2022 Population Projections

The NSW Department of Planning and Environment (DPE) has recently released a 2022 update to its population projections for the state. The previous projections dataset was released in 2019 and the updated 2022 projections take into account recent demographics changes such as lower international immigration and the trend of increasing regional immigration resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The two maps below show the projected population growth by LGA between 2021 and 2041. Most regions of NSW are generally still expected to grow with the exception of the northwest of the state and the hinterland of the Far North Coast. The Greater Sydney region, and in particular, Western Sydney, is still anticipated to accommodate the majority of the NSW’s growth; however, to a lesser extent than previously forecast in 2019.

The two maps below show the difference in population growth from 2021 to 2041 between the projections released in 2019 and 2021. Reflecting the post-COVID trend of higher regional immigration, the south-eastern local government areas of regional NSW almost all see higher population growth than anticipated in 2019. This is especially the case in the coastal LGAs such as in the Illawarra/Shoalhaven and Hunter regions.

The Sydney metropolitan area sees significant reductions in anticipated growth. Almost the entire metropolitan area, barring the City of Sydney, Hunters Hill and Lane Cove LGAs are anticipated to have less population growth to 2041. This reduction in anticipated growth is particularly pronounced in Western Sydney LGAs. The biggest reductions are seen in Liverpool (-109,755), Blacktown (-90,260), Camden (-90,253), Penrith (-84,555) and Canterbury-Bankstown (-53,331).

Overall, across the whole state, the anticipated population growth between 2021 and 2041 has reduced by approximately 450,000 people – a lasting reflection of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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