Future outlook

Macleay Street and Woolloomooloo

The village of Macleay Street and Woolloomooloo has long been an established residential precinct within inner Sydney.

As a result, there are limited opportunities for the population to expand significantly through new housing developments. Slow yet steady population growth is expected to occur in the young and middle-aged workforce generations.

The outlook for workforce growth is similarly sedate, with the majority of growth expected to come from intensification of existing employment floor space uses. 

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Population growth

In the 20 year period between 2011 and 2031, the population of village is expected to grow by 1,651, which represents an average annual growth of 83 people or 0.4% per annum (see Table 12). The village is one of the most established residential areas in the City of Sydney, as evident in the 19th Century workers' cottages and terraces dispersed throughout the village. Consequently, this leaves minimal opportunity for significant population growth. Of all 10 of the villages within the City's local area Macleay Street and Woolloomooloo has the lowest annual forecast population growth, as shown in Figure 11.

Table 12 – Forecast Village Population, 2011–2031

Estimated Resident Population Av. Annual Growth 2011–2031
2011 2021 2031 No. %
19,516 20,757 21,167 83 0.4%
Source: id Forecast

Figure 11 – Forecast Average Annual Population Growth, 2011–2031

Figure 11 – Forecast Average Annual Population Growth, 2011–2031

Source: id Forecast

Demographic change

Chart 9 below highlights the forecast demographic change that is expected to occur within the village between 2011 and 2031. The most dominant age group in 2011 was the young workforce group (25-34 years) with nearly 6,000 residents. This sector is expected to remain the largest in 2031, with forecast growth to nearly 6,800. Significant growth is also expected in the parents and homebuilders (35-49) age group as well as seniors (70-84).

Conversely, tertiary education and independence (18-24) and older workers and pre-retirees (50-59) are both expected to experience a decline in their population. This highlights the focus on the area for young and middle-aged workers, with a shift away from university students and the older working generation in the pre-retirement stage of their life.

Chart 9 – Population by Age Group, 2011 & 2031

Chart 9 – Population by Age Group, 2011 & 2031

Workforce changes

Chart 10 shows the workforce forecasts for the village based on projections made by the Bureau of Transport Statistics in 2012. Between 2011 and 2031, the growth in the village workforce population is expected to occur at a rate of 113 workers per year, or 0.7% per annum. Over the 35 year period between 2011 and 2046, the growth is expected to be 116 workers per annum. A lack of significant developable area for new employment generating uses means that the majority of this workforce growth is likely to be accommodated through the intensification of existing land uses.

Chart 10 – Forecast Workforce Growth, 2011–2046

Chart 10 – Forecast Workforce Growth, 2011–2046

Major infrastructure

There are no current plans for significant infrastructure items within Macleay Street and Woolloomooloo. The village is already well served by public transport, with frequent bus and train connections linking to the city centre and eastern suburbs. This existing capacity should be sufficient to service the expected growth in the village resident and worker populations.

Residential development activity

Figure 12 depicts recently completed and planned new residential developments based on data provided by the City of Sydney’s Residential Development Monitor from June 2013. This shows that the majority of new residential developments in the village are of a small scale, with the exception of several larger developments between 60 and 126 units on William Street, and one on Sir John Young Crescent.

Figure 12 – City of Sydney Residential Development Monitor, June 2013

Figure 12 – City of Sydney Residential Development Monitor, June 2013

What does this mean for my business?

Understanding the future outlook for the village is important for all local businesses and those considering locating in the area. Anticipating changes to the local resident and worker populations, along with changes to the physical environment, are important for successful long-term business planning.

In terms of future population and workforce, the outlook for Macleay Street and Woolloomooloo is fairly stable but without the prospect of high growth. Therefore business strategies should be more focussed on catering to the specific needs of the local market and understanding how changing demographics will affect demand. There is also the potential for businesses to benefit by finding innovative ways to attract business from outside the village.


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: Tuesday, 16 June 2015