Sydney Population 2022

5,056,571
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Sydney is the largest city in Australia and, as host to the Olympic Games in 2000, is probably the country's most well known city. Although not the capital of Australia, it is the capital of New South Wales. In 2016, the population was estimated to be 4.92 million.

The results of the 2011 census, released in June 2012, showed that that the official population of Sydney was 4,391,674. In the five years since the last census, in 2006, it has grown by 6.6 percent. Estimates in 2016 place the population at 4.92 million, and this number is expected to exceed 5 million by the end of 2016.

Australia's population in 2016 is just under 22 million so, to put this into some perspective, it might help to think that roughly one in every five Australians lives in Sydney.

Growth in Sydney

Sydney is growing quickly - so quickly in fact that it might have as many as 7 million residents by 2060 - not much smaller than the population of London today. Rival Melbourne, however, is growing at a faster rate and is tipped by many to become Australia's largest city within the next 25 years. Read more in our article about the population of Melbourne.

Sydney is widely recognized as being one of the most diverse and multicultural cities in the world - almost 45% of the people who live in Sydney today were born outside of Australia. The largest country of origin for Sydney residents in the United Kingdom (4.3% of Sydney residents, or about 175,000 people, are from the UK originally), closely followed by China (3.5% of residents).

Population Ancestry in Sydney

Looking at the ancestry of Sydney's residents gives plenty of clues about how the city's diverse identity has developed and changed over time. Although 25.7% of Sydney's inhabitants claim Australian ancestry (which is different from their country of birth), over 40% claim ancestry that is either English, Scottish or Irish, a legacy of Australia's colonial past. However, reflecting more recent waves of immigration into Australia, 8.2% of people in Sydney have Chinese ancenstry, 4.2% Italian ancestry, 2.5% have German ancenstry, and 2.6% have Greek ancestry.

Religious Demographics of Sydney

In terms of religion, Sydney is largely a Christian dominated city. According to 2011 figures, Roman Catholics comprise the single largest religious groups in Sydney (28.3%), follwed by Anglicans (16.1%), Eastern Orthodox (4.8%) and Islam (4.4%). A further 17.6% reported that they had no religion.

History of Sydney Population Growth

The area that is today's Sydney was home to many aboriginal people - perhaps as many as 8,000 - at the time of Sydney's founding as a penal colony in 1788, although with no kind of reliable data available it is difficult to be certain. It is believed, though, that within a year or two of the founding of Sydney an outbreak of smallpox decimated the local population, leaving under a thousand aboriginal residents and paving the way for the city to expand without any serious restriction.

By 1800, the new colony had become firmly established and had grown to around 3,000 people -- not just convicts and jailers but also emancipated convicts who had served their time and had been freed to live in Australia. The town soon began to develop like any other and banks, churches and other public institutions were soon being established. The population of the town of Sydney grew steadily, and by 1851, it had reached an estimated 39,000.

The advent of the Sydney Gold Rush in the 1850s saw the population rocket upwards, and by 1871 the population of Sydney was around 200,000. The increasingly confident city soon began lobbying against its great rival Melbourne to become Australia's capital city, although ultimately their dispute was settled by the decision to develop a neutrally located capital in Canberra instead.

By the early 1920s, Sydney had grown to over 1 million residents, and it has continued to grow steadily through the 20th century and into the 21st centuries as it attracted wave after wave of immigrants - firstly from England, then from other European countries and more recently from countries around the globe - to create the modern, multicultural population of Sydney that we see today.

Year Population
19501,689,935
19511,735,903
19521,777,422
19531,819,816
19541,863,277
19551,905,976
19561,949,715
19571,994,333
19582,040,035
19592,086,784
19602,134,673
19612,183,523
19622,233,459
19632,284,537
19642,336,856
19652,390,224
19662,445,016
19672,549,933
19682,659,506
19692,773,466
19702,892,477
19713,016,037
19723,041,223
19733,066,549
19743,092,121
19753,117,906
19763,143,945
19773,170,608
19783,197,534
19793,224,688
19803,252,111
19813,279,743
19823,317,267
19833,355,221
19843,393,661
19853,432,435
19863,471,704
19873,511,087
19883,550,973
19893,591,200
19903,631,940
19913,673,110
19923,709,165
19933,745,472
19943,782,186
19953,819,260
19963,856,593
19973,837,252
19983,817,981
19993,798,807
20003,779,704
20013,760,877
20023,789,046
20033,817,426
20043,846,058
20053,874,825
20063,903,942
20073,967,807
20084,032,807
20094,098,688
20104,165,738
20114,233,904
20124,309,560
20134,386,354
20144,464,625
20154,544,293
20164,625,496
20174,708,150
20184,792,281
20194,859,432
20204,925,987
20214,991,654
20225,056,571
20235,120,894
20245,184,896
20255,248,788
20265,312,641
20275,376,399
20285,439,981
20295,503,256
20305,566,118
20315,628,549
20325,690,609
20335,752,370
20345,813,909
20355,875,309

Sydney Population 2022

Year Population Growth Rate Growth
19501,689,9350.00%
19511,735,9032.72%45,968
19521,777,4222.39%41,519
19531,819,8162.39%42,394
19541,863,2772.39%43,461
19551,905,9762.29%42,699
19561,949,7152.29%43,739
19571,994,3332.29%44,618
19582,040,0352.29%45,702
19592,086,7842.29%46,749
19602,134,6732.29%47,889
19612,183,5232.29%48,850
19622,233,4592.29%49,936
19632,284,5372.29%51,078
19642,336,8562.29%52,319
19652,390,2242.28%53,368
19662,445,0162.29%54,792
19672,549,9334.29%104,917
19682,659,5064.30%109,573
19692,773,4664.29%113,960
19702,892,4774.29%119,011
19713,016,0374.27%123,560
19723,041,2230.84%25,186
19733,066,5490.83%25,326
19743,092,1210.83%25,572
19753,117,9060.83%25,785
19763,143,9450.84%26,039
19773,170,6080.85%26,663
19783,197,5340.85%26,926
19793,224,6880.85%27,154
19803,252,1110.85%27,423
19813,279,7430.85%27,632
19823,317,2671.14%37,524
19833,355,2211.14%37,954
19843,393,6611.15%38,440
19853,432,4351.14%38,774
19863,471,7041.14%39,269
19873,511,0871.13%39,383
19883,550,9731.14%39,886
19893,591,2001.13%40,227
19903,631,9401.13%40,740
19913,673,1101.13%41,170
19923,709,1650.98%36,055
19933,745,4720.98%36,307
19943,782,1860.98%36,714
19953,819,2600.98%37,074
19963,856,5930.98%37,333
19973,837,252-0.50%-19,341
19983,817,981-0.50%-19,271
19993,798,807-0.50%-19,174
20003,779,704-0.50%-19,103
20013,760,877-0.50%-18,827
20023,789,0460.75%28,169
20033,817,4260.75%28,380
20043,846,0580.75%28,632
20053,874,8250.75%28,767
20063,903,9420.75%29,117
20073,967,8071.64%63,865
20084,032,8071.64%65,000
20094,098,6881.63%65,881
20104,165,7381.64%67,050
20114,233,9041.64%68,166
20124,309,5601.79%75,656
20134,386,3541.78%76,794
20144,464,6251.78%78,271
20154,544,2931.78%79,668
20164,625,4961.79%81,203
20174,708,1501.79%82,654
20184,792,2811.79%84,131
20194,859,4321.40%67,151
20204,925,9871.37%66,555
20214,991,6541.33%65,667
20225,056,5711.30%64,917
20235,120,8941.27%64,323
20245,184,8961.25%64,002
20255,248,7881.23%63,892
20265,312,6411.22%63,853
20275,376,3991.20%63,758
20285,439,9811.18%63,582
20295,503,2561.16%63,275
20305,566,1181.14%62,862
20315,628,5491.12%62,431
20325,690,6091.10%62,060
20335,752,3701.09%61,761
20345,813,9091.07%61,539
20355,875,3091.06%61,400

Sydney Population Data (Urban Area)

Name 2022 Population 2022 Growth
Melbourne5,150,7661.76%
Sydney5,056,5711.30%
Brisbane2,472,2221.34%
Perth2,092,6491.22%
Adelaide1,355,5220.75%
Gold Coast721,6871.55%
Canberra467,1941.08%
Newcastle457,0040.77%
Sunshine Coast359,4381.74%
Central Coast338,8350.63%
Wollongong309,8490.77%

Other Cities in Australia

  1. Australian Bureau of Statistics - Regional population growth for New South Wales
  2. New South Wales Government - New South Wales population and household projections

Sources