Chinatown and CBD South

Chinatown and CBD South

Village characteristics

  • The Chinatown and CBD South village includes the suburbs of Haymarket and a small portion of Sydney (suburb). It covers the area from Bathurst Street in the north to Central railway station in the south, and from Elizabeth Street in the east to Darling Harbour in the west. 
  • High-rise residential apartments and student accommodation are located adjacent to tertiary education institutions throughout the village. Entertainment and retail uses dominate in the west such as the International Convention Centre and Darling Harbour.

Total figures

In 2017, in the village area there were:

  • 393 buildings
  • 3,135 business establishments employing workers
  • 65,950 workers
  • 4,265,005m² of internal floor area surveyed
  • 8,332 residential dwellings.


Between 2012 and 2017 there were 215 additional businesses representing an increase of 7.4%. The top 6 sectors by number of businesses:

City-based industry sector Businesses
Food and drink 672
Retail and personal services 550
Professional and business services 515
Tourist, cultural and leisure 263
Finance and financial services 257
Higher education and research 249

In 2017 the sector with the largest growth was higher education and research, which increased by 96 businesses (33.5% increase) in the past 5 years.

More than half of all workers in the village were employed in large (200+ workers) businesses, which accounted for 1.6% of village businesses.

Business size % of total village businesses % of total village workers
Small (1-19 workers) 89.4% 23.4%
Medium (20-199 workers) 9.1% 23.5%
Large (200+ workers) 1.6% 53.1%


There were 65,950 workers (11.5% increase) from 2012. The top 6 sectors by number of workers:

City-based industry sector Workers
Finance and financial services 11,856
Government 11,230
Professional and business services 8,948
Transport and logistics 4,808
Food and drink 4,721
Tourist, cultural and leisure 4,540

The sector with the largest growth in worker numbers was government, which grew by 4,424 workers (65.0% increase). The largest reduction in workers was in retail and personal services, which fell by 1,213 workers (29.5% decrease) since the 2012 survey. The sector with the largest decline in worker numbers was food and retail and personal services, which decreased by 1,213 workers (29.5% decrease).

Floor area

In 2017 the business floor area increased by 11.6% to 2,408,621m² and accounted for 56.5% of total floor space in the village. The top 6 sectors by floor area:

City-based industry sector Floor area (m²)
Tourist, cultural and leisure 779,666
Transport and logistics
Government 236,931
Finance and financial services
Higher education and research 160,909
Professional and business services 147,108

The sector with the largest growth by business floor area was tourist, cultural and leisure, which grew by 209,939m² (36.8% increase). Negative growth sectors included transport and logistics, which declined by 45,648m² (12.8% decrease) and professional and business services, which declined by 38,045m² (20.5% decrease) in the past 5 years.

Work space ratio

Work space ratios are calculated by dividing the total internal area (m²) by the total number of employees. The average work space ratio for all industry sectors did not change between the 2012 and 2017 surveys and remained at 36.5m² per worker. The most intensive use of work space occurred in the finance and financial services sector with 14.2m² for every worker, down from 14.8m² per worker in 2012.

Visitor accommodation

In 2017 there were 5,102 hotel rooms (10.7% increase), 2,038 serviced apartments (26.3% increase) and 2,918 backpacker beds (31.6% increase).


  • Housing, pipeline development and forecasts can be found on the City Monitors page.
  • For information on the classifications for city-based industry sectors and space use divisions, please see the floor space and employment survey page.

Last updated: Tuesday, 2 April 2019