What will the New South Wales population look like in 2031?

What will the New South Wales population look like in 2031?

The NSW Department of Planning and Environment (NSW DPE) has recently released a few interesting open data sets related to population growth forecast in New South Wales. We thought it could be interesting to investigate how the NSW population may evolve in the next 20 years.

In order to conduct the analysis, we have used the following data set(s):

To start with, let’s see how these data sets render on a map. The simple mash-up below displays the data sets on different layers. You can zoom in and out on the area which is of interest to you and hide/display relevant layer(s). Full screen mash-up can be accessed by clicking here.


At an aggregated level, the surface chart below shows how total NSW population and number of dwellings are likely to evolve over time. Un-surprisingly growth patterns are similar. According to NSW DPE’s forecast total NSW population will grow from 7,218,500 in 2011 to 9,228,550 in 2031.


Then we wanted to identify which areas of NSW are going to have most population growth. For this we started with a heatmap to get a high level view of the southern part of NSW. As shown on the map below, population growth is mostly expected in Sydney’s south west areas (click on image to access interactive map).


A zoom into the Sydney South West shows that Camden Local Government Area population is expected to more than double in the next 20 years !  (click on image to access interactive map)


In the northern part of NSW, population growth is expected to be more widespread around coastal cities and hinterland. However,  Newcastle and Lismore regions seem to display slightly more population growth than elsewhere  (click on image to access interactive map).


A zoom on Newcastle surroundings shows population growth forecast of up to 43% around Maitland  (click on image to access interactive map).


A zoom on Lismore, Byron and Tweed shows population growth forecast of approx. 13%, 18% and 24% in those LGAs  (click on image to access interactive map).



The next step of the analysis was to identify Top 20 LGAs likely to undergo most significant population growth in the coming 20 years – Camden LGA is in the lead, by far…

We then wanted to explore which are the most populous councils in 2011 vs. in 2031. On the tree charts below, the size of the rectangles is proportional to councils’ population.

20 most populous councils in 2011 (mouse hover to display population): 20 most populous councils in 2031 (mouse hover to display population):

And finally, we wanted to understand how population growth translates into age groups. Interestingly the chart below shows that some age group (e.g. 40-44, 70-44) will undergo significant growth while others (e.g. 20-24, 25-29) very limited.


Published by Libby for Péclet Technology. We are a Sydney based company providing a turnkey open data platform (OpenDataSoft) for organisations to share and bring their data to life. For more information please visit our product section or contact us for free trial.