Redfern Street

Redfern Street

Local area profile for business

Redfern Street is one of Sydney’s most culturally, ethnically and economically diverse communities, heavily influenced by creative and small businesses. The distinct character of the area, which has traditionally been associated with a large Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community and significant number of public housing tenants, is changing rapidly due to a process of urban renewal and reactivation.

Due to the presence of part of The University of Sydney’s main campus within the village, a significant proportion of employment in the area is in the higher education and research sector.

There has also been growth in personal service industries such as retail and food and drink, as cafés, bars and restaurants spring up to serve the new group of higher income residents.

Chippendale also has a unique offering as an arts precinct. Looking to the future, growth in the village is expected to continue to be strong, driven by a continued process of urban revitalisation.

View the visitor score card for the area.

The economic profile summaries below link to more detailed information.


Redfern Street village covers the suburbs of Chippendale, Darlington, Eveleigh, and parts of Redfern, Waterloo, Alexandria, Erskineville, Newtown, Camperdown and Surry Hills.

The demographic profile of residents is very varied, with significant urban renewal projects bringing a large number of new residents into the village.

What do residents like about their village?

“The people, including local café/shop owners and the residents, their friendliness and ‘country community’ style and way of doing things … very trusting, open and helpful.”

“Completely diverse mix that works – artists, students, professionals, architects, scholars, working class, middle class, migrants, Aboriginal people, Anglo-Saxons.”

“Diverse, dirty/grungy, dangerous, fun, conveniently located.”

Source: City of Sydney Resident Consultations


Residents of the village are a diverse mix of cultures and incomes, which includes a long-established Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population, public housing tenants, academics and inner city professionals.

Population (2018)*31,772
Median Weekly Household Income (2016)**$1,376
Median Age (2016)**30

* Estimated Resident Population generated by .id
** 2016 ABS Census of Population and Housing


The village contains a large number of businesses in creative and professional services industries, as well as personal service industries including food and drink and retail. All of these industries have experienced significant growth in recent years, as former industrial space is converted to offices, shops and dining establishments.

Employing Businesses
Employing Businesses1,334
Top 3 Sectors by Number of Employing BusinessesFood & Drink (20.3%) Retail & Personal Services (14.0%) Creative Industries (13.6%)
Proportion of Employing Businesses with less than 20 Employees85%

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


The presence of academic institutions such as the University of Sydney and the University of Notre Dame means that employment in the village is dominated by the higher education sector. Other significant employers are white-collar industries such as creative industries and professional and business services, meaning that worker incomes in the village are relatively high.

Top 3 Sectors by Number of WorkersHigher Education & Research (19.9%) Professional & Business Services (17.4%) Creative Industries (11.9%)

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

Visitors and customers

Visitation to the village varies depending on the location. The area around Broadway tends to have strong daytime visitation on weekdays due to the presence of students and shoppers. In contrast, the area around Redfern Street receives a higher level of visitation on weekends with visitors coming for the area’s cafes, restaurants and shops.

Future Outlook

Driven by an ongoing process of urban revitalisation, growth in both the resident and worker populations of the village is expected to be strong. This will provide a number of opportunities for new and existing businesses in the village.

Forecast Average Growth
Average annual change

*Source: id Forecast
**Source: NSW Bureau of Transport Statistics

Your village contacts
City of Sydney
Business Precinct Coordinator
South Sydney Business Chamber
President: Mary Lynne Pidcock
  • PO Box 3299
    Redfern NSW 2016
  • 02 8284 7716 or 0419 657 888
  • Email


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: Friday, 14 February 2020