus on food, drink and entertainment. A revitalised Macleay Street features some of Sydney’s best cafés, restaurants and boutique shops.

Employing Businesses

Employing Businesses (2017)


Top 3 Sectors by Number of Employing Businesses

Food & Drink (22.9%) Retail & Personal Services (15.9%) Tourist, Cultural & Leisure (12.8%)

Proportion of Employing Businesses with less than 20 Employees


Source: Floor Space and Employment Survey, 2017 – City of Sydney


Due to the presence of the Garden Island naval base within the village, government workers make up the largest proportion of the village workforce. Other significant sources of employment include service industries such as tourism and food and beverage service.

Workers (2017)10,794
Top 3 Sectors by Number of WorkersGovernment (22%) Professional and Business Services (14.4%) Food & Drink (13.2%)

Source: Floor Space and Employment Survey, 2017 – City of Sydney

Visitors and customers

Macleay Street and Woolloomooloo village is particularly popular with younger visitors, and consequently the area has a significant supply of youth hostels, adding an international flavour to the village.

Hotel Rooms1,673 (8.2% of city total)
Serviced Apartments401 (6.9% of city total)
Backpacker Beds2,133 (27.6% of city total)

Source: Floor Space and Employment Survey, 2017 – City of Sydney

Future Outlook

Given that the village is already one of the most densely populated regions in Sydney, growth in the resident and workforce populations in the future is expected to be slow. However the established populations will continue to provide a strong market for local businesses.

Forecast Average Growth
Average annual change

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

Your village contacts
City of Sydney
Business Precinct Coordinator
Potts Point Partnership
Chairman: To be advised
  • PO Box 1214
    Potts Point NSW 2011


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.

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Macleay Street visitor score card PDF 222.3 KB Download

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Last updated: Tuesday, 11 February 2020