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New Australian Bureau of Statistics’ (ABS) data provides insight into NSW’s population age distribution. This enables the Department to see how the state is ageing and make informed planning decisions for growing communities.

How old are we?

The average age of  NSW residents in 2016 was 37.6 years. This is a slight increase from June 2006 where the median age was 36.8 years, and higher than the national average age of 37.2 years.

The average age of women in NSW was higher than men, with 38.5 years and 36.7 years respectively.

sex ratios in nsw 840x440

Sydney vs Regional NSW

The average age of the population in regional NSW exceeded that of Metropolitan Sydney by 6.3 years, with 43.1 years for women and 42.2 years for men. This difference in ageing between city and country provides valuable insight for policy makers and aged care service providers about our ageing population. It shows demand for these services will increase in regional areas, which influences how we will care for communities in the future. 

The NSW areas with the highest median age were mainly located in coastal and regional areas, highlighting the settlement patterns of many older people who move out of the city and into quieter, more scenic parts of the state post retirement. 

Lowest median age

Area Years
City of Sydney 32.2
Cumberland 32.6
Strathfield 32.6
Camden 32.9
Burwood 33.0
Blacktown 33.3
Liverpool 33.4
Cambelltown 34.0
Penrith 34.0
Parramatta 34.4

Highest median age

Area  Years 
Eurobodalla 53.2
Tenterfield 51.8
Mid-Coast 51.3
Nambucca 50.5
Kyogle 50.4
Bega Valley 50.4
Weddin 50.2
Federation 48.7
Murray River 48.4
Berrigan 48.4

Gender ratio – West vs East NSW

In 2016, there was a trend of higher gender ratios, or the number of men per 100 women in a population, recorded across many areas in the west of NSW, decreasing towards the coast.

For example, in Mosman there were only 87.9 men per 100 women, whilst in Junee there were 33.5 more men per 100 women.

Lowest Area  Number of men per 100 women
Mosman 87.9
North Sydney 88.4
Port Macquarie-Hastings
Bellingen  93.2
Ku-ring-gai (A)
(equal) Albury, Bourke, Willoughby


Highest Area  Number of men per 100 women
Unincorporated NSW
Central Darling 
City of Sydney 
Snowy Monaro Regional 


The top five areas with the highest gender ratios were in the Far West and Riverina Murray regions, with Junee taking out the top spot (133.5). The areas with the five lowest gender ratios in NSW were found in the east of the state.
The high ratio of men to women in the Junee is due to the presence of the Junee Correctional Centre for males.

Youngest and oldest

The area with the highest proportion of the population aged 0-14 years was Camden (24.2 per cent), while City of Sydney (6.9 per cent) was the lowest.


Conversely, City of Sydney recorded the highest proportion of people aged 15-64 across all of NSW, with 84.7 per cent. This was followed by North Sydney (73.3per cent).

NSW Regional area including Eurobodalla (29.4 per cent), Mid-Coast (29.0 per cent) and Berrigan (27.8per cent), recorded the highest proportions of populations aged 65 years and over. This is typical of the sea change/tree change settlement patterns of a significant number in this age group.


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