Department of Family and Community Services

Population size and distribution

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In 2011, NSW’s total population was 6.9 million people of which women formed a slight majority at 3.5 million (51 percent). NSW women represent about a third of Australia’s female population.1

In 2011, slightly more NSW women than men lived in the Greater Sydney region: 64 percent of women, compared to 63 percent of men. As shown in Table 1.1, the majority of NSW women (70 percent) live in major urban areas (Sydney, Newcastle, Central Coast, Tweed Heads, Queanbeyan, and Wollongong). Twenty percent live in other urban (small and medium towns), 2 percent in bounded localities and the remaining 7 percent are located in rural areas.

The majority of Aboriginal women and men (62 and 60 percent) live outside of major urban areas.

At the time of the 2011 Census, Aboriginal women constituted 2.5 percent of the female population in NSW. There were 87,541 Aboriginal women in NSW, up from 70,029 five years earlier in the last census, representing a 25 percent increase in the number of Aboriginal women. This increase can be attributed to a high Aboriginal birth rate, increased life expectancy and a stronger willingness to identify as Aboriginal. All states have seen an increase in the number of Aboriginal women with NSW having the largest numerical increase. 

Table 1.1 Population size and distribution, women in NSW and Australia, 2011

 

Aboriginal women

Total women

NSW (%)

Australia (%)

NSW (%)

Australia (%)

Major urban (100,000 or more people)

40

39

70

70

Capital

25

-

57

-

Other major urban

15

-

13

-

Other major urban (1,000-99,000 people)

46

39

20

20

Bounded locality (200-999 people)

5

11

2

3

Rural balance (0-199 people)

9

10

7

8

Total

87,541

278,038

3,508,781

10,873,705

Note: Major urban includes Sydney, Wollongong, Newcastle, Tweed Heads, Central Coast and Queanbeyan. Percentages do not total 100 due to rounding.

Population: All NSW and Australian women.

Source: ABS Census of Population and Housing 2011.


1 ABS Census of Population and Housing 2011.