Scenarios for the future population of Sydney

Peter McDonald, Rebecca Kippen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The period 1996-2001 has witnessed a refocusing of population growth on Sydney and Melbourne as both cities have developed significant concentrations of so-called 'new economy' jobs and taken on, to greater or lesser extents, the characteristics of global cities. The consequence of these trends, for Sydney most particularly, is population growth. This paper establishes this demographic reality by describing recent demographic trends in Sydney and possible future scenarios for Sydney's population, given differing levels of fertility, internal migration and international migration. A related future trend is also traced-that the number of households in Sydney will grow more rapidly than the population due to changes in household structure. This raises the issue of how and where these households will be accommodated, given the relative land shortage in the Sydney Statistical Division and given that there is no doubt that planners in New South Wales will be attempting to maintain and enhance Sydney's status as a global city. In sum, the paper argues that Sydney planners should be preparing for growth of around one million people in the next 20 years and a further one million in the following 30 years. To maintain that potential future residents of Sydney can be redirected to other parts of New South Wales is a vain hope.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)263-280
Number of pages18
JournalAustralian Geographer
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Fertility
  • Household structure
  • Migration
  • Population ageing
  • Population growth

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