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NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment
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Planning for the future

The Population Projections are available for the state, regions and all local government areas in NSW. Household and implied dwelling projections (a measure of likely demand for housing) have also been released. 


The NSW Government is delivering more housing, infrastructure and services and has in place strategic land use, infrastructure and transport plans to support future generations while also maintaining the local character communities across the state. 


The current Population Projections show:

  • NSW is expected to grow on average by over 100,000 people each year until 2041
  • Based on recent trends the population in urban areas around Sydney and in regional NSW will increase by 425,000 to 3.5m in 2041
  • Greater Sydney’s population will grow to approximately 7.1 million by 2041. 

Find out more about the current projections.

Producing the Projections

The Government develops the projections using internationally-recognised demographic practices that are also used by bodies such as the Australian Bureau of Statistics and the United Nations.


Our Projections are underpinned by population assumptions that have been derived from administrative data sources and advice of experts from across the Government.


Find out more about the methodology used to develop the Projections.


Glossary of terms related to Population Projections

Population Projections

Population projections are a picture of the population as it may develop in future years. They provide an indication of the likely size, age profile and gender split of the future population based on assumptions about future births, deaths and migration trends.  

Age-Specific Fertility Rate

The number of births per 1,000 women in a specific age group for a geographic area and at a specific point in time. 

Total Fertility Rate (TFR)

The total number of children born or likely to be born to a woman in her lifetime based on current age-specific fertility rates. 

Life Expectancy at Birth

The average number of years that a newborn is expected to live based on current age-specific mortality rates. 

Natural Change

The number of births occurring in a population less the number of deaths. 

Net Overseas Migration (NOM)

The difference between the number of people who have moved to Australia from overseas and the number of people who have left Australia to live elsewhere. They must have stayed or been away for at least 12 months out of a 16-month period. This includes Australian-born and overseas-born people who move. 

Net Interstate Migration (NIM)

The difference between the number of people who have moved into NSW from other states and the number who have moved out of NSW over a period. 

Housing Unit Method (HUM)

A tool used to distribute the projected population of the metropolitan region (Sydney, Central Coast, Illawarra and Lower Hunter) into local government areas (LGAs). 

The Housing Unit Method distributes population growth into each LGA based on the anticipated change in the future number of dwellings in that area. Local assumptions for births, deaths and migration trends are applied. 

Estimated Resident Population (ERP)

The official measure of Australia’s population produced by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. It includes people who are overseas for less than 12 months over a 16-month period.  It does not include overseas visitors who are in the country for less than 12 months over a 16-month period. It counts people usually resident in an area.


A dwelling is a self-contained unit of accommodation which is intended to have people live in it. 

Private Dwelling

A private dwelling is a separate set of living quarters with a private entrance either from outside the building or from a common hall, lobby, or stairway inside the building.  
It is normally a house or unit, but other examples include caravans, houseboats or tents. 

Non-Private Dwelling (NPD)

NPDs are those dwellings, not included as private dwellings, that provide communal or temporary accommodation. These include hotels, boarding schools, hospitals and prisons. 


A household is one or more people who share a dwelling, food and cooking facilities, and other essentials.   

Household Projections

Household projections show the future number and type of households living in private dwellings. It is based on the population projections and assumptions are made about what type of household a person of a particular age and sex will live in.   

Implied Dwelling Projection

This is the likely number of private dwellings needed to accommodate future population-driven demand, given assumptions about the types of households people live in at different ages. 

Local Government Area (LGA)

The local council area as defined by the NSW Government. 

The LGAs used in the population projections are geographic approximations as defined by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. 

Usual Residence

The geographic area where a person usually lives; usual residence is the address at which a person lives or intends to live for six months or more.


Page last updated: 16/12/2019