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NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment
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Using the projections

The Department of Planning, Industry and Environment produces the NSW population projections on behalf of the NSW Government. The 2019 NSW population projections are the government’s common planning assumptions until they are updated in 2022.


They paint a picture of NSW’s population through to 2041, including:

  • how many people are likely to be living in NSW,
  • how old they are likely to be, and
  • where in NSW they are likely to live.

The projections are a scenario based on available evidence. They are not a target or a representation of Government intent.


Key insights

The 2019 population projections show that NSW will continue to grow, with the population increasing by 2.8 million to 10.6 million people by 2041.


2020 insights

Events in NSW, other parts of Australia and globally are affecting population change in 2020. Continued drought, bushfires, the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic recession are extremely likely to impact population growth. Find out more by reading the 2020 insights resource.


Population change in NSW

The total population in NSW in 2016 was 7.7 million. This is projected to increase over the next 10 years (2016-2026) then increase out to 2041.


Infographic showing projected population change over 25 years from 7,732,850 in 2016 to 10,572,700 in 2041


The 2019 population projections tell us:

  • NSW is living longer and is more active and productive
  • Border and coastal regions are retirement havens
  • There is powerful growth in regional hubs
  • As well as being a destination for overseas migration, Sydney will see more babies than ever before due to the number of potential mothers living in the city.



This picture of the future population is shaped by evidence-based assumptions about the number of babies born, number of deaths and how many people move in, out and around NSW. 


Demographic assumptions span three domains: fertility, mortality and migration:

  • how many babies are likely to be born (fertility)
  • the age at which people are likely to die (mortality)
  • how many people will be moving around inside NSW (intrastate migration)
  • how many people will be moving in and out of NSW from other states (interstate migration), and 
  • how many people will be moving in and out of NSW from overseas (overseas migration).


NSW medium growth demographic assumptions 2016-2041
Fertility rate Trending from 1.81 births per woman to 1.85
Life expectancy at birth (Males) Trending from 81.8 to 86.0 years
Life expectancy at birth (Females) Trending from 85.8 to 88.9 years
Net interstate migration Annual net losses going from -20,200 to -17,000
Net overseas migration Annual net gains trending from 105,020 to 68,800


Find out more about how assumptions are used in the Methodology section.


More information:

Download projections datasets

Implied Dwelling Projections for Local Government Areas (LGAs) within the Greater Sydney Region are only available for 2016 and 2041.

Download LGA factsheets

Page last updated: 30/12/2020