Local area profile for business

Oxford Street is one of Sydney’s most famous shopping strips, running through the vibrant inner Sydney suburbs of Darlinghurst and Paddington. Oxford Street village, which surrounds the main street, is as diverse as the main street itself containing world famous retailers, heritage terrace houses, cultural institutions and sprawling parklands.

The village’s famous shopping strip remains a top destination for restaurants, dining and boutique retailing while entertainment venues in Moore Park and wide open spaces in Centennial Park draw large crowds from across Sydney and beyond.

The village has a strong cultural and creative scene and residents are proud of the area’s longstanding status as the heart of gay and lesbian culture in Sydney.

The area is also home to significant institutions including St Vincent’s Hospital, Australian Museum, National Art School and Victoria Barracks.

View the visitor score card for the area.

The economic profile summaries below link to more detailed information.


Spanning the suburbs of Darlinghurst, Paddington, Moore Park and Centennial Park, Oxford Street village is a contrasting mix of historic inner city terraces and sprawling parklands.

This village is renowned for its diverse culture and creative scene. It has long been seen as the heart of gay and lesbian culture in Sydney, and for many this remains an important characteristic of the area.

Community events such as the yearly Mardi Gras festival give residents and local businesses the chance to celebrate this diversity.

What do residents like about their village?

“Oxford Street’s acknowledgment of diversity. A cultural and culinary highlight of the city of Sydney.”

“The laneways themselves are the hidden treasures.”

“Cosmopolitan location, vibrant GLBTIQ culture and night life.”

Source: City of Sydney Resident Consultations


The population of Oxford Street village tends to be highly educated white-collar professionals with high incomes. A large proportion of the population live as singles or couples with no children.

Population (2014)* 18,998
Median Household Income (2011)** $96,986 (28.5% above Metro median)
Singles + Couples (No Kids) (2011)** 75% (Metro average=47%)

*Estimate based on projections by id Forecast
**Census estimates


Business presence in the area is dominated by the large number of retail and dining establishments on Oxford Street and throughout Darlinghurst, with creative industries also having a significant presence.

While the restaurant and bar scene in the village is thriving, the retail scene is currently evolving as shopping patterns on Oxford Street change.

Employing Businesses
Employing Businesses (2012) 1,345
Top 3 Industries by Number of Employing Businesses Food & Drink (20.1%) Retail & Personal Services (16.3%) Creative Industries (14.9%)
Proportion of Employing Businesses with less than 20 Employees 88.5% (LGA Average = 84.8%)
Source: Floor Space and Employment Survey, 2012 – City of Sydney


Due to the presence of St Vincent’s Hospital and associated research institutes, the health sector is the largest employer in the village, while creative industries and higher education and research are also significant sources of employment. Workers tend to have moderate to high incomes, and a large proportion of them live in the City of Sydney and neighbouring local council areas.


Workers (2012)


Top 3 Industries by Workforce

Health (20.2%) Creative Industries (15.5%) Higher Education & Research (10.1%)

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

Visitors and customers

Recent research suggests that a large proportion of shoppers on Oxford Street are from nearby areas with a survey reporting that 68% of shoppers on the street came from the City of Sydney or the eastern suburbs. Due to its thriving bar and club scene Oxford Street also has a significant night-time economy.

Customer Place of Residence 2014
Paddington 23%
Darlinghurst 8%
Surry Hills 7%
Centennial Park 4%
Other City of Sydney 11%
Eastern Suburbs 15%

Source: Surry Hills Customer Intercept Survey, 2014 – Directional Insights

Future Outlook

Being a well-established residential area, population growth in Oxford Street village is expected to be relatively slow in the future, as is growth in the local workforce. The most significant piece of infrastructure to affect the village will be the CBD and South East Light Rail, which will link the Moore Park entertainment precinct to the city centre and Randwick.

Forecast Average Growth
No. per annum per annum
Residents* 115 0.6%
Workers** 220 1.0%
*Source: id Forecast
**Source: NSW Bureau of Transport Statistics
Your village contacts
City of Sydney
Business Precinct Coordinator
Darlinghurst Business Partnership
President: Stephan Gyory
  • PO Box 491
    Darlinghurst NSW 2010
Paddington Business Partnership
President: Belinda Rankine
Three Saints Square Project
President: Sue Ritchie
  • c/- The Beauchamp Hotel
    265-267 Oxford Street
    Darlinghurst NSW 2021


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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Last updated: Wednesday, 28 November 2018