Redfern Street

Redfern Street village was one of the most populous villages within the City of Sydney in 2014, with an estimated population of 22,222.

In 2011, the average household income was 10% below the Metro Sydney average, although the average income of the village has increased since 2001 due to an influx of wealthier residents.

This highlights the diversity of village residents, who range from inner-city professionals to students and academics and also public housing tenants. 

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Recent population growth

In 2014 Redfern Street village had an estimated population of 22,222 people, making it one of the most populous villages in the City of Sydney. As shown in Chart 2, over the period 2006 to 2014 population growth in the village averaged 1.7% per annum, which is close to the City of Sydney local area average of 1.9% per annum over the same period.

Chart 2 – Estimated Resident Population

Chart 2 – Estimated Resident Population

As illustrated in Figure 3, the population of Redfern Street village is widely dispersed, with the highest densities occurring along Broadway, Cleveland, Wyndham, Cope, Regent and Raglan streets. Land within Australian Technology Park and The University of Sydney campus has been prioritised for other uses and is less densely populated. 

Figure 3 – Population Density, 2011

Figure 3 – Population Density, 2011  


Redfern Street village is one of the most culturally and ethnically diverse villages within the City of Sydney local area. Table 1 summarises some of the key demographic characteristics of village residents. The following key points are noted:

  • median household income is significantly below the City of Sydney as well as the Metro Sydney median
  • average household size is small compared to Metro Sydney, but reflective of an inner-city location
  • high proportion of renters (68%), with 27% of households renting in public housing which is substantially above the City's local area average
  • at 84%, the proportion of residents with white-collar jobs is lower than the City of Sydney average, but still above the Metro Sydney average
  • the village also has a relatively low proportion of residents with a bachelor degree or higher (45%) compared to the City's local area
  • the village has a low proportion of residents born overseas (44%) when compared to the City of Sydney average (49%).

Table 1 – Key Demographic Indicators, 2011

Redfern Street City of Sydney Metro Sydney
Median Household Income $63,510 $84,941 $75,451
Av. Age 37.4 36.1 37.1
Av. Household Size 1.9 1.9 2.7
% White Collar Workers 84% 87% 74%
% Born Overseas 44% 49% 36%
Bachelor Degree or Higher* 45% 48% 27%
Studying at University/TAFE 18% 17% 8%
Housing Status
Owner 10% 14% 31%
Purchaser 22% 24% 36%
Renter - Public 27% 10% 5%
Renter - Private 41% 51% 27%
Household Structure
Couples with No Kids 24% 28% 24%
Families (inc single parent) 19% 18% 49%
Singles 42% 40% 23%
Groups 16% 14% 4%
Source: Census of Population and Housing, 2011 – ABS

Chart 3 highlights the relatively low average household incomes for the village, with the highest proportion of households having an income of less than $20,800 per year. Nearly one-quarter of all households in Redfern Street village fall within this income bracket and this is influenced by the village having the largest of the inner Sydney public housing estates.

Household incomes in the village appear to be increasing however, with variation in household income from the Metro Sydney average changing from 23% below average in 2001, to 13% below average in 2006 and 10% below average in 2011. This change is being driven by an increasing number of wealthier residents moving into the area.

Chart 3 – Household Income Distribution, 2011

Chart 3 – Household Income Distribution, 2011  

Despite the relatively low average household incomes within Redfern Street village, there are also some pockets of high income households dispersed across the village, as shown in Figure 4. Some areas of high average household income include along Henderson and Mitchell roads, off Phillip Street, and pockets located off Abercrombie, Cleveland and Phillip streets. These are the likely locations of professionals and academics that are attracted to the areas due to their proximity to the city centre and The University of Sydney.

Figure 4 – Average Household Income, 2011

Figure 4 – Average Household Income, 2011

Resident retail spending

Following on from the analysis of average household incomes, Chart 4 considers the retail spending per capita of residents based on Marketinfo modelling. The chart shows that the residents of Redfern Street village spend less than the City of Sydney local area average in all categories of retail spending, but above the Metro Sydney average on all categories besides bulky goods.

Village residents spend the largest portion of their money on the food retail category, with the average spend only marginally below the City of Sydney average. This category includes groceries and other supermarket-type goods and therefore covers shopping items that are less discretionary in nature.

Chart 4 – Resident Retail Spending Per Capita, 2012

Chart 4 – Resident Retail Spending Per Capita, 2012  

What does this mean for my business?

Understanding the characteristics of the local resident population is important for both retail and non-retail businesses. For retailers, local residents usually make up a core part of their market and are a key source of repeat business. Local residents also often make up a large part of the workforce of local businesses.

The broad diversity of residents within Redfern Street village means that from a business perspective understanding the needs of these various market segments is crucial. While lower-income residents will continue to provide demand for value-oriented products, the growth in the village’s café and restaurant scene speaks of the different demand being generated by new, higher-income residents. This divergence in demand makes it important for businesses to understand the distribution of various market segments throughout the village and choose locations that are best placed to serve these segments.


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