Sydney young and old: Which age group is most common in your area?

Striking generational differences have emerged across Sydney with the 45-59 age-group the most common in the city’s north-east while in the south-west the most prevalent age group is under 15 years.

A demographic mapping project for business group the Committee for Sydney has revealed which age group is most common in each city region.

Areas surrounding the jobs-rich central business district are dominated by a cohort of young workers – the most frequent age groups in those inner-city neighbourhoods is either 15–29 years or 30–44 years.

The most common age groups in areas around the Sydney CBD are 15-29 and 30-44.
The most common age groups in areas around the Sydney CBD are 15-29 and 30-44.CREDIT:JIM RICE



The most prevalent age group in almost all neighbourhoods west of Parramatta is either 0-14 or 15-29.


But the pattern is very different throughout most of Sydney’s northern districts were the most common age cohort is 45-59 years.

The concentration of those aged between 15 and 44 years in inner-city suburbs points to a “higher level of demand for job-proximate rental housing from younger, working professionals,” the report said.

Sydney’s age map: a tale of young and old

There could be a clash between the young vote and the grey vote.

Eamon Waterford of the Committee for Sydney

There was only one statistical district (labelled Statical Area level 3 by the Bureau of Statistics) where the most common age was 75 years and over – Castle Hill East where a large cluster of senior living facilities are located.

The committee’s analysis indicates many other Sydney districts will have to adjust to a larger share of older people in future, especially in the north east of the city.

Director of Policy at the Committee for Sydney Eamon Waterford said the large areas to Sydney’s south-west and north-west dominated by the 0-14 age group showed how families tend to migrate to outer suburbs once they have children because spacious housing is more affordable.

“There is a clear trend towards a trade-off, where families accept more affordable housing but less access to jobs and regular public transport in more suburban areas,” he said.

But this pattern poses a key challenge for the city.

“Will parents be able to access jobs locally, thus avoiding a long commute and making it easier to juggle work and child care?” Mr Waterford said.

The 2016 census showed Sydney’s median age was 36, two years lower than the national average. Hobart had the highest median age among the capital cities at 40 years.

The demographic disparities across Sydney revealed by the committee’s study also have political ramifications.

“A swelling of younger people in the inner-city and an outer ring of older families and retirees is likely to influence a number of electorates,” Mr Waterford said.

“Political parties will need to cater to all three groups, but there could be a clash between the young vote and the grey vote in where to allocate resources and spending priorities.”


Matt is a senior writer for The Sydney Morning Herald.