A NSW Government website


Using the projections

We produce population, household and implied dwelling projections for the whole of NSW, using information about births, deaths, and migration to paint a picture of our population from now to 2041. This includes:

  • how many people are likely to be living in NSW
  • how old they are likely to be
  • where in NSW they are likely to live
  • the types of household they may live in
  • the potential demand on housing from the changing population.

These are not population targets. Instead, the population projections are a set of Common Planning Assumptions that the NSW Government and others use to plan services.

We review the population projections regularly to account for unforeseen events such as the global COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on overseas and interstate migration.

2022 update

For our 2022 update, we have improved our population projections. We now go beyond the local government area (LGA) level to include data for the smaller Statistical Area Level 2 (SA2). These are general-purpose areas defined by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. This means we can identify the movement of people over time between the rural parts of an LGA and its towns, for example.

Population changes in NSW

The total population in NSW in 2020 was 8.2 million. This is projected to increase to 9.9 million people over the next 20 years driven by migration and the balance between births and deaths.


2021 Population


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Population change over 20 years


Natural change




Net migration


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2041 Population



Explore the population in your area

The evidence for our assumptions

Our picture of the future population is shaped by evidence about the number of babies born, number of deaths and how many people move in, out and around NSW. The most up-to-date data and insights from an expert advisory group have informed our assumptions for the 2022 NSW Population Projections.

Demographic assumptions span 3 areas:


  • How many babies are likely to be born (fertility)


  • The age at which people are likely to die (life expectancy)


  • How many people will be moving around within NSW (intrastate migration)
  • How many people will be moving in and out of NSW from other states (interstate migration)
  • How many people will be moving in and out of NSW from overseas (overseas migration).

Table 1. NSW Medium-growth demographic assumptions 2016 to 2041

Birth rateTrending from 1.70 births per woman to 1.63
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 migrationAnnual net losses going from –94,000 to –85,000, with smaller losses for 2021–26
Net overseas migrationAnnual net gains trending from 306,600 to 376,000 with smaller gains for 2021–26