Snapshot of North Sydney

 

 

The North Sydney Local Government Area is located on the northern side of Sydney Harbour, and covers 10 square kilometres.

It is both urban and green in character, comprising two Central Business Districts (CBDs), smaller suburban centres, residential areas, parks and open spaces.

North Sydney has a population of 70,339 people (at 30 June 2014) - and is characterised by its attractiveness to a range of ages, especially young adults (aged 25-40) seeking employment and access to services and facilities, resulting in a proportionally higher number of lone person households (10,961 people or 37.6%) compared to the State average (24.2%).

There's also a significant student population which travels to and from North Sydney. A 2011 survey of educational institutions (with 4 incomplete returns) identified a student population of 17,445, of which 12% of Primary students, 86% of Secondary students and 88% of Tertiary students travelled to North Sydney from outside the area.

North Sydney is also becoming increasingly culturally diverse with 36.5% of residents born overseas, including 28% who don't speak English at home (including Chinese 3.6%, Japanese 1.7%, Indian 1.5%, Malaysian 0.9%, South Korean 0.8% and Fillipino 0.8%).

 

2011 Census

The Estimated Resident Population (which includes adjustments for Census undercounts) was 67,033 as at 30 June 2011 (up 14% since 2001), and there are marginally more females (52.4%) than males (47.6%). Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders make up 0.2% of the population which is significantly lower than the average for NSW (2.5%).

North Sydney attracts young adults who move to the area for employment. Employment figures from the 2011 Census will be released on 30 October but in 2006, almost 78% of residents worked, with 62% of the workforce employed as either Managers and Administrators or Professionals (compared with 36% for the Greater Sydney region). 25-34 year olds are the dominant population group, representing 26.6% of the population, followed by 35-44 year olds (18.2%).

 

Age Structure North Sydney Council area
Age Group (years) 2011 2006 2001
Usual Residence Data number % number % number % Change 2001 to 2011 number Change 2001 to 2011 %
0 to 4 3,360 5.4 2,643 4.5 2,149 3.9 1,211 56%
5 to 9 2,019 3.2 1,551 2.7 1,526 2.8 493 32%
10 to 14 1,554 2.5 1,403 2.4 1,535 2.8 19 1%
15 to 19 1,696 2.7 1,793 3.1 2,126 3.9 -430 -20%
20 to 24 3,650 5.9 4,379 7.5 4,502 8.2 -852 -19%
25 to 29 8,131 13.1 7,890 13.5 8,203 14.9 -72 -1%
30 to 34 8,428 13.5 8,190 14.1 7,445 13.5 983 13%
35 to 39 6,612 10.6 5,744 9.9 4,879 8.9 1,733 36%
40 to 44 4,749 7.6 4,019 6.9 3,743 6.8 1,006 27%
45 to 49 3,772 6.1 3,542 6.1 3,507 6.4 265 8%
50 to 54 3,623 5.8 3,438 5.9 3,824 7.0
-201 -5%
55 to 59 3,373 5.4 3,711 6.4 3,031 5.5 342 11%
60 to 64 3,503 5.6 2,999 5.1 2,126 3.9 1,377 65%
65 to 69 2,704 4.3 2,075 3.6 1,612 2.9 1,092 68%
70 to 74 1,821 2.9 1,433 2.5 1,441 2.6 380 26%
75 to 79 1,262 2.0 1,277 2.2 1,340 2.4 -78 -6%
70 to 84 957 1.5 1,094 1.9 1,042 1.9 -85 14%
85 and over 1,075 1.7 7,076 1.1 941 1.1 134 14%
Total 62,289 100 58,257 100 54,972 100 7,317 13%

The results show that there is a significant movement of young adults aged 20-34 into the area, predominantly looking to access employment opportunities in and around the city. By the time they reach 35-49, a large number of them move out, often to find more space for their growing families.

This trend is reflected in the composition of North Sydney households where the percentage of family households has increased from 50% in 2001 to 54.7%, which is still significantly below the State average (71.9%), whilst the percentage of lone person (37.6%) and group households (7.7%) are significantly higher than the State averages (24.2% and 3.8% respectively).

With regard to the different kinds of dwellings, the majority of people in private property live in flats, units or apartments (71%), with most renting (50%). Others fully own their properties (24.4%) or are in the process of buying them (23.6%). There is some public housing spread among the LGA that provides the only option for very low and low-income earners to remain in North Sydney

The majority of residents were born in Australia (54.7%). However, there are significant numbers of people born overseas (36.5%). Of those born overseas, the top ten countries of birth are the UK (8.0%), China (3.6%), New Zealand (3.3%), Japan (1.7%), South Africa (1.5%), India (1.5%), USA (1.5%), Malaysia (0.9%), South Korea (0.8%) and Philippines (0.8%). The majority of residents only speak English at home (72%). Of those who speak another language at home, the top ten languages are Cantonese (2.7%), Mandarin (2.4%), Japanese (1.9%), Spanish (1.1%), French (0.9%), Korean (0.8%), German (0.7%), Italian (0.7%), Hindi (0.6%) and Thai (0.6%).

In addition to large numbers of people who come to North Sydney for work or to study, the local area is also popular for visitors and tourists. At certain times of the year and for special events, tens of thousands of people travel to North Sydney to watch boat races by day, fireworks by night, or to simply picnic by the Harbour. Monthly markets, in three locations throughout North Sydney, as well as Christmas, Youth Week and other festival events, attract thousands more.

Changes in North Sydney 2001 to 2011

North Sydney has both a growing and a relatively young resident population. Between 2001 and 2011, the usually resident population counted in the Census grew by 7,317 people, or 13.3%. The largest group of residents are still aged between 25-34 but a number of interesting changes are taking place. With regard to specific population groups, the key changes include:

  • 0-4 year olds have increased by 1,211 (up 56%);
  • 15-24 year olds have dropped by 1,282 (down 20%);
  • 35-44 year olds have increased by 2,739 (up over 30%); and
  • 60-69 year olds have increased by nearly 2,500 (up over 65%).

There appears to be an emerging trend showing North Sydney is retaining more and more of the 30-44 year olds, especially the 35-44 year olds which now comprise 18.2% of the population (up from 15.7% in 2001). This, in part, helps offset the comparatively large drop in the proportion of the resident population aged 15-29 yeare old, which has decreased from 27% to 21.7% over the last 10 years. So whilst the area continues to attract young adults, increasing numbers of 35-44 year olds are choosing to remain in the area. This may help explain the growth in the number of babies and young children (aged 0-9) which has increased from 6.7% or the population to 8.6% (up 1,704).

This increase in children is also evident in the household type characteristics - families with children under 15 increased from 22.4% to 26.7% of all families. However, the dominant family type in North Sydney is still couple families without children, accounting for 56.8% of family households in 2011. Lone person households were a very significant household type, representing 37.6% of all households (down slightly from 40.2% in 2001).

Overall, dwelling size in North Sydney was relatively steady at 2.2 persons per dwelling, significantly lower than the NSW average of 3.0, reflecting the smaller household types (couples without children and lone person households) prevalent in the area. Dwelling structures also reflected this, with 52.7% being high density dwellings (flats in blocks of three storeys or more), and only 12.3% separate houses. However, the proportion of separate houses did increase slightly between 2001 and 2011 from 10.9% to 12.3%, whilst the proportion of four or more storey unit blocks decreased from 36.8% of all dwellings to 33.7%.

Rental is still the dominant housing market in North Sydney, accounting for 50% of all occupied dwellings which has remained constant since 2001. The median weekly rent paid was $480 which is high by Greater Sydney. Housing loan repayments were also higher than average, with 44% paying more than $3,000 per month and the median being $2,700.

Looking at Cultural and Linguistic Diversity, North Sydney has become increasingly diverse since 2001 with a drop in the percentage of people born in Australia from 68.2% to 54.7%. 16.2% of the population were born in a non-English speaking country, up from 11.4% in 2001. The emerging birthplace groups in North Sydney since 2001 were China (up 671), India (up 449) and Japan (up 1,040). People speaking a language other than English at home increased from 15.8% in 2001 to 21.4% in 2011. The major increases were in Chinese, Indian, Korean and Spansih languages.

All this shows that despite some clear demographic changes mentioned above, North Sydney does retain its role within the Greater Sydney region as a major residential location for people seeking proximity to their employment in the inner Sydney and North Shore areas.

 

Summary of changes in North Sydney, 2001-2011

  • 13% increase in population.
  • Increase in infants (0-4 year olds), older parents (35-44 year olds) and retirement age people (60-69 year olds).
  • Decrease in young people (15-24 year olds).
  • Increase in couple families, both with and without children, and a decrease in lone person households.
  • Household incomes, rents and mortgage payments are still heavily skewed towards the high end.
  • Increase in cultural and linguistic diversity.

North Sydney retains its role and function as an area where young professionals move for employment, living in lone person or couple only households, however this is diversifying a little, with more children being born and an increase in families and family housing types.

 

Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Peoples Profile

According to the 2011 Census, North Sydney is home to:

  • 120 Aboriginal people (70 males, 50 females)
  • 13 Torres Strait Islander people (6 male, 7 female)

The following chart shows their age distribution.

Age Distribution

snapshot_table.gif

 

Below are some select statistics of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander residents by way of comparison:

Indigenous

Non-Indigenous

Median age

31

36

Median personal weekly income

$972

$1,217

Median household weekly income

$2,150

$2,206

Median weekly rent

$430

$480

Average household size (people)

2.2

2.0

Completed Year 12 of High School

68%

82%

Attending an educational institution

33%

20%

Attending university

14%

7%

Degree or Postgraduate qualification

35%

53%

Unemployment rate

4.5%

3.7%

Lived at same address 1 year ago

66%

76%

Lived at same address 5 years ago

33%

40%